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Thread: requening

  1. #1
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    Jul 2004
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    Seattle, Washington State
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    I was wondering why so many people put so much emphasis on requeening in March and April rather in in may and june? I just read the artical in BC and it did spur this question. Do you loose days in honey production or laying if requeened in may or june? I know the population of the hive has a lot more bees which makes finding the queen more of a challange.

    any thoughts?
    Chef Isaac..Culinary Arts and Honey are a sweet mix! http://www.sweetascanbeehoneyfarm.com & http://www.adoptahive.info

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    New York City
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    > requeening in March and April rather in
    > may and june?

    Timing, timing, timing.
    Beekeeping itself is most often the challenge of
    doing simple things at the right time.

    The assumption is that a colony headed by
    an "old queen" will be more likely to swarm,
    not build up as fast, perhaps go queenless
    just before the major spring flows, etc etc.

    Larry Conner always makes good points, but the
    downside risk for the hobbyist will always be
    drones. It takes a lot of drones to make decent
    queens, and a handful of colonies just aren't
    going to put out enough drones to assure adequate
    mating.

    Lots of us requeen in fall rather than spring,
    as the queens are cheaper, the supply is more
    predictable, and the work can go on when there
    is not much else to do. This works just as well
    as spring requeening, as long as one does not
    get sold banked queens, left over from spring.
    (This is much less of a problem given the
    sell-outs that happened just about every spring
    for the past few years.)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    45,797

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    >I was wondering why so many people put so much emphasis on requeening in March and April rather in in may and june?

    I wonder the same thing. Part of why queens are in such short supply in the spring is the number of people who want to do splits early to get a crop from the splits. But you can do the splits just before the flow and probably get a better crop and cheaper queens. You can also do splits after the flow and still build them up for winter. Requeening, is easy to do in the spring because there aren't a lot of bees in the hive, so the queen is easier to find. There aren't a lot of heavy boxes to move to get to the brood nest. But after you harvest your honey you're close to the same position. More bees, but the heavy boxes are gone.

    >I just read the artical in BC and it did spur this question. Do you loose days in honey production or laying if requeened in may or june?

    With the timing of our flows here, anytime from the end of May until August works fine for just requeening.

    >I know the population of the hive has a lot more bees which makes finding the queen more of a challange.

    Exactly. But the more you do it, the easier it gets.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
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    I understand the "older queens will swarm" statement but that is why I am in favor of opening up the brood nest in the spring time.

    I think there is to much risk on both my side and the queen suppliers side except for producers like Kona ect that have warm climates all year. Anyway, it is a risk on the queen suppliers side because if you want queens earlier (april) the drone population is not at the peak. Of course this is my opinion. It is also a risk on my side because nice weather doesnt come around in April as much so if I buy a queen early in the season with the hopes to requeen in April, I will be waiting frantically for the first day without rain or even the first HOUR without rain.

    I do think it is best to requeen, in my area, in may or more likely in june because of the weather pattens. I think if one is still having problems with swarming come June, you can easily split, keep the old queen and insert the new queen.

    The problem with this area is that it is going to be a challange rearing queens for myself. I think then it is better to requeen in August or early fall.

    I think it is a hassel and to much of a risk to try to get queens in April and even early May.

    I called Kona yesterday and asked when they could ship out queens. Forgetting that they have nice weather all year around, she said tomarrow. I asked if May was possible and she asked for how many queens and I said 2. She laughed and said to call a week before I need them and she will send them out.

    Thats good service!!
    Chef Isaac..Culinary Arts and Honey are a sweet mix! http://www.sweetascanbeehoneyfarm.com & http://www.adoptahive.info

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    The Hudson Valley, NY
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    "Lots of us requeen in fall rather than spring,"

    Jim, do you use these queens in the hives where comb honey is produced? I thought the first rule of comb honey production is that the queen must not have over-wintered.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Mason, MI, USA
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    1,015

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    I requeen during the last of the fall flow here. Normally the last of August or early September
    Clint
    Clinton Bemrose<br />just South of Lansing Michigan<br />Beekeeping since 1964

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