Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
116 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone. I am trying to get a better idea when the best time of year is to requeen hives here in Northern South Carolina. I have spoken with a couple of the members from the bee club here in Lancaster county and it seems that in their opinions there is no best time. (when the hive needs it) I understand that. But,
What I am trying to find out is if I want to re queen the hives prior to fall/winter to have young overwintered queens for the following year what would be the approximate date and what would be the latest I could re queen to accomplish this?

Or, is there a best time scenario??

Any comments ideas and successful results would be appreciated. Thanks everyone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
691 Posts
I would want to requeen on a flow.

Putting a capped cell into the top super allows nature to do most of the work without your having to find the old queen.

Placing the old queen into a nuc gives you a backup plan if your new queen fails to become an laying queen.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Murdock

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,835 Posts
The answer probably depends on why you want to requeen.
For swarm management, colonies headed by young queens are less likely to swarm than those with older queens. For me, that means getting queens early in the spring. On the other hand, if you don’t get your order in early….as in the year before….and if you only want a couple of queens, you will probably find it difficult to get queens early. In that case requeening late in the season, when queens are readily available, is the next best choice.
 

·
Registered
9 hives second full year.
Joined
·
109 Posts
I've heard that late summer is a good time so the new queen can get a cycle of winter bees hatched and be in her prime for the following spring build up. I think I've heard Bob bennie say this
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,991 Posts
I prefer to re-queen the first of September, if I am doing a re-queening by choice. The last mite treatments are finished and I have had a chance to evaluate the queens by keeping them in 5 frame nucs. The queens will lay for two brood cycles before they shut down, and if some mishap should happen, I still have time to place another queen in the colony to be re-queened.

It is a good practice to keep replacement queens in nucs. They can be purchased in late spring when conditions for their mating is good and there is usually no problems buying them. Also, they are on hand if a queen suddenly fails and you must do an emergency re-queening.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
116 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I prefer to re-queen the first of September, if I am doing a re-queening by choice. The last mite treatments are finished and I have had a chance to evaluate the queens by keeping them in 5 frame nucs. The queens will lay for two brood cycles before they shut down, and if some mishap should happen, I still have time to place another queen in the colony to be re-queened.

It is a good practice to keep replacement queens in nucs. They can be purchased in late spring when conditions for their mating is good and there is usually no problems buying them. Also, they are on hand if a queen suddenly fails and you must do an emergency re-queening.
AR, so if you re-queen in September are those coming from nucs that you built earlier in the year?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
116 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Beemandan, I have read and been told that replacing queens that are the previous years queen helps with swarming the next spring if they over winter successfully. And that it will increase honey crop. I have 3 hives that I re-queened last year, another has a swarm queen from last year and a 5th has a supercedure queen from April of last year.

So far they are all looking pretty good with good number of bees. My plan is to swap brood boxes in a couple of weeks while also removing a couple of empty frames and replacing with foundationless frames, checkerboarding the first super and getting them through the 3/4 of the flow and around 3rd week of may pulling the queens over to NUCs and let them re-queen their hives for the las of the flow. Later in the year replace the Nuc queens with some VSH queens. Have you experienced doing something similar? Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
116 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks everyone. All are excellent points. I had kind of a plan as stated above But now think I will tweak it somewhat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,991 Posts
Yes, those 5 framers were made in April or May. If you re-queen with queens purchased through the mail it helps acceptance if they are introduced into small colonies. Once the queens return to laying condition they can be placed in large colonies with few or no issues. If I am using queen cells my best mating is usually done around the first or second week of May.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,835 Posts
‘I think I've heard Bob bennie say this’
Bob splits the daylights out of his hives in spring. I’m pretty sure he requeens his at the same time. The earliest splits get mated queens and the later ones get cells, if I’m not mistaken.

‘Beemandan, I have read and been told that replacing queens that are the previous years queen helps with swarming the next spring if they over winter successfully.’
In my experience the younger the queen the less likely they are to swarm. An end of season queen is better than an old queen but, in my opinion, a new spring queen is even better.
As an old man with too many hives I try to split and requeen 30 – 50 in early spring and the rest I try to keep enough empty comb on to keep them out of the trees. The requeened hives outperform all the rest….every year.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
116 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yes, those 5 framers were made in April or May. If you re-queen with queens purchased through the mail it helps acceptance if they are introduced into small colonies. Once the queens return to laying condition they can be placed in large colonies with few or no issues. If I am using queen cells my best mating is usually done around the first or second week of May.
Thanks AR. Great information. I will give it a shot on a couple of the hives and see how it goes...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
116 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
‘I think I've heard Bob bennie say this’
Bob splits the daylights out of his hives in spring. I’m pretty sure he requeens his at the same time. The earliest splits get mated queens and the later ones get cells, if I’m not mistaken.

‘Beemandan, I have read and been told that replacing queens that are the previous years queen helps with swarming the next spring if they over winter successfully.’
In my experience the younger the queen the less likely they are to swarm. An end of season queen is better than an old queen but, in my opinion, a new spring queen is even better.
As an old man with too many hives I try to split and requeen 30 – 50 in early spring and the rest I try to keep enough empty comb on to keep them out of the trees. The requeened hives outperform all the rest….every year.
So beemandan, the queens you are re-queening with in the spring are mated queens, purchased or queens from nucs or splits? Or, are you letting them make their own queens as soon as you see drones? Thanks...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,835 Posts
I buy mated queens. We each have our own reasons for doing things the way we do. There is no right or wrong way.
I used to work with an outfit that was conducting a serious, scientific queen selection program. I saw what went into that process. I had to choose whether I would select and produce queens or make honey. I chose honey….not my smartest decision.
Second, I have been keeping bees in this area for over twenty years. The possibility of excessive inbreeding has always been in the back of my mind. When I buy queens I am able to choose sources to keep the gene pool mixed up.
I am of the opinion that well run queen breeding/producing operations earn every penny that they charge.
 
  • Like
Reactions: crofter

·
Registered
Joined
·
116 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I buy mated queens. We each have our own reasons for doing things the way we do. There is no right or wrong way.
I used to work with an outfit that was conducting a serious, scientific queen selection program. I saw what went into that process. I had to choose whether I would select and produce queens or make honey. I chose honey….not my smartest decision.
Second, I have been keeping bees in this area for over twenty years. The possibility of excessive inbreeding has always been in the back of my mind. When I buy queens I am able to choose sources to keep the gene pool mixed up.
I am of the opinion that well run queen breeding/producing operations earn every penny that they charge.
Thanks Beemandan, I will give this a shot on a few of my hives. So going into this spring I will take a couple of courses of action based on you alls input and complete an end of year analysis compared to what I have been doing and see what the results are. Thanks everyone for the input. I truly appreciate it..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
116 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I would want to requeen on a flow.

Putting a capped cell into the top super allows nature to do most of the work without your having to find the old queen.

Placing the old queen into a nuc gives you a backup plan if your new queen fails to become an laying queen.
That is kind of what I was thinking Tpope. Based on everyone’s input here I am going to try a few different options from you alls suggestions, take copious notes, modify my bee keeping going forward, and attempt to increase the honey crop. Thanks..
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top