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How many of you guys re-queen yearly and who only re-queens when she's done?
I have 40+ hives that still have last years queens. I haven't replaced them cause they're doing just as good or better than this years younger queens. I want to make sure they get a good start in Jan.

John
 

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I'm a newbie, but I subscribe to the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" school of thought.

It helps that we have a mild climate, and that the bees have a pretty easy life in this part of the country.
 

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I'm an oldbee and I couldn't agree more w/ the newbee. Fix what's broken. You'll spend less money and time. There may be some beekeepers who requeen annually. suttonbee, do you do that w/ your queencell applications? But I've never been around them.

Requeen the poor ones.
 

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Good question Mike. We won't. But we should, shouldn't we. At least the better ones. We don't need to prolong the poor ones do we? Unless there is a benefit to the genetic diversity, which is something that we are hearing these days.
 

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I certainly dont claim to be "an expert" on this but every queen is replaced every spring in our operation because its cheap, easy, convenient and the brood break is an excellent tool for varroa control. We rarely see drone layers any more. The question, in my mind, is really more about will she last another 12 months than it is about how shes doing today.
 

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"In the wild" will/can a queen last 2 to 3 years??? The mother queen swarms in the spring,,,leaving her genetics + behind,,,,assuming the hive is happy with her(the mother),,,,,they grow,,,,in theory/possibly,,,they could swarm again,,,if not then,,,,then spring,,,,,,the original mother queen would leave with the swarm and leave her genes+ behind again. Again, in theory, this could go on for 2 to three years,, add infinitum:scratch: Am I correct?
If that is a good thing,,,I assume it is,,are we eliminating that trait by re queening "cause we can,,,cause it's easy,cause it is cost effective, cause it is efficient,cause its cheap,, etc etc,,,,,," I'm not condemning,,,I'm asking:)
The thing that goes with that,,,is ,,the drone population from those yearly queens. What's happening there? Like I said,,,I'm asking.

Rick SoMd
 

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How will we select for queens that do last 2 or 3 years or more if we replace every queen every year?
The same way we do it with dairy cows... "we"(dairyman/beekeeper) won't... We'll ask YOU (queen breeder/AI stud) to do it for us and provide us with the resulting queens. The industry will change when the bees allow it on a consistant and reliable basis. Until then we'll re-queen every year. :D
One of the things that the beekeeping industry should learn from other types of livestock is how they handle genetic improvement(nutrition would be the other biggie). With cattle there is a "young sire" program where new blood gets tested. Constant comunication between the genetic supplier and the customer about every aspect of the offspring tells us wheather or not we are making improvement or making more of the same. Customers are willing to change management as the cattle allow them to but they need confirmation that the cattle/genetics will perform.:)
 

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Beeweaver has one year old breeder queens for 3000.00 DOLLARS. Would a person replace her every year. I would use her tell she could draw soical securty:lpf::lpf::lpf:
If I had a large number of hives I would. That way you know you have a fresh young queen to start the year.
 

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Jim how are you replacing your queens?
While making spring splits we kill the old queens and put in a new cell a couple days later. We try to maintain as much genetic diversity as we can by selecting some of our best and mixing in some breeders from outside our outfit.... but not at 3 grand each nothing against B Weaver. Why not just buy a hundred or so from them and select from them if you really think their genetics are that much better?
 

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So, youare finding the queens in each of your, how many hives?, and killing them? Sounds like alot of work. But I guess it works for you.
 

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Are you replacing with artificially inseminated queens? If not,,,I'm not sure your cattle //bees is 100% on. Just MO. Would you breed your cattle to a "happen chance" bull from the wild?? A lot of the queen production is open mating. I see your point ref. "until then" . I'm just not sure the bee industry will arrive where the cattle are in the same way.:)

Rick SoMd
 

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I wonder...with all the talk about queens not lasting even a year. With the "experts" telling us to replace every queen every year...

How will we select for queens that do last 2 or 3 years or more if we replace every queen every year?
I'm not big time heck I'm barely small time but the only queens that I graft from have to have survived atleast 1 winter along with all of the other traits that we all look for.

For me if they can't survive a winter then the rest is useless
 

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We replace queens when we feel she is failing. The "Bull of the Woods" claimed (from the 60's) that the best queens where those with a year of experience. We keep a crude record on the back of the brood chamber, and it sure appears that the queens are not living as long as they used to. I wish I knew why.

Roland Diehnelt
Linden Apiary
 

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There are to many contaminents coming into the hive and being fed to the queen. That affects her ability to produce eggs so she fails.
 

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I replace every other year in the spring and also do a late summer requeening to anything that isn't up to par. Seems to work well and I get two seasons out of the queen. Works well for us. We are starting to do more cell requeening in honey supers in the late summer also. This has worked well and we will expand as we get our cell production up.
 

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I would have to be a lot more committed to find every single queen and replace her in the fall. Besides, some of our best queens this year were on their second year. Queens cells in the supers sounds intriguing though, might give it a try.
 

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half of our outfit is new queens and the other half are one year old queens. we rotate our queens every other year and it works well for us. in these modern times of bouncing bees cross country, hives are under alot of stress. personally, i don't think it matters what breed or stock you are running, these conditions are still harsh on a queen. one could avoid many problems by keeping new queen rotation in your outfit.
 

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Roland my theory is long term exposure to mitesides(especially flavinuate and chomphus). I use to requeen about 60% a yr when I wasnt migratory and double queened hives. I usually removed old queen and put her in nuc box..when she got 3 plus years bye bye. NOw with queens at 20 dollars, I purchase some for stock but use cells...replace failing or unde rperforming queens and requeen about 40-50% a year. To requeen using cell I place cell in hive in cell protector in second box....usually have about 80% success. I determined this by requeening dark bees with yellow and visa versa..about 80% of time 6 weeks later color was changing in hatching brood.
 
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