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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Pamlico, North Carolina, USA
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    College Station, Texas
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    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
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    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
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    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
    Oct 2007
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    VENTURA, California, USA
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    3,604

    Smile English Title: Effect of certain meteorological factors and colony activities on dron

    FYI:
    http://www.cababstractsplus.org/goog...No=20043093522

    English Title: Effect of certain meteorological factors and colony activities on drone brood production and drone flight activity, and its relation to mating of honey bee queens.
    Personal Authors: Khodairy, M. M., Moustafa, A. M.
    Author Affiliation: Plant Protection Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Assiut University, Assiut 71516, Egypt.
    Editors: No editors
    Document Title: Assiut Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 2003 (Vol. 34) (No. 5) 133-151

    Abstract:
    The relationships between produced drone honey bee brood and certain meteorological factors (mean daily temperature, mean daily relative humidity, sunshine hours and wind velocity), honey bee colony activities during natural growth period, and the effect of the four meteorological factors on drone flight activity and their relation to pre-oviposition period of queens during natural mating periods were studied from 1 January to 31 May 2003 in Egypt. The drone honey bee brood area was maximum on 7 March, and minimum at the end of May. Positive correlations were found between produced drone honey bee brood and both bee population and produced worker brood. Correlations were negative between drone honey bee brood and each of stored pollen, uncapped honey and capped honey. Drone honey bee brood area was negatively correlated with daily temperature, but positively correlated with daily relative humidity. All above-mentioned factors affected drone honey bee brood production by 85%. Significant differences in drone flight activity were found among most day-hours. The number of flight drones during the whole natural mating period was maximum at 14.00 h, and minimum at 11.00 h. Drone honey bee flight activity was positively correlated with both daily relative humidity and sunshine hours, but was negatively correlated with both daily temperature and wind velocity. These factors affected drone honey bee flight activity by 31.5%. Pre-oviposition period was shortest on 1 April, and longest on 1 May, indicating that April can be considered the best time for queen mating.


    Publisher: Faculty of Agriculture, Assiut University

    About CAB Abstracts
    CAB Abstracts is a unique and informative resource covering everything from Agriculture to Entomology to Public Health. In April 2006 we published our 5 millionth abstract, making it the largest and most comprehensive abstracts database in its field.

    There are numerous records and resources related to this abstract in the CAB Abstracts database. At this time, your institution does not subscribe to CAB Direct so you cannot access them. To find out more about this exciting resource, and how to subscribe, please click here.

    Regards,
    Ernie
    Lucas Apiaries
    Ernie
    My websitehttp://bees4u.com/

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    College Station, Texas
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    Default

    bee4u writes:
    Small drones can be a sign of a drone layer.

    tecumseh replies:
    most of the very earliest drones (and I suspect drones maintained in a hive all winter fits this same billing) are from failing hives. for myself these are not the kind of drones I desire to help generate the next generation of queens.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
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    4,361

    Default

    agree

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Windsor,NC,USA
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    285

    Default

    I'm not sure I understand Tecumseh. Do you mean the queen is getting old and infertile? Of course it's hard to know which hive they are from as they come and go at will. I had big drones into fall, but they were kicked out and what i have been seeing all winter are smaller size drones. What do you mean by failing hive?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
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    Default

    failing hive 'may' be the result of any number of problems. it is quite common as you go thru hives in the early spring to find a certain small number of formerly robust hive where the old queen just did not make the transition to begin laying again in the spring after some time period in which laying has totally ceased.

    one advantage I see in feeding pollen patties is that it really kicks off brood rearing in a large enough way and thereby failed queens become quite obvious (obvious from the quantity of popped drone brood and also the unsettled personality of the hive). actually I usually recognize the unsettle character first and then when I push the girls back from the top bar with a good quantity of smoke the popping become evident without ever pulling a single frame.

    with the girls you do come to expect to see certain thing in certain season and (I guess I have learned this over some time) when you see things that are seasonally unusual it is often a good time to poke around and find out what's up... even a small number of overwintered drones suggest to me that something in the hive is amiss and the queen is the likely problem.

    hope that helps and good luck with the coming season...

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Troupsburg, NY
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    Default

    I agree with Tecumseh on this. Anytime you see drones in a hive where other hives have kicked them out already suggest a problem with the queen. If time permits, and you can get another queen, it is best to remieded the problem when first noticed. If you can't get another queen then pinch the queen and combine with another hive.
    "I reject your reality, and substitute my own." Adam Savage

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    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."

  14. #14
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    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    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."

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    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

  16. #16
    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.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, Tennessee,USA
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    207

    Default

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

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