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Hey,

Could someone point me in a direction to read up on replacing an existing queen. Im thinking of the references iv read that recommend replacing the queen every fall or every other fall. Or if someone just wants to explain it, thatd be great too!

Thanks

Pablo
 

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Order a new queen. The day before she arrives go kill the old queen. When the new queen arrives install her in the hive, inside the cage with candy exposed.
 

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I am not an expert but from what I have read bees will make more than one queen, and this can create a swarming situation if your colony is strong. Also it will take 16 days for the bees to make a new queen and another 2 weeks for the new queen to start laying eggs. So you will lose a month. That being said, my experience is that queen that the bees make is better and no cost to you than a queen brought from elsewhere which may cost $50.

How about making a 5 frame nuc and let the bees make a queen and when this queen start laying remove the old queen and combine the nuc with the new queen to main colony. I don't know whether this is the best method but this is what I am planning to do in August. This way you don't loose any time as the old queens will still be laying until the last minute and if the new queen does not start laying you just keep the old one.
 

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Im thinking of the references iv read that recommend replacing the queen every fall or every other fall.
Did any of those references say why they recommended that procedure?

Do you replace the tires on your car every year at Thanksgiving? Or do you replace them when they are worn out? Why don't you replace them every year at Thanksgiving? You'd know that they were in really good shaoe going into winter, wouldn't you?

I don't like to do anything that an expert said to do or a book said to do, unless I understand why they said to do it and only if I agree w/ the rationale.

Replace your queen when she needs replacing. When she is no longer laying enuf eggs.
 

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When I first started keeping bees the beeschool (put on by the local club) had a bee day at a local commercial beekeeper. He replaced his queens every year as he found he had a better hive by doing that. He even tried to evaluate the queens and keep the best ones for a second year. After trying that for a couple of years he found it was better to just replace them all yearly. I don't know if he still does this or not.

If you're not a commercial beekeeper, then there really isn't any reason to do that. Unless you live in a AHB area and then you might want to replace the queen if the hive gets hot.

Pugs
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Did any of those references say why they recommended that procedure?

Do you replace the tires on your car every year at Thanksgiving? Or do you replace them when they are worn out? Why don't you replace them every year at Thanksgiving? You'd know that they were in really good shaoe going into winter, wouldn't you?

I don't like to do anything that an expert said to do or a book said to do, unless I understand why they said to do it and only if I agree w/ the rationale.

Replace your queen when she needs replacing. When she is no longer laying enuf eggs.

I think the point was to replace her before she gets to that point, and to maintain a healthy young queen. You don't replace your tires after they blow, do you? You hopefully replace them before they get to that point.

Another reason to replace the queen is if the hive becomes very aggressive, correct?

In my opinion, a yearly replacement seems excessive and expensive. Though i am not against raising my own queen every 2 years to replace her.

Was just asking for reading material to try and get more understanding of this topic.

Thanks

Pablo
 

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I think the point was to replace her before she gets to that point, and to maintain a healthy young queen. You don't replace your tires after they blow, do you? You hopefully replace them before they get to that point.

Another reason to replace the queen is if the hive becomes very aggressive, correct?

In my opinion, a yearly replacement seems excessive and expensive. Though i am not against raising my own queen every 2 years to replace her.

Was just asking for reading material to try and get more understanding of this topic.

Thanks

Pablo
Okay, reading material. there are all sorts of beekeeping books out there. Just as many as there are gardening books. The Hive and The Honeybee comes to mind. Any basic beekeeping book. Roger Morse' A Year in the Beeyard, if you can find it. Diane Samatarro and Alfonse Avitables' book, whose name escapes me at the moment.

Yes, replacement because of aggression.
Of course I change my tire after a blow out. But also I replace them if the tread is too thin. Just like replacing the queen if her tread is too thin. By which I mean, she ain't layin' 'nuf eggs.

So, how do you know when to replace her before she shows signs of needing replacing. Is that they question? If it is, I don't know.

What I do know, is that the bees don't readthe same books or blogs or beesource that you and I do. So, if you want a hard and fast rule about when to requeen, be prepared for the bees to throw you a curve ball every once and a while.

I like your question. I was just trying to see if you had though about it and if you were open to seeing that just because you read something somewhere or heard about it sometime, that maybe it should be suspect. Maybe that is why you asked the question.
 

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So, how do you know when to replace her before she shows signs of needing replacing. Is that they question? If it is, I don't know.

It depends on if you are keeping bees for the fun of it, or if you are keeping bees to make money. If you want to make money, you make decisions based upon dollars.

I believe Brother Adam said that queens consistently lay best in their second year. If you requeen in the summer/fall, the next year should be the peak production year for the queen.

You have a reduced chance of swarming next year with a young queen.

Yes, you may have a queen that looks like she is laying a great pattern now, but she starts pooping out as soon as you close the box, and even if they make it through winter, the bees don't build up in the spring. Fall requeening lessens this possibility.

If you are trying to maximize your profitability, you want to do things which lessen chances of swarming next year, and you want to make decisions that increase your chances of a strong spring build up.

Yes, there will always be exceptions to the rule. There will always be those few hives that build up strong with an old queen and don't swarm. When you are trying to maximize your profits, you don't care about the exceptions though. Those one or two hives aren't the hives that are going to make you your money. The hives that make you money are the average, consistent, and predictable hives. When you focus on those hives, it starts making more sense to requeen.

Right when the flow is ready to hit, some beekeepers will pinch their queen and allow the bees to raise a new queen during the flow. Because of the break in brood rearing, more bees can be making honey, which helps increase your honey crop. By the time the new queen is up and running and you are rearing brood again, the flow is over. You increased honey production, and you requeened at the same time.
 
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