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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Rupert, Idaho
    Posts
    130

    Default How cold to start Queens

    This will bet first year at raising a few queens. I know the warmer the better and you must have drones. My question is, What is the coolest weather a person could have to start grafs? I will start them in 5 frame nucs and have ample bees. Our weather has cooled back down. Next week is suppose to be inid 60's for highs and mid 30's at nights. I'm just curious necaise I'm getting alote restless. The drones are flying and I chomping at the bit to get going. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks to all you more experienced beekeepers

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,586

    Default Re: How cold to start Queens

    If you are talking about the day you do your grafting then the lowest is in the 40s. The best way is to do it
    at room temperature. So bring a warm towel with you to cover the frame and put it inside an igloo or small
    foam chest. Then bring home to graft where it is warmer inside. If this is not possible then grafting inside
    your car will do if you turn on the heater for awhile to warm up a bit.
    But if you are talking about the entire process from start to finish I would say the higher the temperature the better.
    Next week will do to start grafting because by next month the weather should be warming up more esp.
    at night time.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Rupert, Idaho
    Posts
    130

    Default Re: How cold to start Queens

    I'm sorry I should have been more specific. My hives are right here at my house and I can graft inside. I was wondering if the mid 60's weather was to cold for them to mate if they were to emerge before the weather warms up. Right now it is 22 degrees this morning here in Idaho. I was thinking about starting next week and experimenting with about 10-20 grafts. The weather is suppose to be in the mid 60's in the daytime and upper 30's to mid 40's at night. Just wondering if I should wait another week or so. You know how it is for a new beek, just want to try everything right now.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,206

    Default Re: How cold to start Queens

    What's the rush? Haste makes waste. Wait a couple weeks.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,586

    Default Re: How cold to start Queens

    High 60s in early spring is the best time to raise queen bees. Actually you are a bit late by now compare to mine. At least a month behind because
    when the drones are flying that is when you should have the virgin queens ready for their mating flight. I have read on
    some threads that successful mating flight can take place at low 40s. It is the highs that they take their mating
    flight in the noon time anyways. So don't worry about it. When I grafted my queen cells on 3/6, my weather was just like
    yours early in the spring time. On average high upper 50s with low 20s at night. Right now more than a month later it is in the high 70s and low 40s at night. It takes exactly one month to complete the whole process of queen rearing. All 4 virgin got successfully mated and happily laying now. This is their first batch of broods that will be ready to seal in 5 more days or so.
    Lauri also has temps almost like yours in Washington. She's testing graft this week too. So I would say your spring time correspond to her
    spring time also. Do an experimental graft like her and see what is your result. I don't think you will be disappointed if you do.
    Hope this help you a little.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    5,688

    Default Re: How cold to start Queens

    Quote Originally Posted by beepro View Post
    Lauri also has temps almost like yours in Washington. She's testing graft this week too. So I would say your spring time correspond to her spring time also.
    It seems rather unlikely that those two locations have similar weather. Luv2beekeep is in Rupert ID at 4,157 ft elevation. Lauri is in Roy WA at 322 ft elevation!

    Both of those locations are close to 1000 miles north of Sacramento, but that does not mean their weather is similar to each other.
    -- Victor Hugo -- "Common sense is in spite of, not the result of, education.

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