Old queen recycling.
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    3,085

    Default Old queen recycling.

    To the TF folks (and anyone, really):

    Folks, IF you happen to have a old queen with valuable traits you want no longer (e.g. she is a drone layer) - do offer them to the others.
    Heck, I'd take an old queen that shows TF traits and pay for the shipping or make the drive to fetch her (for me - not right now, but later in season maybe).
    Am sure many would like the same.

    So - please think before pinching an old drone layer.
    She is still a valuable resource.
    Offer her to a good home.

    EOM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    England, UK
    Posts
    1,504

    Default Re: Old queen recycling.

    Recycling old queens ? Yes indeed - a very good idea. There's a commercial guy some 30-40 miles from me who imports and sells Buckfast queens - the sort that have been mated on an offshore island somewhere in the North Sea, and which as a result cost an arm and a leg. On his webpage he comments that he renews his own queens every year in order to ensure a maximum honey harvest, and so I emailed him offering to buy (say) 4 of those queens - which he's going to kill anyway - for the price of one young, newly mated queen. I even offered to supply the cages and, if he advised me of his re-queening date, I'd even drive up and cage them myself, so he'd have no extra work to do. Seemed like a good deal to me: I'd get four lots of genetics for the price of one, and he'd get the price of a young queen without actually supplying one.

    But - all I got was a sniffy email saying that he couldn't understand why anyone would want old queens, and that he'd sell me a young queen for xxx amount of cash instead. What a jerk.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    3,085

    Default Re: Old queen recycling.

    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post
    ....
    But - all I got was a sniffy email saying that he couldn't understand why anyone would want old queens, and that he'd sell me a young queen for xxx amount of cash instead. What a jerk.
    LJ
    LOL, LJ.

    Seriously, I don't see why would NOT he turn "used up trash" (to him) into additional money.
    OR get zero on them.
    Not many people will ask for used up queens anyway (to worry about undercutting the main business).
    Those old queens are (even if drone layers) are of good value for your local population (presuming you want their claimed traits).

    Heck, maybe I should call up Michael B. and ask him for his "trash-bin queens".
    MB is only few hours of driving away from me and our general climate is similar too.
    Make a camping trip out of this and visit World Famous Omaha Zoo, what not.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Denver Metro Area CO, USA
    Posts
    1,879

    Default Re: Old queen recycling.

    Not sure how much is to be gained by a worn out production queen, last years breeder is a different story.

    As to "why not".. Maby they were worried about it turning in to a PR issue on social media... I got queens from X and they were crap..etc the risk to thier brand is much higher then what they stand to gain indulging "some weirdo"

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    England, UK
    Posts
    1,504

    Default Re: Old queen recycling.

    Quote Originally Posted by msl View Post
    Not sure how much is to be gained by a worn out production queen, last years breeder is a different story.
    Sorry - I thought I'd made that clear - these are not 'production-quality' queens, these are carefully mated and selected top-of-the-range Buckfast Bees which come from genetically-tested breeding stock and thus have a known (and very long) pedigree. They might not be 'breeding quality' in the true sense of the expression, as their offspring are unknown entities at the point of sale - but these are the very best Buckfast bees that any regular beekeeper in the UK could possibly purchase.

    He imports 'em in batches and so I assume that those he can't sell, he uses himself for honey production. If such queens are being regularly replaced every 12 months, they must still have quite a lot of life left in 'em. (Remember, our colonies are significantly smaller than those in the US or Oz).

    Outcome - he not only lost a sale, but pi$$ed-off a potential customer in the process. Rather than asking why I wanted those queens, he just assumed that because he couldn't understand my motives, then I must be some kind of 'weirdo' (to use your expression).
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Hopkins, MI USA
    Posts
    915

    Default Re: Old queen recycling.

    So I use the OTS method and by the book, new queens bred (laying) in June will be pinched in July after a month of production so you can produce post-solstice queens. I had a hard time with this so two years ago I called my buddy in Wisconsin that has production hives and he wanted the queens so I shipped them to him. They were great queens only about 1 month into serious egg laying.
    Last edited by thehackleguy; 04-18-2019 at 06:53 AM. Reason: I was a month off on my timing....
    zone 5b
    Back in 2019!

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    3,085

    Default Re: Old queen recycling.

    Exactly my point.
    What someone sees as a "used up production" queen (subjectively) is a plenty-good drone queen for someone else.
    Or the OTS off-casts - perfectly fine long-term queens (if fits someone else's need)...
    Or some small-scale hobbyist rotating queens annually could have very fine short-term oldies (not long-term, but plenty fine to produce few immediate daughters on the spot).
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Northern Lower Michigan, USA
    Posts
    610

    Default Re: Old queen recycling.

    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post
    Sorry - I thought I'd made that clear - these are not 'production-quality' queens, these are carefully mated and selected top-of-the-range Buckfast Bees which come from genetically-tested breeding stock and thus have a known (and very long) pedigree. They might not be 'breeding quality' in the true sense of the expression, as their offspring are unknown entities at the point of sale - but these are the very best Buckfast bees that any regular beekeeper in the UK could possibly purchase.

    He imports 'em in batches and so I assume that those he can't sell, he uses himself for honey production. If such queens are being regularly replaced every 12 months, they must still have quite a lot of life left in 'em. (Remember, our colonies are significantly smaller than those in the US or Oz).

    Outcome - he not only lost a sale, but pi$$ed-off a potential customer in the process. Rather than asking why I wanted those queens, he just assumed that because he couldn't understand my motives, then I must be some kind of 'weirdo' (to use your expression).
    LJ
    you could put the old queen in a NUC and even if you get 50 eggs a day you could graft. Could also let her be superceded. several options.
    He knew what you wanted and did not want to play that game, once you have his last years breeders you are very close to selling "sisters" of what he is selling, and being a competitor. Any way to find a "friend" and place some traps near his operation? more than 1 way to skin a cat.

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