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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Pamlico, North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    15

    Default When to Start Queens

    Can anyone give me some advice about when I should start raising queens? I want to make some early splits (March) and I want to make sure that I can have some queens ready. My questions is, at what time will bees start raising drones so that my queens will be able to mate? Can I force them to start now by placing drone frames in the brood box or do I need to create the perfect situation in the hive to make this happen.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,322

    Default

    If you've got drones flying you can start queens.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    Posts
    3,598

    Default

    I assume you're at the coast
    around here I had swarming last year in mid march
    if you don't do something in march, (split/manipulate the brood nest) a strong hive is going to "run away from home"
    watch the weather and split as soon as you see the end of bad cold (sustained below freezing)
    check em when you get a warm spell and look for swarm cells
    if you find em you gotta split
    disclaimer: this advice is for march forward, it doesn't apply to warm spells in january

    Dave

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,973

    Default

    watch for the first drones emergence and add two week for maturation. feeding + pollen patties will get'em up and going a bit early.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Windsor,NC,USA
    Posts
    285

    Default

    I have had drones the whole winter, although they are small. My hives have kicked into gear in the last two weeks. I would think yours would be too. I too need to look for swarm cells and make splits.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    VENTURA, California, USA
    Posts
    3,604

    Smile Small drones

    Small drones can be a sign of a drone layer.
    Ernie
    Lucas Apiaries
    Ernie
    My websitehttp://bees4u.com/

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,114

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Natural Resources View Post
    Can anyone give me some advice about when I should start raising queens? I want to make some early splits (March) and I want to make sure that I can have some queens ready.
    Two weeks before you want to use them in your nucs. Right Michael?

    I usually start making my splits in SC around the 15th of March. I've used a method of making splits w/ a frame that has some eggs in it, so they can raise their own queen. This year I'm going to get queen cells from a friend of mine, so I can get them earlier and hopefully have stronger colonies before it's time to go north.

    I'm not sure how where I have my bees compares to where yours are, so maybe you should ask someone close to you.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,114

    Default

    When I was in my hives in SC last week there were a couple that had supersedure cells. So apparently those colonies are hoping that there are enough drones available.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,322

    Default

    >I want to make some early splits (March) and I want to make sure that I can have some queens ready.

    If your intent is to give the nucs cells, and if your intent is to graft, then you need to graft 10 days before you intend to put the cells in the nucs. If you intend to confine the queen to know the age of the larvae, then you need to do that four days before that (two weeks before you set up the nucs).

    If your intent is to mate them in mini nucs or something then you'd need to allow another two weeks to get a laying queen.

    Of course all this also depends on how early you have drones.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Newton Falls Ohio USA
    Posts
    10

    Default When to split?

    Swarm season is the natural time of year that vigirn queens are raised.
    Swarm season is also the natural time of year when drones are being raised.

    I say do it during swarm season and things should work out fine.

    You can push that forward a bit with heavy pollen feeding and drone comb.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, Tennessee,USA
    Posts
    207

    Default

    I will be making splits in about a week and a half.

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