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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey y'all,

I was just wondering what everyone thought about re-queening hives in the fall? If you tried it how has it worked? Did it cut down on swarming in the spring? Raise your own queens or buy mated queens? Any and all experience welcomed.

I've read differing opinions on the topic and would like to see y'alls ideas, experiences, trials from anyone on the forum with experience in this practice.

Thanks!
 

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What are your thoughts on re-queening in the Fall?
 

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I personally bought nucs that were from feral lineage, bred for disease tolerance and foraging ability, among other qualities.
To buy a new queen would be to dilute that line. Although it will take longer than buying a mated queen, I feel its worth it.
I don't know the implications of requeening in the fall and its affects on swarming, maybe a more seasoned beek can answer that portion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
shinbone, I haven't formulated any thoughts on re-queening in the summer or fall because I've never done it.

I've read that some folks do it every year so their hives start the spring with a young queen. I've also read that this greatly reduces the urge to swarm.
 

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I'll be re-queening in about a week and a half. Right now I have 2 April packages, one with the original
"Georgia" queen and the second with a supersedure queen. I'll be replacing them with local survivor stock queens from a local Master Beekeeper in order to hopefully increase Winter survivability, and reduce the swarming instinct in the Spring. I understand that it is no "Magic Bullet" and I will still have to take proper anti-swarming precautions. I also have to ensure that I have healthy bees going into Winter, adequate natural and supplemental feed if necessary, etc.etc. All of these steps can make a difference because we can control them. Other factors that we have little to no control of can enter the picture. I'm just trying to minimize losses by doing my part.

According to Stephen Repasky, author of "Swarm Essentials:"

"Observations have shown that re-queening a colony with a queen that was raised and mated after the summer solstice of the previous year swarm less than queens that were raised prior to the summer solstice. These young queens are vigorous layers and are still young enough to produce plenty of queen substance to keep the swarming impulse to a minimum."

This appears to be a major reason that annual Summer/Fall re-queening is suggested by many folks that know infinitely more than I do.
 

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If a queen is not doing well, then I would re-queen.

Otherwise, unless you are a large scale commercial beek raising your own queens which excell in your locale, it seems to me automatically re-queening in the Fall would not be worth the cost both in dollars and time. Addtionally, yearly re-queening as a matter of course eliminates the chance to discover and propagate your survivor queens and thereby improve your apiary genetics (an issue which may not apply to the smaller apiarys).

I've never done it, though, so those are just my thougths.

--Randall
 

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I do it but not the way that your referring to. I tend to split my hives after the summer solstice up until the first of Aug. I let them raise their own queens.
Most of the time I'll pull the queen and a few frames and put in a nuc. This will overwinter in a 10 frame deep. The hive goes into winter with a new queen.
The old queen will be in two deeps by the time blackberries bloom and I usually pull her again.

By bringing the old queen into spring in a single deep and adding a box I can move frames up and keep the broodnest open until its late enough for the hive to raise a queen.

Once I left a hive alone and just added supers like most do. The hived swarmed. This is the only hive I've ever had swarm.
I rekin this method works for me.

The two things that cause bees to go into swarm mode the most is congestion and the age of the queen.
Happens that these are the only two factors we have any control over.

As a byproduct of my swarm prevention methods I cause every hive to draw me ten deep extra combs. They will fill these with honey as a general rule which I extract / or not and use to beef up my nucs in the fall.
 

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I sort of requeen in the fall.. I raise queens, put them in nucs, make sure they are doing well before combining to a hive that had an older queen..
Older queen.. I replaced two queens this year that were four.. White paint/marked They started their own nucs, and nucs were combined with their hives.. Next batch of queens I replaced both of them.. not because they were failing.. they had both nucs well under way and were still laying well, but 4 yrs is pushing my luck.
I got them as 1 year old overwintered nucs.. I managed them for three years. They struggled a little in the winter, but always pulled through and came back fast when the weather turned.
Fresh new queens in the fall, will come out laying like a spring queen, and can make a good strong hive going into winter, while spring queens and older will often be throttling back their laying.
 
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