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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Dover, New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    19

    Default Late start getting a laying queen - will my bees be able to build up enough?

    I just started beekeeping with a friend this year.... here's how my timeline has gone so far.

    April 26: I get a package of Italian bees. The queen cage has a bunch of bees that look the same size to me, but I figure maybe I just have a small queen.

    May 7: Still no eggs, and there are a couple (empty) queen cups present. I introduce a frame of eggs from my friend's hive (his queen started laying right away) hoping the bees will raise their own queen if they don't have one.

    May 12: Didn't see the bees raising a new queen, and decided I should buy one anyway to put in there. I got a Russian/Carniolan mix queen from NEBees.

    May 17: I released the queen - the bees were only about halfway through the candy.

    May 21: Eggs spotted. I had peaked a couple days earlier and there weren't any, so I'm guessing she had just started laying.

    Other than the frame from my friend's hive (which only had brood one one side) my population won't get any boost until at least June 11, and they won't start foraging for another couple of weeks after that if I'm not mistaken. I've been feeding them heavily and they have a decent amount of nectar in the hive... but I'm wondering if they'll miss most of the flow due to a small population.

    Should I be worried or do you think I might be ok? I'm glad I was able to switch to Russian/Carniolans, since I think they can get through the winter with a smaller population/store.

    I'm in Southeast New Hampshire.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,599

    Default Re: Late start getting a laying queen - will my bees be able to build up enough?

    They might even in July... it's not June yet...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Brandon, MS USA
    Posts
    1,585

    Default Re: Late start getting a laying queen - will my bees be able to build up enough?

    Michael is right. One thing that you have to remember is that bee and queen production follows the weather, so when spring is slow, so is production... this makes bees and queens come late and most quickly assume that they will miss the flows, but its just not the case. If the production is late, the flows will be late as well. There are even types of forage that wouldn't normally be available without long wet springs. So keep your head up. They should be just fine.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,671

    Default Re: Late start getting a laying queen - will my bees be able to build up enough?

    You should be fine. The thing to worry about is a dearth, like we had here last summer. But, you can feed to overcome that. If you want, it won't hurt to toss in another frame of brood but I'll bet you'll be thinking all is well come the end of June.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

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