Efficient requeening / Easy queen replacement

Beekeeping Forum

Help Support Beekeeping Forum:

jeff33 

Drone Bee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Mar 9, 2016
Messages
1,065
Reaction score
201
Location
Gower, where all the fun happens
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
14 now...and still counting
Re-queening yearly is a bit OTT. How do you propose to choose your breeder queens through that method unless you spend £££s in buying a breeder queen yearly to raise all your F1s?

There is a lot being said in books and elsewhere about the potential benefits of re-queening yearly but to be honest I am yet to see it in person. I haven't noticed any difference in swarming tendencies between hives headed by 1st year queens and 2-3rd years queens and neither have I noticed any decrease in brood production, apart from 2 queens that run dry after their 3rd season and had to be replaced.

I personally will change every 2 years and if a queen is very good she will go in a nuc and used for breeding the following year. The only queens changed every year are those culled for not meeting the 'standards'.
 

Biodlaren 

New Bee
Joined
Aug 9, 2019
Messages
11
Reaction score
4
Location
Sweden
Hive Type
langstroth
With 30 hives you should be able/proficient in finding queens....
Yes, I know that after 13 years with bees I should be proficient enough to find the queen in no time. But I'm not. For example, early last spring I tried to find a marked queen in a smal underdeveloped 5 frame nuc. After half an hour I gave up. Same thing a week later. Yet another week later I was finally able to find her. She had a glowing dot on her back and a sneer on her face.

Trying to unite two queenright colonies is going to result in, not only the queens fighting, but all the workers too - your hope that the young queen will win the fight is also just that , a hope, and as we know there are two hopes in the world, Bob and No
I know this is not the most safe way to go, but if I wouldn't need to look for the queen, much time and pain is saved.
I use to by mated queens from respected breeders and produce daughters of them.
 

ericbeaumont 

Drone Bee
Joined
Sep 23, 2010
Messages
1,291
Reaction score
786
Location
North London, West Essex and Surrey
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
70
queen in a smal underdeveloped 5 frame nuc. After half an hour I gave up.
I've done that numerous times.

With fewer bees the temptation to look at bees is irresistible, when a better method is to scan a frame in a rapid pattern looking for a difference, in which case bees are not examined.

On one occasion a queen in a double-brood colony had to found and despatched; several others had a go at finding her. I ran through the boxes several times and then removed and separated all the frames before I found her, walking along the rebate on the bottom of an empty box. Time: nearly two hours!
 

Antipodes 

Drone Bee
Joined
Mar 24, 2019
Messages
1,191
Reaction score
432
Location
Tasmania
Hive Type
langstroth
Yes, I know that after 13 years with bees I should be proficient enough to find the queen in no time. But I'm not. For example, early last spring I tried to find a marked queen in a smal underdeveloped 5 frame nuc. After half an hour I gave up. Same thing a week later. Yet another week later I was finally able to find her. She had a glowing dot on her back and a sneer on her face.


I know this is not the most safe way to go, but if I wouldn't need to look for the queen, much time and pain is saved.
I use to by mated queens from respected breeders and produce daughters of them.
I agree with Eric. I will add that practice makes permanent, not necessarily perfect. Every time you look in the hive and take half an hour to find the queen, you are practicing your mistakes. You end up getting really good at not finding the queen.
Practice properly by going for the most likely frame, remove it slowly and carefully and scan quickly on one side and then the other and only look for the queen as per Eric's advice above.
 

Courty 

House Bee
Joined
Jul 28, 2018
Messages
125
Reaction score
11
Location
Sheffield
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
13
I've done that numerous times.

With fewer bees the temptation to look at bees is irresistible, when a better method is to scan a frame in a rapid pattern looking for a difference, in which case bees are not examined.

On one occasion a queen in a double-brood colony had to found and despatched; several others had a go at finding her. I ran through the boxes several times and then removed and separated all the frames before I found her, walking along the rebate on the bottom of an empty box. Time: nearly two hours!
I have a queen to find and dispatch on The Hive From Hell, on double brood and couldn’t find her last year on numerous occasions. I’ll check the rebate on the bottom of the box first, thanks for the tip! :)
courty
 

piggy 

New Bee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Jan 14, 2012
Messages
80
Reaction score
2
Location
Devon
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
40 plus nucs
what about using a shaker box {brood box with q e underneath. As used by mike Palmer & Ian Steppler
 

Kirbygrip 

New Bee
Joined
Oct 14, 2017
Messages
10
Reaction score
10
Location
Uk
Hive Type
none
I just watched the BIBBA talk by Tony Jefferson on ‘Never waste a Queen cell’. He said something I hadn’t heard before - if introducing a Q cell to a queenless nuc, the queen once emerged and mated would not lay until all the brood from the previous queen had hatched. Also if you checked on the newly mated queen but thought she might be unmated because you saw no eggs, then put in a test frame of eggs, she would not lay until all of that brood had hatched and therefore might never lay as too much time had passed. Can anyone here confirm this?
 

madasafish 

Queen Bee
Joined
Apr 10, 2010
Messages
9,709
Reaction score
996
Location
Stoke on Trent
Hive Type
langstroth
Number of Hives
6 to 8 Langstroth jumbos, a few Langstroth and National nucs.
I just watched the BIBBA talk by Tony Jefferson on ‘Never waste a Queen cell’. He said something I hadn’t heard before - if introducing a Q cell to a queenless nuc, the queen once emerged and mated would not lay until all the brood from the previous queen had hatched. Also if you checked on the newly mated queen but thought she might be unmated because you saw no eggs, then put in a test frame of eggs, she would not lay until all of that brood had hatched and therefore might never lay as too much time had passed. Can anyone here confirm this?

It's all about timescales .
An emerged queen takes approx 5-7 days before she goes on mating flights and up to a week or more before she lays.

Capped brood takes 12 days from capping to emergence.

So Tony Jefferson was correct.
 

Erichalfbee 

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
21,418
Reaction score
3,170
Location
Ceredigion
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
7
I just watched the BIBBA talk by Tony Jefferson on ‘Never waste a Queen cell’. He said something I hadn’t heard before - if introducing a Q cell to a queenless nuc, the queen once emerged and mated would not lay until all the brood from the previous queen had hatched. Also if you checked on the newly mated queen but thought she might be unmated because you saw no eggs, then put in a test frame of eggs, she would not lay until all of that brood had hatched and therefore might never lay as too much time had passed. Can anyone here confirm this?
This bit is absolutely wrong. The queen will lay as soon as she is mature enough and has mated. Very often introducing a frame can kick start a "reluctant" queen
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

Queen Bee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Mar 30, 2011
Messages
26,171
Reaction score
3,712
Location
Glanaman,Carmarthenshire,Wales
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
Too many - but not nearly enough
I just watched the BIBBA talk by Tony Jefferson on ‘Never waste a Queen cell’. He said something I hadn’t heard before - if introducing a Q cell to a queenless nuc, the queen once emerged and mated would not lay until all the brood from the previous queen had hatched.
Also if you checked on the newly mated queen but thought she might be unmated because you saw no eggs, then put in a test frame of eggs, she would not lay until all of that brood had hatched
an anyone here confirm this?
No - that's absolute rubbish, it's usually because by the time the queen has mated the brood will have emerged anyway - nothing to do with a queen being reluctant to lay alongside an old queen's brood.
 
Top