Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 48
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Haymarket, Virginia
    Posts
    196

    Default Should I automatically plan to requeen packages?

    Ordered a package of Italians (which I think was mistake) and I'm concerned about the queen failing, supersedure, etc. In the best interest of the hive, wouldn't it be prudent to requeen with local stock at the start (or at least ASAP)?

    I plan to start with so-called "natural" treatments and IPM, then adjust depending upon our failure (most likely) or success (not holding my breath). Obviously it's better to start with the appropriate stock. But at this point I need to work with what I have.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,589

    Default Re: Should new I automatically plan to requeen packages?

    InI would wait and requeen in the summer. I would invest in some nuc equipment as well so you can deal with swarm conditions and possibly overwinter some small colonies. Any queen purchasing decisions should be made sooner than later...
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Haymarket, Virginia
    Posts
    196

    Default Re: Should new I automatically plan to requeen packages?

    Thanks for the info. I built a dcoates nuc and have two more that need to be assembled.

    My first local club meeting is tomorrow - hopefully someone there can give me feedback on the potential vendors/queens so I can order before it's too late.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    5,679

    Default Re: Should new I automatically plan to requeen packages?

    Quote Originally Posted by urbanoutlaw View Post
    Ordered a package of Italians (which I think was mistake) and I'm concerned about the queen failing, supersedure, etc.
    Based on your other posts, I believe you are a new beekeeper. In my opinion, you would be better served to spend your money on a second hive/package, and not worry so much about whether Italian is the right bee for you.

    There is no reason Italians cannot thrive in Virginia. But you will have much greater chances of success with two hives than one.

    Once you have established hives, and more experience, you can still easily re-queen if you really want to.
    -- Victor Hugo -- "Common sense is in spite of, not the result of, education.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sweetwater,TN
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Should new I automatically plan to requeen packages?

    Couldn't agree more with Graham two is always better to start than one for numerous reasons. Just about every bee in the US has Italian heritage of some sort they are a very versatile bee can survive in just about every climate. If your queen has a good pattern and her workers have a good temperament I say keep her regardless of what breed she is. There really is no perfect breed for a particular area if she is a dud with bad qualities yeah get rid of her. I've got several different queen breeds, Italians carnis, sunkist buckfast and black bees, I don't really prefer one over the other but like I said before production is key. Look up brother Adam abs look at the qualities he chose for good queens it is very helpful.
    Major

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Haymarket, Virginia
    Posts
    196

    Default Re: Should new I automatically plan to requeen packages?

    Yes, I will be another first-time beekeeper this year.

    I anticipate starting with two hives, but before I buy anything else I want to make sure I'm not screwing up with where I'd like to go by starting with Italian packages. The more I read, the more it seems it wasn't the best choice. On the other hand, I don't want to be sitting around this Spring with my hives an no bees. So I split the difference. Between the opinions here and input from local beekeepers I hope to make better decisions about the bees and treatment modalities.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    1,082

    Default Re: Should new I automatically plan to requeen packages?

    I agree all new beek should start with two hives. One of the biggest mistakes made by new beek.
    The other is not monitoring mites.

    Are you getting a VSH queen with your package? Have you paid for your package yet?
    If you want treatment free bees than I would start with treatment free.

    You might also want to try swarm traps. Make a bunch of D Coates nuc. I averaged 33%.

    You also may want to search soft or non chemical treatments.
    http://scientificbeekeeping.com/the-...tments-part-1/
    http://scientificbeekeeping.com/ipm-...tments-part-2/

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Brown County, IN
    Posts
    2,025

    Default Re: Should new I automatically plan to requeen packages?

    Not sure why you think Italians aren't "appropriate stock", but as for replacing the queen, I'd wait and see how she does before making any decisions. I've had some great package queens, and I've had some duds from a reliable, local producer. There's always some risk when replacing queens, so I don't replace one unless she gives me a good reason to.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Haymarket, Virginia
    Posts
    196

    Default Re: Should new I automatically plan to requeen packages?

    I put my answers in-line so they make more (yeah, right) sense:

    I agree all new beek should start with two hives. One of the biggest mistakes made by new beek.
    The other is not monitoring mites.


    I plan to run two hives. BUT I don't want to spend money on a second package of Italians until I've had more input. I also plan on monitoring mite levels...I don't see a better way to monitor treatment efficacy (other than outright survival). It's not that I think Italians can't be decent bees, I'm just not sure they're what I should be starting with considering my goals. Unless I misread the study done by the local club, packages only have a two-year survival rate of 40%. Locally requeened packages and nucs had a significantly better survival rate - especially as show in year two. After reading the war stories on this forum, it seems getting through the first year is only the tip of the iceburg.

    Are you getting a VSH queen with your package? Have you paid for your package yet?
    If you want treatment free bees than I would start with treatment free.


    Sadly, I'm not getting a VSH queen. That's part of why I asked about requeening. I've already paid for the one package, so I'm stuck with it...like I said don't want to pop for the second yet in case it's better for me to get different bees Everything I've read agrees with what you've said. I found a TF beekeeper I liked, but they've been running a waiting list for overwintered nucs for a while. I hope to get some local feedback about breeders that I've identified and perhaps suggestions of new ones. My interest is more long-term (overwintering and survival) success.

    You might also want to try swarm traps. Make a bunch of D Coates nuc. I averaged 33%.
    Most definitely! I have three nucs in various states of assembly and will make the swarm lure myself.

    You also may want to search soft or non chemical treatments.
    I agree there is a wealth of information Randy Oliver's site and several others. I keep re-reading and perhaps eventually I will retain everything!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Haymarket, Virginia
    Posts
    196

    Default Re: Should new I automatically plan to requeen packages?

    Maybe I am overthinking this? Worrying too much about choosing the best bees when I'm going to loose some, possibly all, sooner or later?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    5,679

    Default Re: Should new I automatically plan to requeen packages?

    I agree that you are worrying too much about the best kind of bees. Since you are also planning on swarm traps, once you have caught some, you will likely see that the free bees do as well as your purchased bees.

    Unless you replace every "hive raised" queen with a purchased queen of your chosen variety on a perpetual basis, the bees in your hive will be a mix anyway.
    -- Victor Hugo -- "Common sense is in spite of, not the result of, education.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Danbury, CT
    Posts
    2,887

    Default Re: Should new I automatically plan to requeen packages?

    Don't worry about the bee type, you will likely kill your first half dozen hives regardless of the bee type

    Like others have said; get a second package, your chances of success will be far greater that way. And I will add; get a Mentor.

    Italian stock would not be the gold standard of commercial operations if they were lousy, they are hardy, productive, and easy to handle.

    And a word of caution about "local stock". There is no guarantee that the "local" queen you purchase isn't a first generation daughter of a package queen. Anybody can buy a queen rearing system for less than $100.00 and start selling local queens.
    Last edited by bluegrass; 01-07-2013 at 03:33 PM.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sweetwater,TN
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Should new I automatically plan to requeen packages?

    Urbanoutlaw I think that you are doing the right thing by asking questions, their are a lot of right ways to keep bees not just one. The reason that most packages fail especially for new beekeepers don't know the warning signs that something is wrong. We want bees as early as we can get them in the spring so the bee package sellers are getting these queens mated and shipped and there is just not enough drones flying for proper mating, so the queens may do ok for a little while and then get less productive and get superceded. My first year I started with 2 packages one made it through the winter, the next year I bought 2 more packages both died and my original package made it through another winter. Most people would give up losing 3 out of 4 my wife didn't want me to spend anymore money but I did. You are asking good questions, learn from mistakes and stay ahead of the game most people realize their bees are dying when it's too late to save them. Good luck to you this year beekeeping is very addictive.
    Major

  14. #14

    Default Re: Should new I automatically plan to requeen packages?

    I agree with the above posters. There's some sage advice there.

    You know what you want to do, and I wouldn't want to sway you from that. But I will tell you about my experience. I started with a split (or a nuc) I got from a guy I knew (5 frames of bees, eggs, and honey). He said they'd make their own queen. I don'w know what kind of bees they are. Also, I captured a swarm last year. I don't know what kind they are. I got honey last year, so I really don't care what kind of bees I have.

    Master the basics and keep an eye on the health of your colony(ies). There's no guarentee that they'll make it, but your odds will be much improved.

    Good luck in your endeavors.
    Greg Whitehead, Ten Mile, TN
    Blog - http://gregsbees.blogspot.com/

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Plainfield, NJ
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: Should new I automatically plan to requeen packages?

    Quote Originally Posted by urbanoutlaw View Post
    Maybe I am overthinking this? Worrying too much about choosing the best bees when I'm going to loose some, possibly all, sooner or later?
    Here are my key points:
    1. Any hive that has bees in it is a good hive of bees.
    2. Having two hives is better than one. Several reasons - Comparison, sharing resources, etc...
    3. Re-queening will not guarantee success; it may leave you queen-less regardless of your intent
    4. If I second guess myself, I breath, refer to #1 above and research things before I act.


    Chris in NJ

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Haymarket, Virginia
    Posts
    196

    Smile Re: Should I automatically requeen packages?

    #1 Thanks for the words of wisdom, all.

    Having lots of time on my hands to obsess and information without experience isn't helpful. Rack it up to my personal philosophy of "failure isn't an option", complete with redundant backups for backups. Surely that's counterproductive for beekeeping! So, if the queen fails from my early Spring package I guess it's not the end of the world. The bees might make a new and better one.

    #2 With #1 in mind, does it matter when the second hive is added? Same time? Later? My guess is I'd need to be proactive about robbing if hive strengths vary significantly.

    #3 YES, I do need a mentor. Perhaps someone at the local club will be interested in taking me on (I work for experience/bees/honey whatever). They'd have to be partially insane to want the job though.... Regardless, there's a lot of experience on this forum and I'd be crazy to not try to benefit from it. Even if I make myself look silly in the process! Maybe one day I'll be able to some clueless noob.


    PS - how do I fix the thread title?
    Last edited by urbanoutlaw; 01-08-2013 at 08:03 AM. Reason: added PS

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    5,679

    Default Re: Should I requeen packages?

    The best time to install the second hive is at the same time as the first hive. But if you can't do that, delay is your enemy. The new bees will need to build comb and store reserves for the coming winter, and the longer you delay installation the greater the risk (and possibly the expense of having to buy additional sugar for feed.)

    And you can not edit the primary Thread Title after creating the initial post. You can edit the title of each subsequent post (note that this post has a slightly different title than the main thread). Changing the title in subsequent posts does not mean that replies by other members will have a different title, though.
    -- Victor Hugo -- "Common sense is in spite of, not the result of, education.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Danbury, CT
    Posts
    2,887

    Default Re: Should I requeen packages?

    On the topic of the thread. I don't buy queens to replace queens from packages, but I almost always rear replacement queens for first year packages or let them rear one on their own. With the exception of time restraint I never let package queens head a first year hive into the winter.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    collbran, co
    Posts
    504

    Default Re: Should I requeen packages?

    you should order a package of carnolians they winter over well.also fly at lower temps also gives a genetic difference into you apiary in case your package or packages supersedes.i always let the queens out of my packages if bees are not biting or stinging the cage feed well while there in the package so they will be full and sluggish.Oh ya let foraging bees start exiting the hive before letting her out this way younger bees are left in the hive i put packaged bees in around noon time..
    Last edited by franktrujillo; 01-10-2013 at 03:24 AM. Reason: addition

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,741

    Default Re: Should I requeen packages?

    As mentioned, I wouldn't "plan" on re-queening but it's not uncommon to have queen issues with a package. I usually just pay attention to how the new package is doing for a while. For me, things usually get going pretty well and then, about the time I think I don't need to worry anymore, I have a queen problem. So, my advice is to not worry about the kind of bee but check on the colony fairly frequently and address concerns (queen or other) as they come up. That's what it's all about. If you do have a queen slow down on you, just re-queen and move on!
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads