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Hi All. This year I'm going to try my hand at making queens. I normally buy my queens but I've been watching youtube (of course), and I've seen all kinds of ways to make queens. So, I figured I would give it a shot.

My question is, when do you guys start making queens to do your splits? I'm in central NC so it's still a little nippy here.
 

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65 colonies +/- mostly Langstroth mediums, a few deeps for nuc production
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Drones should be available for the Queens to mate with. Since they take longer and need to continue to mature after they emerge the earliest to graft is when you have purple eyed drone pupae.
 

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Drones should be available for the Queens to mate with. Since they take longer and need to continue to mature after they emerge the earliest to graft is when you have purple eyed drone pupae.
Make sure its a predominance of purple eyed drones and that night time temps are in the fifties and you will do well. Make sure and put the starter in the garage or laundry room to keep it warm if its going to dip down in temps while starting.
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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In theory of you have some capped drones you could start, but I find the bees much more willing when there are a significant number of drones flying. But the other part is how strong your hives are and if they are strong enough to split.
 

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Hi All. This year I'm going to try my hand at making queens. I normally buy my queens but I've been watching youtube (of course), and I've seen all kinds of ways to make queens. So, I figured I would give it a shot.

My question is, when do you guys start making queens to do your splits? I'm in central NC so it's still a little nippy here.
If you're just starting out, then stack every aspect of making queens in your favor. I don't believe it would be a good move to start making queens when the first purple-eyed drone is spotted. Even in general (none first timers), I feel this is too early. You want nice well-populated DCAs the mate your new queens, so give it some time. You want to wait until you're seeing lots of mature drones hanging out on the outside honey frames and when you're actually seeing drones flying. Just a guess, but likely a good target date would be late March, early April for your area.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Last year I started my splits Easter weekend, March 29th. I had plenty of drones flying at that time here in Richmond. This year, if the weather cooperates, I want to start my first grafts about two weeks earlier. I will look for capped drone cells and give it another two weeks or thereabouts before starting the queens.
 
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