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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Sde-Boqer, Israel
    Posts
    196

    Default requeening with minimum risk?

    Hello all,
    Long time since my last post, i was very busy building
    my little 20 hives bussines and had a very good season
    that help me double my apiary to 40 the next spring.

    My question:
    I am planning to requeen my hives in the start of the spring.
    Is there any method that i can requeen my hive without killing the old lady
    untill i can see that the new queen start production (laying eggs)
    and then Unfortunately kill the old queen?

    Thank alot,
    Randi

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,079

    Default Re: requeening with minimum risk?

    I have had about 100% success by taking five frames from the original hive and placing the queen with them as a new nuc. Taking brood and nurse bees away from the home hive limits the number of older bees who will be more keen to do bad things to the new queen. Once that's successful, you can combine the old hive with the new. This is one of the best ways to do it on a smaller scale. Doesn't work as well for thousands of hives.

    But I have a question. Why would you need to requeen? Are these queens undesirable? If they survive, they're doing well. I don't see a valid reason to requeen wholesale and arbitrarily, especially during the spring.

    Finally, if you are going to be doubling up, you could do it very easily by following the procedure outlined above except omit the recombination. Instant doubling of hives, no requeening necessary, half the queens required.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Sde-Boqer, Israel
    Posts
    196

    Default Re: requeening with minimum risk?

    Thank you for the quick and very helpfull reply Slomon.

    You gave me good practical ideas but my fear is that queens that
    are older that one year will not lay and function (swarming, hygienics) as young one
    and that's why i am requeening every year.

    this automn, my hive were pollinating in greenhouses
    so i didn't requeen and delay it to the start of the spring.

    Thanks,
    Randi

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,079

    Default Re: requeening with minimum risk?

    I understand that what you are saying is the common wisdom, however, there are many beekeepers who would claim that the most productive queens are those in their second year.

    Hygenics will certainly not make any difference over time as long as you have the same queen.

    But if you have hygenic stock, why would you arbitrarily requeen it? You are taking what you know works well and replacing it, trusting that you will be getting the same performance but all you have to go on is the producer's word.

    Swarming can be deflected and used for your advantage. They'll make queens for you if you are attentive enough.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Denison, Texas
    Posts
    510

    Default Re: requeening with minimum risk?

    It sounds like I agree with Solomon on this one.
    If you're set on requeening. You could pull your seasoned queens by making them into nucs. This holds on to your proven
    queens. Increases your hive count and helps with both the old hives and the nucs against swarming. You'll have the old queens
    for a back-up if there's any problems with your new queens. That's what I'd do. I'm going to run my queens as long as possible.
    I see it as an efficiency issue. Kinda like drinking half a bottle of soda, throwing it away, then opening a new one and
    starting to drink it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,208

    Default Re: requeening with minimum risk?

    I always pull the old queen and put her in a nuc. Sometimes as small as a two frame nuc. I never get rid of the old queen until I'm sure things are running smoothly and I'm sure I want to dispose of her. Then I drop her in a jar of alcohol with the other retired queens and make swarm lure...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,576

    Default Re: requeening with minimum risk?

    what type of alcohol do you use MB?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,384

    Default Re: requeening with minimum risk?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    Then I drop her in a jar of alcohol with the other retired queens and make swarm lure...
    Never thought of that. Nice idea. Thanks.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,390

    Default Re: requeening with minimum risk?

    Surely using a nuc is among the best methods of requeening. I don't separate the nuc and the parent colony. Rather I make the nuc from the entire brood top chamber, elevating it above a solid inner cover. The nuc is given the new queen and acceptance is very good because the old bees return to the bottom entrance, leaving predominantly young bees in the nuc. Super may have to be added to the bottom unit. Allow both queens to lay for 3 weeks. By that time you should be able to determine if the new queen is acceptable. With both queens laying, population increases nicely by the time you unite the two units.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,208

    Default Re: requeening with minimum risk?

    >what type of alcohol do you use MB?

    I use isopropyl because I had it handy. But everclear would work fine as would vodka, I would think.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,576

    Default Re: requeening with minimum risk?

    thank you. is this the stuff you put on your q-tip for your swarm traps?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,208

    Default Re: requeening with minimum risk?

    >is this the stuff you put on your q-tip for your swarm traps?

    One end. The other I dip in lemongrass essential oil.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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