Want to replace a queen with one I raise myself
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  1. #1

    Default Want to replace a queen with one I raise myself

    I have two hives in Minneapolis and am thinking about what I want to do next spring. If the bees overwinter OK, I want to raise a queen to replace the older of the two queens. I think this is what people are calling sustainable beekeeping, as opposed to what I learned in a class I took to get my permit -- which is that you buy a queen when you want to requeen. As far as equipment, I have a woodenware nuc and some cardboard ones. As far as my 'apiary' set-up, it's on my roof and the two hives are in more or less permanent positions. I read the MDA document on OTS splits. Also read Michael Bush's documents on splitting, especially walkaway splits. Some questions I have:

    Can anyone recommend any documents that break this down for newbies and hobbyists?

    Is it better to split the colony with the more mite resistant queen (which is not the hive I want to requeen) One or multiple splits? Or keep the colony in one deep until they start to build swarm cells and start a nuc or nucs with swarm cells?

    Where? If I'm understanding right, the MCA document takes the queen from the hive and puts her in a nuc 2 miles away. I'm limited to doing this on my roof, and can temporarily locate nucs on my city lot.. I'm thinking if I split, I need to keep the queen in the parent hive and move the nuc or nucs. Can I put the nuc or nucs next to the hive I want to requeen? It's 12 feet from the parent hive and oriented to the south, while the parent hive is oriented to the west.

    When? I'm thinking mid May here for a split. If the new queen hatches around June 1, it will be warm enough here for her to mate. If I use swarm cells, it may be mid June, though my experience is based on finding swarm cells in double deeps, and that could be speeded up if I keep the bees in a single.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Isle of Wight, VA
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    2,774

    Default Re: Want to replace a queen with one I raise myself

    plan on making queens when the nectar flow is ON for your area. If you beehives make it through the winter, you most likely will have swarm cells to deal with and those are well-fed queen larvae. I prefer to stay on top of my hives so they don't go into swarm mode, but I will remove the queen and 2-4 frames over to a nuc in my same bee yard. The remaining bees in the big hive will recognize that they are queenless and start queen cells (if they are not already in swarm mode). If you do this at just the right time, you also get an excellent honey crop while they are waiting for the new queen to develop and hatch. And there are many, many different ways of getting those queens cells, like walk-away split, cut down split, etc.

  4. #3

    Default Re: Want to replace a queen with one I raise myself

    Quote Originally Posted by ruthiesbees View Post
    plan on making queens when the nectar flow is ON for your area. If you beehives make it through the winter, you most likely will have swarm cells to deal with and those are well-fed queen larvae. I prefer to stay on top of my hives so they don't go into swarm mode, but I will remove the queen and 2-4 frames over to a nuc in my same bee yard. The remaining bees in the big hive will recognize that they are queenless and start queen cells (if they are not already in swarm mode). If you do this at just the right time, you also get an excellent honey crop while they are waiting for the new queen to develop and hatch. And there are many, many different ways of getting those queens cells, like walk-away split, cut down split, etc.
    Thanks Ruth. So you will ideally remove the queen and make the split into a nuc before there is any sign of swarming? I found this elsewhere on Beesource, like it. https://www.nwdba.org/ken-reid-swarm-prevention-slides/

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