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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I hope I can articulate this idea of questioning well enough.

What are your parameters showing need of a new breeding queen, outside of the obvious age/death reason?

Do you then try to purchase what you have in mind or do you pull those traits from what has already breed into your stock? and why do you choose the route that you do?
 

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If you have to wear gloves when working with bees or you have issues with swarming or diseases causing troubles, I think then you should consider trying something new.
Honeycrop of course is important, too, but whom you should make a comparison? To your fellow beekeepers who exaggerate their crops 20%? National statistic average? Hard to say. Therefore I put the other things more value and very often honeycrop comes along when the new queens are raised properly.
 

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Annually before the first flow and if she didn't keep up with her sisters then after honey harvest we replace that particular queen. So all are changed just before the first spring flow. The old queen has got them thru winter and has the spring brood well established and a large work force ready. Then the young queen comes in hopefully more energetic laying like a machine. After honey we look at every box as to who we feel is under performing and replace her to hopefully have a better gathering of fall honey and a larger number of winter bees. We have a summer dearth to put up with so we have that time to get it done. We look at honey production, frames of brood and population. We do it by the yard to be fair as some yards are more productive. Every yard has its few that under performed. Many times we bust them up into nucs with new queens and take them to a yard where they get a little more observation. Spring they are used to replace those spots in the yard that we removed them from.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Honeycrop of course is important, too, but whom you should make a comparison? To your fellow beekeepers who exaggerate their crops 20%? National statistic average? Hard to say. Therefore I put the other things more value and very often honeycrop comes along when the new queens are raised properly.
:lookout: Definitely the glove reason!

Hillbilly, wow is that aggressive, are you purchasing all these?
 

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Why do you go outside of your apiary for a 'breeder queen'?
With not enough life-expectancy left to weed out problem genetics, the only occasion on which I sourced bees from outside the apiary was some years ago and only then in order to rid myself of bees who were - to quote Mike Palmer - intent on "stapling my socks to my ankles".

No imports since that time, and no pressing case to do so as things seem pretty stable right now. But - if any health issues should arise, then I'll certainly bring some new blood in.
LJ
 
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