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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    Atlanta, Ga
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    108

    Default Changing queen genetics?

    I currently have two hives of Italian bees. What if I wanted to change the queens with Buckfast queen? Is this normal practices? Do the bees take to the new queen easily?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
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    1,064

    Default Re: Changing queen genetics?

    Requeening is, unfortunately, fairly common nowadays. When you find a queen producer, they will likely have instructions on the process. Basically, you remove the old queen for a period long enough for the bees to discover they are queenless. Then, you introduce the new queen in a queen cage. The bees release the new queen in a few days and, hopefully, accept her and things go on from there. There are variations, and your mileage may vary.
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    2,858

    Default Re: Changing queen genetics?

    Why do you want to change? Requeening can be tricky but is typically straight forward like Lburou describes.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma dr. Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    828

    Default Re: Changing queen genetics?

    I guess if you change the queen then in about 6 weeks you could have entirely different habit bees. Some flavors of bees seem to need continued input of that genetics or they drift back to some less than desirable mixture. A lot of people seem to feel that local adapted mongrels are better than designer bees. My climate seems to favor a Carni / Italian cross. A friend has Buckfast and likes them but he does buy replacement Buckfast queens.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Atlanta, Ga
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    108

    Default Re: Changing queen genetics?

    Quote Originally Posted by JRG13 View Post
    Why do you want to change? Requeening can be tricky but is typically straight forward like Lburou describes.
    Well one of the queens either died or got killed from robbing. Didn't want to wait for them to make another. The other hives queen is two years old and from what I have read they slow down production after a couple years.

    Thanks for the info guys

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Springfield, MO, USA
    Posts
    102

    Default Re: Changing queen genetics?

    I doubt that queen read the same books. My best queen is 4 years old and still out producing the younger ones. Dont' requeen unless you see an actual decline in production.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,928

    Default Re: Changing queen genetics?

    it is quite common to requeen to reduce swarming. I know of few people that know how to count how many eggs their queen lays every day, but we have cars that tell us when to change oil or add air to the tires. In areas that have AHB it is almost a necessity.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    960

    Default Re: Changing queen genetics?

    Bosco - if you are new to beekeeping, Buckfasts may be a fantastic choice. The re-queening method I use gives very good results. The Laidlaw queen introduction cage is made of a wooden rectangle 5" wide x 7" long x 7/8" tall on the inside dimension, 6 1/2" x 8 1/2" outside. It is covered with #8 hardware cloth or metal screen on top. It has a sheet metal strip around the inside perimeter, protruding 3/8" below the bottom of the wood.

    As Lee said, remove the queen for a few hours so they know they are queenless. On a nice FLAT piece of comb with ~3/4 open cells and the rest honey, brush off all bees, place the new (Buckfast) queen on it and quickly cover her with the Laidlaw cage, pushing it down so that the metal is embedded in the comb and the wood bottoms out. This should give her plenty of cells in which to begin laying eggs. Laying eggs will bring up her level of hormones, assuring her acceptance.

    At first, the bees will probably not accept her - she is not their mom, but an invading bee. They attack at her, forming a ball of angry bees on the top of the cage. It may take even a couple of weeks for them to stop attacking her and accept her. DON'T LET HER OUT OF THE CAGE UNTIL THEY STOP "BALLING" HER! When they stop balling, and attending bees instead begin feeding her through the screen, you can let her out of the cage.

    The Laidlaw cage often gets 100% acceptance of new queens. If they have not stopped balling her, either there is something wrong with the queen, or you have not given her enough time to get her queen substances (especially pheromones) levels up.

    You can see a photo of it in Dr. Harry H. Laidlaw's book, Contemporary Queen Rearing, available through Dadant and Sons.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    660

    Default Re: Changing queen genetics?

    I have a two queen hive. One Italian and the other is Carniolan. Bees don't mind having more than one queen, you just need to keep them from each other. I use a vertical queen excluder in a long (double width) hive. (Merged two hives.)

    Having the different breeds seems get the best of both breeds. Where one is lacking, the other makes up for it. For example, my Italians are very gentle but don't deal with pests very well. The Carniolan are also very gentle but do deal with pests well. The double hive is doing much better than when the Italians were on their own. Of course they also have a higher population with two queens.

    So having two queens is also an option.

    Matthew Davey

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Rupert, Idaho, USA
    Posts
    86

    Default Re: Changing queen genetics?

    Don't want to hi-jack the thread, but how do you deal with them in the winter?
    Last edited by Barry; 11-11-2012 at 06:22 PM. Reason: excessive quoting

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    660

    Default Re: Changing queen genetics?

    Hi Dirt road,

    I have started a new thread about the two queen hive.
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...fferent-breeds

    Matthew Davey

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Atlanta, Ga
    Posts
    108

    Default Re: Changing queen genetics?

    Quote Originally Posted by kilocharlie View Post
    Bosco - if you are new to beekeeping, Buckfasts may be a fantastic choice.
    Thanks, Great info!
    Last edited by Barry; 11-11-2012 at 06:21 PM. Reason: excessive quoting

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