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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone,
I have a dark queen which came with a swarm going into the 6th year winter. All the bees and drones of her are also black. She did pretty well this season also. I usually make splits from her in summer to stop her from swarming. This is the only queen i have which has lived this long.

Does anyone have queens which live long like the one i mentioned? Any idea why they out perform others in case of age?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yes. She is marked and you can see the wear and tear on her wings. She is getting very old and i will make as many daughter queens from her as possible next spring. I dont think she will last for more than one more season(Looking really old now). It will be nice if she lasts a few more years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Coming back to this thread. My old queen has died. And I have a few daughters from her in some hives. Will see how well they do and how long they will last.

I was wondering if anyone know of any particular race of bees which has the queens living exceptionally longer? I have hear that european black bee queens sometimes live long. I dont know what race of bees I had though.
 

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Interesting. What is her brood pattern like? How about honey production? Do you know her breed? All you said was thayt she was dark. Carniolan perhaps?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
She was a swarm queen. So i have no idea what her genetics where. Her brood pattern was always pretty good and solid till her death. She never actually became a drone layer or anything. Honey production was pretty good, but not exceptional. Her bees used to collect a lot of pollen and store around the brood chamber. Average use of propolis. Bees were gentle too.
 

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What is a good crop of honey in New Zealand? 60lbs? 100lbs. I'm not familiar w/ NZ production.
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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From "Better Queens" page 18:

"In Indiana we had a queen we named Alice which lived to the ripe old age of eight years and two months and did excellent work in her seventh year. There can be no doubt about the authenticity of this statement. We sold her to John Chapel of Oakland City, Indiana, and she was the only queen in his yard with wings clipped. This, however is a rare exception. At the time I was experimenting with artificial combs with wooden cells in which the queen laid."--Jay Smith

I would point out that Jay says: "This, however is a rare exception."

I think three years has always been pretty typical of the useful life of a queen. Many of mine are three. Some are four, but I typically don't seen any make it past that.
 

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I have a black queen also that lays solid black offspring. There are no Italian colored bees in her hive at all. She came with one of my origianl hives so I know she is atleast three years old now. I had to split her out into a nuc last year in early March to keep her from swarming. Her hive still managed to make a little over 100lbs of surplus honey. Her bees are not all that Hygenic so I do have to keep an eye on the mites but, they are one of the most gentle bees I have. On my last inspection the bees where in the process of superceding her. So I spilt her out again and left the supercedure cells. This was two weeks ago and I have already had to move her up into a full size deep. Her wings are all frayed on the ends so I know she prob won't last much longer. If the bees try to supercede again I will let them go ahead and do it. I just wanted to see if I could get one more hive out of her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Here in NZ we can get upto a good flow in a good year and get lot of honey upto around 150 kg from a hive, especially if you are close to a city. My haves are literally at the edge of a city(Hamilton). I think its one of the best places to keep bees, because they can work a lot of different plants in the city and work the pastures too. I usually get a 100 kg from a hive. But some hives do give around 150 kg.
 
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