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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
when does everyone starting grafting on Washington coast? End of May or June. Im looking to raise 10 or so queens but I want to split heavily this year. We start getting swarms around end of april till june ish.

Thanks mango
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
What about everyone worried about the temp being close to 70 degrees for mating flights. We have lots of swarms april and may and temps don't start climbing till june. Say i start grafting April 15 - 25 and the would put mating around second or third week of May. Would this work? I have one colony thats bursting at the seems with bees right now and would make a great hive to graft from and raise queens for my splits.
 

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When the weather looks like it's going to be fairly good, that's when I try to start. Normally nearer the end of that range, but for me the issue is having enough bees to make up the mating nucs without depleting the hives that will be used for honey production too much. I also have bees near Eugene, OR and they are always ahead of my Camas bees (where I raise the queens) so I bring a couple of boxes of brood and nurse bees taken from those hives to make up mating nucs. By mid May I can do everything from my Camas hives.
 

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What about everyone worried about the temp being close to 70 degrees for mating flights. We have lots of swarms april and may and temps don't start climbing till june. Say i start grafting April 15 - 25 and the would put mating around second or third week of May. Would this work? I have one colony thats bursting at the seems with bees right now and would make a great hive to graft from and raise queens for my splits.
Our queens mate with great success starting at about 60 degrees F. Some varieties of bees may fly better at cooler temperatures.

If you are seeing lots of swarms in April that is a clue that the bees are in the mood and have received the right signals to reproduce a few weeks earlier. If they want to rear queens then it is probably a good time for you to also. Foul weather may delay mating for a bit but on that first nice 60+ degree day mature queens and drones will want to do their thing.
 
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