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Thread: Queen mating

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

    Default Queen mating

    If I graft so early in the year that there aren't sufficient drones for the queens to mate with, what are the dangers? Will they just mate when drones are available or what happens to them?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Walker, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    888

    Default Re: Queen mating

    The queen only makes the initial flight (or possibly 2?) and if she does not mate properly or sufficiently, she cannot live up to her full potential. The hive suffers and the workers will supersede her. She doesn't get a "do over" at some later time. The presence of a large number of well-bred drones at the right time is crucial to successful queen rearing. You have to plan for that just like you do for the queens themselves. Traditionally you start your queen cells when the drone pupae are at the purple eye stage of development. And remember that you do not want the queen breeding with drones from her own hive. That is also very bad for her ability to lay many eggs in a good pattern over a long time. A hive with that kind of queen cannot thrive. That is why the queen flies so far to mate--to avoid her brothers. You want to flood the area with drones from other hives that are not closely related to her.

    Hopefully someone will come along and give you a better--more scientific--explanation.

    HTH

    Rusty
    Rusty Hills Farm -- home of AQHA A Rusty Zipper & Rusty's Bees ( LC and T)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Warrior, Alabama
    Posts
    1,067

    Default Re: Queen mating

    One key I read to raising good queens is also raising drones.
    Old Guy in Alabama

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Posts
    1,639

    Default Re: Queen mating

    They may mate and start out really good but, soon run out of sperm and start laying only drones. That is always a concern with early queens.

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