I guess ill find out got a colony drawing queen cells as we speak
According to the newly released book "SWARM ESSENTIALS" by Stephen Repasky (Wicwas Press)Would that be mated after the Solstice or grafted and mated after the Solstice?
I had to snicker at this comment due to my personal results with May queens this year. Most of them ended up dead. Not what I would consider better mated at the very least. I will be able to compare to June queens in a couple of weeks.I would think the best queens would be the ones that mated around May or June here (YMMV) since there seems to be a ton of drone that time of year. My bees seem to make a ton of drone at first and after that not as much. I think the reason that Georgia package bees stink (no offense to the Georgia beeks on the board meant) is that the queens are breed with too few drones. I would think that if there was a decent amount of drones they would produce exceptional queen bees.
Now this makes perfect sense to me! If the queens are raised with a good flow or fed well at least, then given access to good healthy Mature Drones to mate with, it would stand to reason that the queens would be better queens all around... As Michael B points out, queens raised early are not well fed and don't have enough mature drones to breed with.. It takes 35 days for a drone to mature to readiness, that would mean the big producers are having to start drone rearing in FEB in most cases to get enough to take care of the amount of queens being produced.. Is that really an ideal way to get them mated??? Don't think so myself.. IMOI don't know if there is anything "magical" about the solstice, but the bees are more inclined to raise queens, there are more drones for them to mate with, and there is often a flow so the queens are well fed about that time. Queens raised early are not well fed and are not well bred (not enough drones and bad flying weather).