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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am not quite sure where the best place is to post this...

Does anyone know of beekeepers that sell daughter queens from 4 or 5 year old untreated "survivor" queens?

I realize this is a tall order. Please PM if you like.

Thanks,
Joe
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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With good untreated stock I usually see queens replaced in their third year if they are heading a full size colony. If they are in a nuc or are otherwise restricted in their laying, I see a few make it to four. I can't say if I have any five year old queens, the colors for the numbers wrap, but I suspect they are pretty rare. What it comes down to is the limit of how much sperm they can store and how many eggs they can make. When they run out, they are done. They run out sooner when they head a booming colony. If you limit their laying, they might make it to seven...

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesbetterqueens.htm#Queen Alice
 

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Kirk Webster tracks this by clipping breeder queen wings...alternating left and right by year. I would ask him directly.

deknow
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks everyone!

Michael, yes, I see that pattern too, primarily in my darker lines. Rarely do I have a queen make it into her 5th season, but it does happen. There is something to be said for those old girls.

I thought of Zia, but was hoping to fin someone that pushes them a little farther.

Dean, I think Kirk and I talked about his old queens one time. Nothing against Kirk or his bees, but his bees sound a little more spirited than what I like.

Joe
 

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Sent you a msg.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I just wanted to move this up since I have not had a great deal of response... Are there any treatment free beekeepers out there that produce queens from 3, 4, or 5 year old queens?

Thanks,
Joe
 

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All my breeder hives are usually headed by at least three year old queens that are still making big honey crops. This is usually my #1 trait that I look for in my breeder queens. If she can survive at least 3 years treatment free and maintain a strong hive treatment free she is a keeper.
 

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I have one going into her 5th season, but I don't really sell my queens. She was a Zia virgin. She is also the one I have been breeding from the most.
 

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4 & 5 year queens is a stretch. Especially now-a-days.

Most of my queens do 2 seasons. An occasional one is still there 3rd season but will soon be replaced.

As memory serves, I have only personally known one queen in it's 5th year. This was pre varroa and it was a breeder kept in a hive with a few bees and tiny egg laying area. We had to go through and remove supersedure cells twice weekly to keep it alive, but it did expire anyway during the 5th year.
 

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Mine is plugging away just fine. I have doubts she will make it through this season though. A little shocked she has made it this far.
 

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I do know the president of our club in Franklin County Massachusetts does have a few 4 year old Queens they are not really good layers but the reason why he keep so he can get eggs from good Queen mothers the approving 4 year old Queens for him this does not happen very often


BEE HAPPY Jim 134 :)
 

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We clip alternately, and record on the rear of the hive. Sheri of JK and Sheri is always looking for GOOD older queens, but they are hard to find. Third year are slim, forth, even worse. We had our eyes on one, onkly to have her fail at the last minute.

Good luck in =your quest. We will keep you in mind as we do first inspection and clipping this spring.

Roland Diehnelt
Linden Apiary, est. 1852
 

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I had 4, 3 year old queens to start off 2013, all of them got superceded at some point during the year, some probably because mite loads got high. I had hopes of one surviving in a nuc but she disapeared sometime in November after heading the nuc since July. That being said, longevity is one of my goals and if any make it 4-5 years, I'll keep you in mind.
 
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