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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Am I correct in stating that the general definition for a first year queen is one that has not gone through the colony build up phase usually associated with the spring?

If so, then a queen produced during the summer is still considered a first year queen for the following spring?

Finally, I understand that generally speaking first year queens are less likely to swarm during their initial spring season. Has that generally been your experience? I keep using the word "generally" because I know there are no absolutes in beekeeping.

Thanks,
Kevin
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Just playing devil's advocate here; so a newly mated September queen is a second year queen the following March? :unsure: To be honest, I have never even thought about it as I do not requeen based on age.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
In your experiences, do you see less swarming tendencies from a queen who emerged in September versus one raised in April of the previous year?
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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I do not think it is as simple as that. Where I am, I start feeding heavily in late February, getting the bees built up for our flow which starts around the middle of April. As such, my hives are typically pretty strong come May and tend to swarm if I do not intervene. The age of the queen has little apparent bearing. Perhaps someone else has more experience and can answer.
 

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so a newly mated September queen is a second year queen the following March?
That rumor that young queens do not swarm is hog wash. We have been raising late August and September mated queens for a few years now and believe me, they swarm in spring.
 

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Me, the year I paint dot my queens is the only reference I track to her "year", using one of the standard 5 annual colors.
And that is simply the year she emerged or I got her in a swarm. (Yeah, she could already be a year old if got in a swarm.)
I do not track them as having gone through much of any thing besides mating.
Then my hive notes allow me to determine whether she lives or dies if and when the question comes up.
 

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That rumor that young queens do not swarm is hog wash. We have been raising late August and September mated queens for a few years now and believe me, they swarm in spring.
My mating nucs contain 5 half size deep frames. If we leave the queen in there to long, she will depart with the swarm only a couple weeks after mating. When those tiny swarms leave, they can pick the darndest of places to call home. Here is a photo of a wasp trap hanging in the apple tree beside the mating nuc stand. And yes, that is a tiny swarm with a marked queen in the wasp trap.

Green Tree Plant Illustration Art
 

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In your experiences, do you see less swarming tendencies from a queen who emerged in September versus one raised in April of the previous year?
I "hope" to not have September queens emerge, where I am that is pushing it IMO.

So IMO spring , summer or fall queen birth, has less impact than genetics or honey build up/honey bound/small hive, cavity size, for the swarming tendancy.

In a NUC you may have a spring queen swarm, same season.
Not sure what you are getting at.
Kevin Do you wish to have late summer queens hatch to avoid the swarm in the next spring?
Or are you seeking the why on some swarming you have observed.

IMO raise queens when the bees would normally for your area, avoid early or Late and you should have good queens.

I do not have enough Empirical data to support born on dates affect on swarming.

GG
 

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In a NUC you may have a spring queen swarm.
I can attest to this. Two years ago, a spring nuc swarmed the day the customer came to pick it up. He saw the bees in the trees before I did. We caught the swarm, but I had to give him bees from another hive.
 
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