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Discussion Starter #1
Hey Beeks-


I'm ordering some queens for this next season, and I'm trying to figure out the best time to have them shipped. My goal is to not only prevent swarming, but to also maximize the honey harvest. My options for shipping are as follows:

June 15
July 9
July 17
July 25
Aug 2
Aug 10


I'm really tempted to go with the June 15th date, but if it's too early what the heck will I do with 2 queens? Last year it was so rainy here the bees didn't build up until later in the summer. I could go with the July 9 as I have collected many swarms in the weeks following the Independence Day holiday. But that could be a little late. At this point I'm not interested in August dates because I don't really want to do any splits that late in the season.

Please share your thoughts. I need to send my preference to the queen breeder asap.

Thanks :)
 

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Are you ordering queens to requeen your hives, or are you ordering queens for making splits?

You can always bank the queens in a nuc box until you need them.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
countryboy-

Perhaps both. I have a really strong hive with a queen who is 3 years old. She would need to be replaced by either me or the bees. They are such a strong colony and my best honey producer, so I was thinking they should keep their own genetics. But I'd like to have a back up in case it fails...

I've decided to do just as you suggested and plan to bank the queens in a nuc if need be. That way I have them if I need up. I can do a newspaper combine at any point! :D Thanks for the help!
 

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I would get them on june 15...but thats me and as far as the rain goes you can't help that but seems to me you can feed....with the strong hive i would make some nucs early as well..let them make there own queens especially if its a 3rd year hive..bees know best besides introducing new queens you have know idea how they will produce...
 

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I'm also in Maine and have given splitting for increase next year a lot of thought. I've decided to take M. Palmer's advice to manipulate hives for swarm prevention rather than do a spring split and do splits later in the summer, towards the end of July. This will give me nucs for overwintering.

I'm going to give raising queens a try so I'm looking at July 17th as my date to make the splits, having begun the queen rearing on the 3rd.

Of course, if my queen-rearing is a bust, I don't know what I'll do.

Wayne
 

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Good thinking both hummingberd and wayne.
Keep following the queen rearing insticnts of the bees back - you'll find that the bees are rearing queens in May to be mated for mid june.
Use their queens
by definition they are the best. Remember the difference between a worker and a queen is how they are fed by the nurse bees - what kind of colony setup will do that best?

-E
 

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So if it was me, I'd make splits to put queen cells in, that were raised from my strong 3 year old queen's hive. I figure chances are much better for success doing that, than it would be with purchasing queens from someone else. Success being, having a genetic line of healthy bees that are good honey producers with long life of queens.
 

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Obtain the queens before any major nectar flows in your area, this will give them time to be released and start laying. For example in my area black locust is major nectar flow if new queens are already laying the brood and health of the queens are improved because of abundant food resources.
 

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I have had good success preventing swarms by using MBush method of inserting empty frames in the #3 and #7 positions within my deep(s). Most of the time they drew out nice drone comb and kept the girls busy. I still check for cells during our peak swarm weeks and just split them before they swarm. I take the original queen and most of the open brood, then leave the capped brood with original hive. In some cases I find that the original hive will make more honey and suspecting its because they don't have to feed the young.
 
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