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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Marquette, MI, USA
    Posts
    63

    Default Should I requeen and how?

    My first colony was a 3 lb Italian package I installed in 2011.
    Do I need to consider requeening that colony or can they do that themselves?

    If I should re-queen, when should I do it?

    The colony had a really good production of honey for the area that I live in. I think we harvested about 153 lb.
    I am hoping they will have another year similar to that.

    Thanks,
    Shawn

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Jacksonville, NC
    Posts
    216

    Default Re: Should I requeen and how?

    Are you concerned that the queen is too old? Why would you want to re queen? Have you looked in the hive and noticed that the queen is slowing down or doing something to point to her decline?
    Sounds like she lead a pretty strong colony.

    I am sure others would suggest different options...but here is what I would do.
    First I'd check the hive...weather permitting of course. Not sure how the season is where you are at, but you can ask some local beeks to see what they suggest weather/flow wise...

    If I see drone pupae in advanced stages, and I foresee a good flow coming, I would make me a nuc. Take the old queen you want to replace, with 2-3 frames of brood, shake couple more frames of bees in it, and add 2-3 frames of reserves( honey+pollen) to the nuc. You can move the nuc to a different location, or leave in the same bee yard.
    If she is indeed from a good genetic source, which you might want to propagate, it will be much easier to see how she does in the nuc.
    Make sure there are eggs and larvae in the original hive that you have just made queen less, so that the bees can make their own, new queen. So yes, they can do it themselves if they have the resources.

    Either way you go, I am sure you have an opportunity to learn by doing...Good luck!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,203

    Default Re: Should I requeen and how?

    If I requeen every year in a round about way, I'm selecting for bees that can't sense a failing queen and replace her. If I only requeen the hives that aren't wise enough to requeen themselves, I'm selecting for good supersedure skills. In nature there is a very strong selection for bees with good supersedure skills.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Marquette, MI, USA
    Posts
    63

    Default Re: Should I requeen and how?

    Thanks for advice.
    I would prefer to be hands off and let them do what they need since they know better than I.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Sullivan, MO
    Posts
    892

    Default Re: Should I requeen and how?

    Quote Originally Posted by apis maximus View Post
    Are you concerned that the queen is too old? Why would you want to re queen? Have you looked in the hive and noticed that the queen is slowing down or doing something to point to her decline?
    Sounds like she lead a pretty strong colony.

    I am sure others would suggest different options...but here is what I would do.
    First I'd check the hive...weather permitting of course. Not sure how the season is where you are at, but you can ask some local beeks to see what they suggest weather/flow wise...

    If I see drone pupae in advanced stages, and I foresee a good flow coming, I would make me a nuc. Take the old queen you want to replace, with 2-3 frames of brood, shake couple more frames of bees in it, and add 2-3 frames of reserves( honey+pollen) to the nuc. You can move the nuc to a different location, or leave in the same bee yard.
    If she is indeed from a good genetic source, which you might want to propagate, it will be much easier to see how she does in the nuc.
    Make sure there are eggs and larvae in the original hive that you have just made queen less, so that the bees can make their own, new queen. So yes, they can do it themselves if they have the resources.

    Either way you go, I am sure you have an opportunity to learn by doing...Good luck!
    Come on Barry can we get a thank you button?(I'm on another board that uses I think the same software and they have thank you button) This was the exact advice I was going to give.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Sullivan, MO
    Posts
    892

    Default Re: Should I requeen and how?

    Quote Originally Posted by srf_onezero View Post
    Thanks for advice.
    I would prefer to be hands off and let them do what they need since they know better than I.
    How can you be hands off if you were just asking about requeending? The advice that apis maximus gave isn't that much more manipulations than what you would have to do to properly requeen that hive anyway. If you are going to requeen you are going to have to find the old queen anyway, how hard is it to take that frame plus 4 others as described above and put them in a nuc box? If you are worried about getting more equipment (the nuc box) just make some of the Dcoates nuc boxes out of plywood. http://www.beesource.com/build-it-yo...oates-version/ I've made bunches, if I can do it anyone can.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,573

    Default Re: Should I requeen and how?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    If I requeen every year in a round about way, I'm selecting for bees that can't sense a failing queen and replace her. If I only requeen the hives that aren't wise enough to requeen themselves, I'm selecting for good supersedure skills. In nature there is a very strong selection for bees with good supersedure skills.
    that makes really good sense michael. can you describe more specifically what you are looking for in terms of good supercedure skills?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,203

    Default Re: Should I requeen and how?

    I think I first heard Michael Palmer use the term "seamless supersedure". That's when they sense a failing queen before I would, raise a daughter from her, both lay for a while and then the mother is disposed of eventually. No gap in brood rearing. So it's a combination of the ability to sense a failing queen, and having a two queen hive for a while.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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