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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Your favorite queen supplier?

Looking to get some queens for my yard this year. I’ve run all local survivor stock since the beginning, and would like to compare what I have to what else is available. I’ve raised my own, and will continue to do so, just want to see if I’m on the right track. I’m looking for honey production primarily. In Ohio, would like them in April if possible, our first swarm date is usually mid April. I treat when the hive needs it.
 

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Re: Your favorite queen supplier?

The two that I would recommend have already sold out until June. You might be a bit late. I do have an Olvarez (OHB) Italian queen I picked up in August seems to be doing really well.
 

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Re: Your favorite queen supplier?

My 2 cents, I gave it a go this year on 15 hives. Every one of them swarmed even with weekly checks...
i think you'll get more milage in terms of honey production by cracking this nut vs. trying new queens.

your plan about shaking the bees down into an empty deep and making them start a new broodnest is something i've done these past two seasons and it has worked very well.
 

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Re: Your favorite queen supplier?

As a swarm control measure...? Seems like a sledge hammer when a only a slight nudge should be required, yes?
i started doing this after reading about our canadian friend ian describing his use of the method.

that, plus i had noticed prior to forcing the issue that most colonies were migrating the nest down into the empty deep on their own anyway. the majority were prevented from swarming even without the shake down, but not all.

it sounds like a sledge hammer but it's really more of a nudge, pretty much coaxing them into what they were tending to do anyway. the broodnest pretty much stays intact but just has an excluder running through it.

the beauty is the timing works out so that as the brood emerges in the boxes above the excluder space becomes available for incoming nectar off the main spring nectar flow.

by the time the bottom deep gets full of brood the boxes above the excluder get very full of honey, the main flow is winding down, the summer dearth is not far off, and most colonies have turned the corner on swarm ambition.
 

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Re: Your favorite queen supplier?

My favorite queens supplier is my right hand grafting from my best stock.. Easy on the wallet and have just as good results .:lpf:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Squarepeg, yeah, that plan didn’t go so well for those hives last spring. Learned a lesson the hard way, but now I know it.

Mostly I wanted queens earlier than I can make them for some splits, but looks like most places are already out of early ones. When I got into this I never wanted to buy bees. I don’t have to, I’ve got plenty of hives. This idea is just a product of sitting in January cold and dreaming of sunny days and filling boxes, and wondering how my mutts compare to possibly more “refined” stock.

Last year I had great success grafting, and I’ll do that again.
 

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understood beebeard. mistakes have been a good taecher for me too! :)

if you have time between now and spring to read walt wright's manuscript you may find it worthwhile:

https://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?348163-pdf-version-of-walt-wright-s-manuscript

not all may apply to you, but most of what i learned about swarming and how to prevent it came from there, especially with regard to recognizing some of the signs that precede the initiation of swarm cells.

splitting will help prevent swarming, but also decrease production per hive. it's hard to beat the honey yield of a strong non-swarmed colony.
 

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You could always check Blue Ridge Honey Company....they have a website. They use breeders from Sue Cobey and Joe Latshaw. I believe that Latshaw's stock originates in Ohio.
Also, Johnny Thompson with Broke T Apiaries in Mississippi. He does Italian and Carniolan VSH.

Edit: I think Blue Ridge is pickup only....probably not practical.
 

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Not sure if this is a real concern for hobbyist's (or commercial) or not but I have 3 hives and all 3 hives started with queens from different (semi local) sources. I did this to keep some genetic diversity. There are enough other bee hives in my area that there is probably already diversity, but if you are isolated this may be something to consider.
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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>My favorite queens supplier is my right hand grafting from my best stock.. Easy on the wallet and have just as good results .

In my experience the results are almost always better when you raise your own from your own good stock.
 

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i like lappe's bee supply. 3 or more ship free. the queens are oliverez and they ship from 1/2 way across the country closer. no one is better at getting them out the door on the day you want. they are great to deal with .
 

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C. F. Koehnen again. Got a package last year with queen and a queen for split. Both hives doing great as of today and up until late fall worked them in shorts and that's it. Call them my sweet bees. Got survivor hive off in the pasture. Dont open them up without full PPE and a brush fire!!lol
 

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Now that I have my order in, I like William Carpenters mite biters out of Frostproof Fl. They winter well here and are not mite candy like so many store bought queens.
 
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