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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Oakville, CT
    Posts
    35

    Default Question about requeening

    Last year I had my first hive started from a package, I fed in the spring and they built up well, filled two deep brood boxes and in August filled a super. I did not treat, and the hive was lost early on in the winter. This year I bought two packages and one swarmed which I caught and started another hive with.

    I would like to re-queen with survivor queens. I have. talked to a couple people that sell vhs queens and was surprised that they are not treatment free. So I was thinking of ordering from beeweaver...any other suggestions?

    My question- Is it too late to re-queen to change over the genetics, or is it too late. Also we have tons of Knotweed that has not started blooming yet but is what we got our surplus from last year, will re-queening disrupt that flow for us?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,113

    Default Re: Question about requeening

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikect05 View Post
    was surprised that they are not treatment free.
    I don't know whether to say "that's interesting" or "told you so." I hadn't thought about it directly before, but it makes all sorts of sense. I have said for a long time that VSH is only one trait that leads to varroa resistance, and that wild bees have highly variable levels of it. But I guess now that I think about it, it shouldn't surprise you. If somebody doesn't advertise treatment-free it's because they're not treatment-free. Bond Test is the only way to get truly treatment-free bees. VSH like many other things has become a marketing tool and really doesn't mean a whole lot.



    Quote Originally Posted by Mikect05 View Post
    So I was thinking of ordering from beeweaver...any other suggestions?
    I'd recommend someone closer to your location if you can find them. You're asking for trouble with southern bees in your location, but I think you figured that out last year.



    Quote Originally Posted by Mikect05 View Post
    will re-queening disrupt that flow for us?
    Not that can't be fixed. You're not trying for honey production, you only need them to get through the winter.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Oakville, CT
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Question about requeening

    Thanks Solomon! Does anybody have suggestions of where I can buy 3 queens in the northeast from non-treated survivor stock?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,019

    Default Re: Question about requeening

    Mike cannot help re where to get non treated survivor stock, but to the other part of your question, is it too late.

    It might be. What likely happened last year is that mite population built up during summer, then when winter comes and bee population drops there is suddenly a much higher ratio of mites to bees, and the hive dies. It's a common scenario.

    It's likely that the exact same scenario is playing out again in your new hives. Mite issues are not yet obvious though because the high bee population means most of the bees are unaffected as yet and healthy. So, let's say, best case, you are able to get queens that are fully mite resistant. The issue would be, even if you got them today, they will go into your hives and not be laying much for at least another week. Add 3 weeks for those bees to start emerging, you have around a month before any of the resistant bees at all will be in the hive. And that's if you started today. Add to that month several more weeks before you get a meaningful percentage of those bees in the hive, it is getting into winter, your chances of averting disaster are there, but are fairly middling. And that is based on best case scenario of getting a totally resistant bee, and doing it today.

    A little depressing I know. But on the positive, a queen is what, 20 or 30 bucks? Heck you'd likely spend that in a café without a second thought so why not just go ahead and give it your best shot. If it doesn't work out, you are not much worse off plus will have gained more experience for next year.

    While I cannot help you re getting the untreated survivor queens, from hanging around in the forum for a few years I have noticed that buying untreated survivor queens has been virtually impossible for anyone attempting it. However lately Solomon has been saying he is selling queens so may be worth talking to him, he has also said his bees are awesome.

    But if that avenue does not work out, Beeweaver will be your best bet. OK, maybe not meet the high standards suggested of local adapted bees or whatever, but if the reality is that the perfect bee is not obtainable, go for second best. As stated, the money, is really neither here nor there.

    But in summary, my thoughts on your situation are that the odds of your bees getting through this winter will be a crap shoot, and that will be regardless of what you do. But that doesn't mean you should do nothing, go ahead and do the best you can for them, there's no guarantees but it could move the odds a bit.

    Good luck!
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

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