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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys what is your opinions on when to requeen in the spring. Do you think it is Better to requeen early spring or wait until the main honey flow is about to start with 7 to 9 frames of brood and then requeen with a cell
 

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It's probably best to re queen with well mated queens whenever possible - very early queens are more likely to mate during less than ideal weather and when fewer drones are available.
 

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What is the definition of a very early queen?

How do you know you have a well mated queen until you have observed her laying pattern/durability for half a season?


I always like to wait until after the first main flow and then requeen as needed with queen cells. Not familiar with the part of Ga you are in, do you get summer Tyty there?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hey BMAC this David I purchased the honey pump from last year. No Ty Ty here. We have plenty of drones here and been getting Nucs mated good for the last month. The reason I use cells is because I want to continue with the genetics I have . Older queens are going to want swarm more. I am just thinking if I wait until about the time the main flow starts they will have the brood already. Coming on for the honey flow so go ahead and pull old queen And put them in a Nuc for myself and put in a cell. Just wandering what everyone else likes to do.
 

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David I hope the pump is working well for you. If I have time I like to find the old queen and take a frame of brood she is on along with 2 frames of food and move her to the new box.

Are you going to graft queen cells from her?

Up where you are at is SourWood honey correct?

If memory serves well Sourwood don't bloom until June and its swarm season in southern Ga. I imagine you are coming into swarm season now so if that's the case you can let them start up swarm cells and as soon as they start the swarm cells get the old queen on and let them finish off your cells for you. You just have to go into the colony about every 4 days searching out swarm cells. They will have enough time to recover for the SourWood flow, and your old queen will recover quick enough to get some late season honey for goldenrod if you have enough of it where you are located.

Yes there have been plenty of drones for a month now, however I delayed my splits this year cause of the cooler winter. In fact just got back a week ago from splitting.

The only reason I mention the summer Ty Ty is it's toxic to bees so starting out a new colony with it around its the best, but if you don't have it, you don't have to worry about it. If you want to try and boost them on another flow look for a cotton yard in July.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yes we are in swarm time here. I have pulled frames of brood to get Nucs started for the last month and the hives are really coming back on strong. So I know they are going to want to swarm. I have been putting old queens and two frames of brood in Nucs for myself and marking the really good ones. These should still be strong enough by sourwood time in July. I do graph my on cells. I am just wandering if I should have removed old queens when I removed frames of brood for Nucs or wait until they brooded back up like they have now and remove at the beginning of the honey flow .
 

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I would let them brood right up till the flow. Actually if they are strong enough you could rob out only open brood with the queen place a cell in established colony. They will run you more honey cause they have no brood to tend. Start another NUC and pinch old queen then and cell that one. Much better acceptance on cells when a flow is going.

You will have to make sure the established colony has room for her to lay once she is mated as they will tend to pack the brood nest full of honey too.
 

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What is the definition of a very early queen?

How do you know you have a well mated queen until you have observed her laying pattern/durability for half a season?
Very early depends on location and year to year conditions of course. Here April weather can be iffy, May has much fewer cold rainy spells.

You don't really know if a queen is good until she has lasted a long time. You know they can perform well then play out pretty suddenly, but prime time queens seem more likely to remain productive longer. Around here that is probably those mated after the middle of April.

Sorry, I didn't notice this was the commercial forum to begin with or I would have stayed out of it. You guys know your business.
 

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No biggie David. I didn't mean anything by my questions. I just like to observe other folks thoughts, especially when it comes to well mated queens and varying opinions.
 

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No biggie David. I didn't mean anything by my questions. I just like to observe other folks thoughts, especially when it comes to well mated queens and varying opinions.
I appreciate that. Still, you commercial guys are the pros - I'm glad to be able to learn from you.
 

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If I was going to do routine requeening (which I don't) I would not do it early in the spring when the queens are not well mated. I would go for anytime I can get good queens, which is from summer to fall.
 

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I'm by no means commercial. But, I like to requeen later in the year after our main flow. We normally have better mating weather, plenty of drones and these queens will be less than a year old going into the next spring. Our season gets started early here in the South so I don't want to be in my hives trying to requeen when they should be making honey. I like to graft my own cells and requeen with the cells in late June or July. Make up nucs with the old queens which are only a year old. These nucs will be back up hives for winter loss or expansion.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
My thinking to requeen at the start of the flow is hopefully to keep the old queens from swarming. Don't really want to get rid of the old queens that are really good. That is why I am putting them in Nucs so I can graph from them but I also don't want them hitting the bushes either
 

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why wouldn't that be good swarm prevention. Remove the frame with the old queen on it and give them another half frame of bees and food at the beginning of a flow. They should build enough to make the winter. They can still swarm and we see some retarded small swarms end of last year that just didn't want to stay put, but most of the time it works well.
 

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I wasn't implying that it wouldn't work - I just hadn't heard of it before. I guess it would need to be a spring queen?
 

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are you talking about the old queen? If so not really. Though I have to admit I don't keep track of my queens. If they start to fail I just replace them immediately, or rather as soon as possible. Generally speaking though spring queens don't want to swarm.
 

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are you talking about the old queen? If so not really. Though I have to admit I don't keep track of my queens. If they start to fail I just replace them immediately, or rather as soon as possible. Generally speaking though spring queens don't want to swarm.
I change my queens 2 times a year one time after almonds after splitting the hive and in early august so the hive would go into winter lots of young bees and use mated queens
 
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