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  1. #1
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    Dec 2005
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    Default Over Wintered vs Spring Raised

    When buying Queens, which would you rather have, a Queen that was produced in Sept. and made it thru the winter or a Queen that was produced in March?
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    St. Albans, Vermont
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    Default Re: Over Wintered vs Spring Raised

    I'd rather have a queen raised during the summer when nutrition was at its best, and wintered over in a nucleus colony.

    March queens are a crap shoot...witness what happened with weather last March in Georgia.

  3. #3
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    Jan 2009
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    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
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    Default Re: Over Wintered vs Spring Raised

    Yep, I know a large commercial beekeeper who got hundreds and hundreds of packages last March here in the north, and ended up with LOTS of poor queens that really cost him in honey production in the long run. John

  4. #4
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    May 2005
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    chilliwack, bc
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    Default Re: Over Wintered vs Spring Raised

    I think I'd go for a sept queen that was over wintered in nucs and sold in spring rather then march queens. The queen breeder would have more of an oppertunity to evaluate the queen, the drones will of been more plentiful for matings, and any duds will of shown up through winter. Actually, I'm planning to do something the same for my operation where i'l be raising queens late summer to overwinter in nucs to use in splitting the hives in the spring then uniting them to gether before the main honey flow and keeping the young queen to requeen. this will be the first year i'll be trying this.
    Will Gruenwald Chilliwack BC

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Over Wintered vs Spring Raised

    Quote Originally Posted by chillardbee View Post
    this will be the first year i'll be trying this.
    Just wait until you see how the nucs headed with over wintered queens buildup. I swear, nucs with wintered queens build faster than splits with spring queens...all things being equal.

  6. #6
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    Nov 2009
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    Jacksonville, Florida
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    Default Re: Over Wintered vs Spring Raised

    I am new to overwintering nucs. But, I must say the nucs I overwintered have absouluetly exploded so far this spring. They have went from 5 frame nuc to almost ten frames in just the past few weeks. I plan on doing several more in July this year.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Lewistown,Pa,USA
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    178

    Default Re: Over Wintered vs Spring Raised

    It is not that over wintered queens are any better than spring queens. They just have a big head start on any spring queen because they start building up end of Jan or start of Feb in this area and get a few cycles of brood ahead of spring queens. But if you are over wintering in a Nuc box the risk of them starting to rear brood early and starving goes up or not having a big enough cluster to move to the honey in colder temps. That is what I have run into when trying to make late splits. That is why I have started to make as many as I can by the end of July then build them up on goldenrod and feed if needed.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Reno, NV USA
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    Default Re: Over Wintered vs Spring Raised

    Brother Adams was a big advocate of over-wintered nucs - poor queens are already selected against because they didn't make it through winter. The queens raised during the optimal swarm months with tons of food and lots of flying drones get well fed and mated. If I remember the number correctly about 30% of package queens get superseded within the first 30 days. Larry Conners has also indicated that optimal queen production would allow the queens to lay for a few weeks before mailing off to customers. If you purchase queens then you are doing their job by over-wintering and selecting against queens before placing in a production colony.
    I thought Brother Adam's approach of swapping last years production queens with over-wintered nuc queens during the spring, and then replacing the production queens, now in the nucs, with newly raised queens during the peak of the rearing season as quite elegant. The older production queens keep the nucs going until they can be replaced with young queens.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    1,858

    Default Re: Over Wintered vs Spring Raised

    I started reading the posts thinking, "Hey, Brother Adam had a great idea on this very subject," then BAM! HVH brings it up to the forefront!

    Grant
    Jackson, MO
    Beekeeping With Twenty-five Hives: https://www.createspace.com/4152725

  10. #10
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    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Over Wintered vs Spring Raised

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    Just wait until you see how the nucs headed with over wintered queens buildup. I swear, nucs with wintered queens build faster than splits with spring queens...all things being equal.
    Which is what Larry Connor says, that queens in their second year lay better than in the first year of their life.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    Berkey, OH, USA
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    Default Re: Over Wintered vs Spring Raised

    Good thread. I just checked my overwintered nucs last night. Wow! Never thought I could get single mediums through the winter, but all three made it and they are exploding! Only had 2 deadouts out of 20 this year, barely enough honey from the deadouts to throw on the nucs. These nucs are stronger than many of the overwintered full hives. I think it may have something to do with the fact that they have a smaller space to maintain. Kind of like living in a mansion by yourself, v. an apartment. Easier to take care of the apartment.

    I was wondering what anyone thinks about choosing a breeder queen. I am thinking about doing some grafts from one of the nucs that built up the best. Even though no honey production yet they overwintered so well...

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Seneca, sc
    Posts
    830

    Default Re: Over Wintered vs Spring Raised

    I have always said that it takes bees to make honey. So if you have a queen that lays well up until the flow the hive has to make honey if there is a flow. It makes sense to me that this queen would be a good choice to breed from.

    Breed from the best requeen the rest

    David

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Huntsville, Alabama
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    678

    Default Re: Over Wintered vs Spring Raised

    If you have SHBs, a fall/late summer new queen is almost impossible...

  14. #14
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    Jan 2009
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    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    Default Re: Over Wintered vs Spring Raised

    I've been trying to get started raising some queens during March, but the weather hasn't co-operated. Now March is gone and it looks like I have a window of opportunity in the next few days. I'm a couple of hundred miles north of the commercial guys, but cold hasn't been the problem so much as rainy/cloudy/windy. This first batch is just a shakedown cruise for me, but I don't see how you could expect with much confidence to get well raised and well mated queens much earlier than this (April 1st) in my area.

    On the other hand my queens from late last summer are producing brood like machines - hives are brimming over and swarming is almost sure to be an issue soon.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Oregon City, Oregon
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    988

    Default Re: Over Wintered vs Spring Raised

    Quote Originally Posted by chillardbee View Post
    I'm planning to do something the same for my operation where I'll be raising queens late summer to overwinter in nucs to use in splitting the hives in the spring then uniting them to gether before the main honey flow and keeping the young queen to requeen. this will be the first year I'll be trying this.
    Could you explain the reason for splitting them then reuniting them I don't understand how this makes sense, I'm just not following the idea probably...thanks
    Honeydew

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Sacramento,California,USA
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    Default Re: Over Wintered vs Spring Raised

    Keep in mind I'm in California and we are the almond state.
    I just got 3 5-frame nucs from Randy Oliver on Tuesday.
    I also got 3 4-pound packages from Tinocobees on Friday,
    and released the queens Saturday.

    The nucs from Randy are last years queens as I requested this way, the same with the packages from Tinocobees, last years queens as per my request. These are proven queens that performed for almond production, versus the first of the year early queens, I'll take the proven queens every time. Queens so early are not mated in the best of the year, the flows are just getting started and the weather is very iffy especially depending on the year, and drones need be started 2 weeks before starting the queens.

    So when purchasing first in the year I prefer last years queens. However, I'm finding queens started in July and laying by August first or mid August are very good over winter, from my limited experience when paying attention over the last few years.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Berkeley,California, USA
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    483

    Default Re: Over Wintered vs Spring Raised

    The Bay Area is a mild climate with forage essentially year-round, so your results may vary.

    That being said, I overwintered my first mating nucs in a medium queen castle. Three 3-medium frame mating nucs made it through January successfully and I started increasing space in early February. These three hives are now in double deeps and are probably filling about a deep-and-a-half.

    Nucs are starting to be available now and these overwintered mating nucs are at least three times bigger than a typical spring nuc and from my point of view are a much better way to get a new hive up and running early in the season.

    -fafrd

  18. #18
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    Jan 2009
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    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    Default Re: Over Wintered vs Spring Raised

    Quote Originally Posted by HONEYDEW View Post
    Could you explain the reason for splitting them then reuniting them I don't understand how this makes sense, I'm just not following the idea probably...thanks
    To keep them from swarming - better to split than to swarm. My overwintered hives are crammed with bees, and wall to wall with capped brood - as all that brood starts to emerge, and the populations double (or triple) it will be hard to keep them from swarming. And the main honey flow doesn't start until well into May.

  19. #19
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    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Over Wintered vs Spring Raised

    Quote Originally Posted by RayMarler View Post
    the same with the packages from Tinocobees, last years queens as per my request.
    Did they cost more, less, same as this years queens? I bought alot of queens from Tinoco Bees, last spring.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon City, Oregon
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    988

    Default Re: Over Wintered vs Spring Raised

    Quote Originally Posted by David LaFerney View Post
    To keep them from swarming - better to split than to swarm. My overwintered hives are crammed with bees, and wall to wall with capped brood - as all that brood starts to emerge, and the populations double (or triple) it will be hard to keep them from swarming. And the main honey flow doesn't start until well into May.
    Thank you, I don't have that problem (wall to wall with bees) so that is why I didn't see the reasoning behind the steps
    Honeydew

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