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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    New Albany, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    368

    Default Oldest Queen You Have?

    Hi Everyone,

    What is the oldest, VERIFIABLE, queen you have? I am curious to hear how old your queens are...

    For selection, time, is a great indicator. The more measurements that I can collect over time, the more accurate the measurements become as an indicator for future generations.

    For example, I have a small percentage of queens that make it to their 5th spring, but I have not had any make it through that year. The old queens are kept in full size production colonies without any special attention. I want to see what these old girls can do!

    Part of my interest in asking for your input stems from the "Drone Project" I did a couple of years back. I still have a couple of the queens that were inseminated using drones from all over the US. If they make it through another winter, I was thinking of repeating the project using drones from really old survivor queens. Any interest?

    Thanks,
    Joe
    Breeder Queens & Honey Bee Nutritional Supplements
    www.latshawapiaries.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Warrior, Alabama
    Posts
    1,068

    Default Re: Oldest Queen You Have?

    62 years old. Country feral stock. Still the boss in the hive.
    Old Guy in Alabama

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,015

    Default Re: Oldest Queen You Have?

    I find it a bit of a stretch that there are 5 year old queens in a full production colony. Not saying it's impossible but i've never seen that. Most I've verifyably seen is 3 years.

    I had a breeder make it into it's 5th year but the way the breeder hives were set up the queen was in a compartment with around just 8 inches square of comb to lay in. The way the hives were set up and managed the bees could not supersede, but they would have if they could.

    Also, that was in pre varroa times.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    goshen, ma
    Posts
    359

    Default Re: Oldest Queen You Have?

    I have a couple that have gone through 3 seasons, going see if they make it into their fourth

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,459

    Default Re: Oldest Queen You Have?

    Requeening this summer turned up lots of yellow dots (2007) and a few white dot (2006). I don't look at everything anymore...as far as dots goes. Many supercede successfully, and make big strong colonies so the queen doesn't get looked for.

    So I would say that most go 2 or 3 years before they are superceded.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Selby, SD, USA
    Posts
    217

    Default Re: Oldest Queen You Have?

    had an I.I. queen from Joe that lasted 3 years and then we lost track of her because the marker rubbed off the hive. was used a breeder for one season. the other 2 seasons she made it to cali twice for almond pollination. then made it back to SD to make 2 more honey crops. she was a Karnica with the marking B10. i believe we sent you some virgins from her a few years ago.
    Last edited by gregstahlman; 11-22-2010 at 07:35 PM.
    Greg Stahlman; Stahlman Apiaries Inc.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    New Albany, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    368

    Default Re: Oldest Queen You Have?

    Mike,

    What do you do with the old queens? I assume they are being requeened since they are lagging the others?

    Greg,

    Yes, I remember your dad talking about that queen. It is nice to see those old girls make it through a production setting such as the one you run!

    Please tell your family I say hello.

    Joe
    Breeder Queens & Honey Bee Nutritional Supplements
    www.latshawapiaries.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,459

    Default Re: Oldest Queen You Have?

    Quote Originally Posted by JSL View Post
    Mike,

    What do you do with the old queens? I assume they are being requeened since they are lagging the others? Joe
    Yes, they get "removed". If I thought they would be of use...I'll try to remember next year.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Gilmer,TX USA
    Posts
    1,830

    Default Re: Oldest Queen You Have?

    Quote Originally Posted by jrbbees View Post
    62 years old. Country feral stock. Still the boss in the hive.
    How did you come up with a 62 year old queen????
    Please check out the new kingfisherapiaries.com!
    Like us on Facebook

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,442

    Default Re: Oldest Queen You Have?

    Quote Originally Posted by jrbbees View Post
    62 years old. Country feral stock. Still the boss in the hive.
    Sounds like a good woman

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Tip of the Thumb, Michigan
    Posts
    676

    Default Re: Oldest Queen You Have?

    I had a feral queen that I pulled out of an old barn 4 years ago this past spring. At the time she was cut out, she was marked and clipped. This spring, she started laying a shotgun brood pattern and then the hive dwindled to nothing, instead of her being superseded. How old she was when I pulled her out of the barn walls, I have no idea.

    But, from her, I've bred several daughters and grand-daughters. I'm 5th generation with some of her offspring now. No medications. Low mite levels. I couldn't be happier!

    DS

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,316

    Default Re: Oldest Queen You Have?

    Most don't seem to make it past three, but some make it to five.

    From "Better Queens" page 18:

    "In Indiana we had a queen we named Alice which lived to the ripe old age of eight years and two months and did excellent work in her seventh year. There can be no doubt about the authenticity of this statement. We sold her to John Chapel of Oakland City, Indiana, and she was the only queen in his yard with wings clipped. This, however is a rare exception. At the time I was experimenting with artificial combs with wooden cells in which the queen laid."--Jay Smith

    I would point out that Jay says: "This, however is a rare exception."

    I think three years has always been pretty typical of the useful life of a queen.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesbetterqueens.htm
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,015

    Default Re: Oldest Queen You Have?

    Michael, that book is the best queen breeding book out there. (excluding modern methods such as AI).

    Only that one story had me wondering about Jay. But I wasn't there, so who knows.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,316

    Default Re: Oldest Queen You Have?

    My guess is that "Alice" was a breeder queen in a limited space laying a lot less eggs than a production queen and so she didn't run out so soon.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,015

    Default Re: Oldest Queen You Have?

    Probably correct. But I think he should have said so.

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