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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Middle Place, Georgia, USA

    Default raising queens on a larger scale

    I attemted to raise at least about 100 queens weekly, but mean while my own bees went to hell. Normaly, I requeen all my hives in the spring with the queens that I raise, but this spring was a real challenge, and let down. While raising queens for others and trying to fill the orders, most of my own colonies swarmed. What a loss! What do most large scale queen producers do with requeening their own operation? Do they requeen in the fall? Does that cut down on spring swarming?
    Thanks, and best of wishes.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Solano, California, USA

    Default Re: raising queens on a larger scale

    Anyone who thinks the price of queens is to high needs to read the above statement to get a real grip on what the opportunity costs of queen raising really entails.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2005
    chilliwack, bc

    Default Re: raising queens on a larger scale

    Take care of your own hives first if your needing them for income. You didn't say how many hives your running but I think If your going for honey on your hives that once you had your own hives requeened just keep adding supers as needed and spend the rest of your time rearing queens. But always take care of your own hives first.
    Will Gruenwald Chilliwack BC

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Tucson, Arizona, USA

    Default Re: raising queens on a larger scale

    Interesting thread, with some thoughts and comments that are not lost on me.

    In these past few years I've worked to gradually increase the quantity of queens and local nucs that I produce. When I started, I had twenty full-size 8-frame medium depth colonies. Before I began raising queens and nucs, during our early flow, those twenty colonies would grow so fast, and bring it in fast too, I never managed to have enough supers to contain it all. Now, that I'm using those twenty colonies to support raising queens, providing drone saturation, and growing nucs, they struggle to stay strong, and hardly bring in the honey they once did.

    In attempts to provide queens to my customers, I've often harvested queens from those twenty colonies. Each year I promise myself that I'm going to stop doing that, since it could backfire and put me out of business for at least a season. Though I've already broken that promise to myself, I have resolved to endeavor to get all my twenty colonies, queenright and strong, with the proper genetics (so they can be drone producers), and then try to increase my colony base to at least forty.

    Yep, queen and nuc rearing are rewarding (there's nothing like starting with less than twenty medium strength colonies - turning those into a couple hundred queens and one hundred nucs in just a few months), but also challenging. Learning to balance and juggle are high on the list of essential talents.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni


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