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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts
    1,192

    Default Should I requeen? If so when?

    I got my first hives late last spring. Four packages with NZ Queens, 11 nucs with local Queens. None were marked so I have no idea which ones superceded. I did requeen one queenless hive with a local Queen.

    This year I got 4 NZ packages with the idea of replacing dead outs. I was lucky and my hives lived. One of the 4 packages went Queenless and I put in a mated NZ Queen. She has not been a stellar layer and I noticed a single Queen Cell mid frame. I removed her to a nuc and am waiting to see if the QC becomes a mated laying Queen.

    I also caught a swarm and an after swarm..both likely my own. The after swarm is now laying. I am waiting to see brood from the main swarm.

    I have a few new nucs that are waiting on virgins mating and laying.

    My questions revolves around my over wintered hives. I really don't know how old the Queens are as they weren't marked. Do I check the laying pattern and if not wall to wall brood on some of the brood frames do I requeen? I would give the old Queen a chance in a small nuc...perhaps they would supercede and I would end with a new Queen ..or..if the main hive ended up Queenless I could combine the Queened nuc back with them.

    I am better to remove the Queen and let them make their own Queen or to put in a mated Queen or Queen cell.


    So little experience, so many questions.

    On a side note:

    I think next spring, hoping I have hives survive , I will remove the Queens into nucs and hope they reQueen themselves in the latter half of May when drones are flying.

    Thanks for any and all guidance.
    Janne....first hives April 2013, 19 hives, treat, plant zone 8b, at sea level, latitude 49.13, longitude 123.06

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,560

    Default Re: Should I requeen? If so when?

    Some do, some don't, requeen each year. Some do it one way, some do it a different way, some have better success than others. What you do is your choice, seems like you've read all about the different ways and reasons for doing it.

    In case you want to know what I might do in your situation...
    I'd raise some queen cells and place them in the tops of the hives that had questionable brood patterns. I think late summer and fall queens make better queens the next spring. I would, like you said. remove the old queen to a nuc as insurance, if I had the resources. If I did not, then I'd leave her in there, and see if the ready to emerge cell I placed in there would replace the old queen. I've never requeened by just placing a cell in the top without removing the older queen, so I'd lean towards doing it that way just to try it out and see what happened.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts
    1,192

    Default Re: Should I requeen? If so when?

    Thank you. I presume that you would only do that on hives that have a poor laying pattern or do you do it for all hives with Queens that may be over a year old? Not knowing if it is a younger superceded Queen or not I am leaning towards the laying pattern.

    I tried your nuc "split" this weekend. I located the Queen and inserted a queen excluder the first day, I then removed the top with the Queen and capped brood the following day and turned the entrance 180 degrees. I was amazed by how many bees accumulated on the bottom portion at the original site. I actually posted a photo...it was solid bees! Then the following evening (last night) I left the excluder in place, put the top box back on and closed the upper entrance. There is also some syrup on the top. I am hoping they will make Queen cells on the frame of eggs I left in the bottom. I believe you said to wait 9 days..that would be June 26 ...to check for Queen cells and separating the top and bottom boxes into their own nucs.
    Janne....first hives April 2013, 19 hives, treat, plant zone 8b, at sea level, latitude 49.13, longitude 123.06

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,560

    Default Re: Should I requeen? If so when?

    I like the idea of seeking out longevity of queens. Queens don't seem to live as long as they used to in the past. So, I would only do this to the hives showing weak or weakening brood patterns.

    Good luck to you on your cell builder, I hope it works as well for you as it does for me here.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,560

    Default Re: Should I requeen? If so when?

    My biggest issue here in keeping bees is with varroa mites. They will affect the brood pattern. Have you done any checks on varroa levels in your hives? In late summer and early fall I can get worsening brood patterns, and I've seen for myself that most of the time the problem is with high levels of mites in the hives. I don't know how it is for your bees in your location, I'm just mentioning this as it is an issue here for me in my location.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts
    1,192

    Default Re: Should I requeen? If so when?

    We have Varroa in this area. Last year I used MAQS early Aug and oxalic acid vapour in early Jan.

    I have been checking drone brood and so far no sign. I expect it is tucked away waiting for a good opportunity.

    Will likely use a half dose on the nucs.
    Janne....first hives April 2013, 19 hives, treat, plant zone 8b, at sea level, latitude 49.13, longitude 123.06

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