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2020 8 hives
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Discussion Starter #1
I'm going to try my hand at queen rearing this spring. I have my choice of 2 yards. (a) one 1.5 miles from another yard I have. This site is 150 feet away from a pond. (b) The other is 5 miles away from these 2 yards. It's next to a small creek. Both of them are next to pastures with cattle. My question is the yard next to the pond a greater risk for the queens because of the dragon flies? But since I'm going to stop at thee end of June anyway is the pond site better? Or am I overthinking this?
 

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Raise extra. Call it practice. I don't know about you I still need all the practice I can get. I've been grafting since 2015 and I still only have less than 50% acceptance. If you do end up with more than you need then put them in a nuc to make brood bombs.
 

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Dragonflies are a pain for me too - the only answer that I know of is to raise extra queens and start queen-rearing as early in the year as possible.

As regards "which site ?" - I'd say use your home yard or whichever yard is nearest to your home, as you'll no doubt be making more visits to the queen-rearing yard than to the others.
Good luck
LJ
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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What LJ says. Dragonflies really affect my returned mated queen numbers as the summer progresses. Best results are obtained until the end of June. After that, the percentage returned goes way down.
 

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In south Florida, you see attack squads of dragon flies circling over my apiaries like 100 deep. Those things are no joke!
 

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2020 8 hives
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Discussion Starter #7
So, I took Little Johns advice and went with the yard that was closest (a). This morning I took my stands over and leveled them. After lunch I'll take my nuc boxes there and set them in place. It's foggy after our rain yesterday so it's a good day to do prep work. Tomorrow we are slated to hit 70F for the first time. I may be sunny and if it is I'll take my colonies there and begin the queen rearing process. That is if the drones are at the purple eyed stage.
 

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I'd like to know the parameters for successful return of virgin queens. I'm getting one out of three back from her nuptial flight. I'm in farmland. I tried nucs up against a treeline, but without success.
 
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