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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Hancock, NH
    Posts
    85

    Post

    I have two 3# packages of Italians coming in the first week of May. I would like to re-queen these over to NW Carniolans before the next winter season. Would I be better off trying to procure queens when the bees arrive or should I let them build up with the queen they were shipped with, and then requeen at a later date? In a way I'm leaning toward later on, in the hopes that the break in brood cycle might help with the Varroa situation but I don't want to hurt the health of the hive going into winter.

    If the suggestion is the later date when would be the best time?

    Thanks
    Kurt

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,417

    Post

    The bees were shipped with these queens and will be ready to accept these queens by the time they get to you. To try to get them to accept a different queen will just add more complications. Also queens are more expensive in the spring than the fall. Personally I'd probably wait until the following fall and requeen when these are more than a year old. But I'm cheap.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Pomfret, MD, USA
    Posts
    242

    Post

    I am basically facing the same situation. 2 new package italians this spring. I have decided to requeen with NWC in late August for the following reasons:

    1. There is really no way to know how old the queen that you get with the packages is already. Wait until the following fall and you may have a queen that is at least 18 months old, perhaps even 24. Requeening the first fall ensures a queen that is only about 6 months coming into next spring.

    2. I want to jump right in and get experience with requeening.

    3. I live in an area where an early spring buildup is essential. I want NWC queens in my hive to be ready for this, as these overwinter well and build up fast in the spring.

    Kai

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,417

    Post

    >1. There is really no way to know how old the queen that you get with the packages is already.

    Unless they tell you otherwise, they should be from this year. You have no way to tell when they ship you a queen either.

    >Wait until the following fall and you may have a queen that is at least 18 months old, perhaps even 24. Requeening the first fall ensures a queen that is only about 6 months coming into next spring.

    I haven't had troubles with queens that are up to 2 years old, although I do like to keep them kind of young. If a queen is really good I will keep her 2 years. If you're not using the Check-mite and TM and Apistan, a queen can be quite long lived.

    >2. I want to jump right in and get experience with requeening.

    It's not that hard. But I'm sure you'll enjoy the experience.

    >3. I live in an area where an early spring buildup is essential. I want NWC queens in my hive to be ready for this, as these overwinter well and build up fast in the spring.

    My Carni's sure dropped back to small clusters for the winter. Haven't seen the build up yet, but the weather just got nice sometimes and the pollen just started to come in.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Pomfret, MD, USA
    Posts
    242

    Post

    MB wrote:
    Unless they tell you otherwise, they should be from this year. You have no way to tell when they ship you a queen either.

    Yeah, you are probably right about the package queens being from this year. As for the new queens, I am working with a local queen breeder, so I'll have a better idea about the queen age.


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