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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Richardson, TX, USA
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    84

    Default Early queen rearing

    How early in the year can I start raising queens? Since I'm in Texas and other people reading this on here that are located in other areas may have the same question, what would be the conditions needed to start raising queens?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,100

    Default Re: Early queen rearing

    Some time around mid April. Depending on the weather, the earliest Texas queen producers offer queens early to mid April, I doubt you could succeed earlier since the weather 100-125 miles South of you is quite different than your March and April weather. The trick is to have mature drones around for the mating, that takes about a week longer than a queen. HTH
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    967

    Default Re: Early queen rearing

    If they're offering queens for sale in early april, they are starting to raise them in early to mid March

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    46,341

    Default Re: Early queen rearing

    I would wait until there are a lot of drones flying... that will vary by location.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Richardson, TX, USA
    Posts
    84

    Default Re: Early queen rearing

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    I would wait until there are a lot of drones flying... that will vary by location.
    Why do I have to wait until there are a lot of drones flying? Is there only a few days the queen can mate after she comes out of the cell?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,100

    Default Re: Early queen rearing

    Quote Originally Posted by Beregondo View Post
    If they're offering queens for sale in early april, they are starting to raise them in early to mid March
    Obviously. But he does not have South Texas weather.

    Quote Originally Posted by RichardsonTX View Post
    Why do I have to wait until there are a lot of drones flying? Is there only a few days the queen can mate after she comes out of the cell?
    The drones take longer to mature than the queens. You want mature drones in the air to mate with the queen. Go to MichaelBush's web site and read about bee math.
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Cattaraugus,New York, USA
    Posts
    345

    Default Re: Early queen rearing

    I can have queens in mating nucs here by may, and have queens being mated in GA in march, so I am assuming that you should be able to have queens in mating nucs by April 1st and get well mated queens. A good rule of thumb is you can graft when you have drone brood in the purple eye stage of development.
    Allegany Mtn. Bee Farm
    Quality Queens and Honey from Western New York

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,100

    Thumbs Up Re: Early queen rearing

    Quote Originally Posted by NY_BLUES View Post
    ...snip... A good rule of thumb is you can graft when you have drone brood in the purple eye stage of development.
    Excellent data point, I'll make a note of that, thanks! Throw us more tidbits anytime
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    27,682

    Default Re: Early queen rearing

    A "Rule" that Dr. Larry Conner goes by is when you see purple eye stage growth drones in you colonies that is when you should start grafting and raising queens. Then the drones will be mature enough to mate w/ the virgin queens.

    Like NY_BLUES wrote.
    Mark Berninghausen To combat Ebola, please consider supporting http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,341

    Default Re: Early queen rearing

    >Why do I have to wait until there are a lot of drones flying? Is there only a few days the queen can mate after she comes out of the cell?

    In my experience the bees are not in the mood to raise a lot of good queens until there are a lot of drones flying. It indicates it is the correct time of year, and that resources are good and the queens will be well fed. It also indicates they will be well mated. Yes, she can only mate for the first three weeks and after that she will be a drone layer. But preferably she will not just find a few drones, but a lot of drones and get multple matings on multple trips and be really well mated as well as really well fed while she is developing.
    Last edited by Michael Bush; 12-21-2012 at 09:27 AM. Reason: typos
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    27,682

    Default Re: Early queen rearing

    You need mature drones to have successful mating. Drones of a certain age, number of days old after emerging.
    Mark Berninghausen To combat Ebola, please consider supporting http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org


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