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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I have been reading this forum for a while and decided to join. This is my 2nd year beekeeping, I bought 9 established hives last spring. I have a strong hive that still has the old queen from last year in it. I was thinking about removing the old queen with a frame of brood and honey to requeen and get more honey production during the sourwood flow since they wouldn't have brood to feed until they hatched a new queen. Do you think this would be a good idea and would work?
 

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There are individuals who intentionally remove the queen and then later on destroy the supercedure cells with the intention that all the bees are supposed to go out and forage as there is nothing for them to do in the hive.

I haven't yet try it, but I will plan for it next year's flow.

However, when one of my hives is queenless, I see alot of unmotivated bees just hanging out with no purpose whatsoever. So, it makes me wonder if the above is true.
 

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I was thinking about removing the old queen with a frame of brood and honey to requeen and get more honey production during the sourwood flow since they wouldn't have brood to feed until they hatched a new queen. Do you think this would be a good idea and would work?
Yes. Without brood they won't spend time bringing in pollen either and as you suggest will produce a noticeable more amount of nectar as I have noticed that queenless colonies often produce the most nectar.
 

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However, when one of my hives is queenless, I see alot of unmotivated bees just hanging out with no purpose whatsoever. So, it makes me wonder if the above is true.
The bees are probably young bees which haven't taken flight yet. these younger bees generally do house chores and also feed and care for brood. Many don't realize that brood that hatch usually can't fly before 10 days and often don't for several weeks. So, for a colony that goes queenless, you would have 21 days before the last of the brood merges and another 2 weeks before they take flight, hence about 5-6 weeks after going queenless before they can take flight. Also, unless on a heavy flow, foragers don't gather unless it is economically beneficial to the colony. Bees consume honey [energy] to fly and therefore must gather a sufficient quanity nectar to make the consumption worth the use of honey. Since, bees generally don't forage for pollen in a queenless colony, if the flow is not strong more may be lounging around than in a queenright colony as they will still gather pollen.

Danny
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I am going to remove the old queen mostly to get queen cells for mating nucs, they're black feral bees that I have been wanting to get some queens from. It's probably a little late to get much more honey production, the sourwoods are already blooming. Thanks everyone for the information.
 

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There are individuals who intentionally remove the queen and then later on destroy the supercedure cells with the intention that all the bees are supposed to go out and forage as there is nothing for them to do in the hive.
I have never heard that you want to make them hopelessly queenless. I have removed the queen and let them spend a month or so making a new one during the flow. Whether they made a significant amount of additional honey, I wasn't able to say one way or the other. It did cut down on mites when I tested in the late summer/fall.
 
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