Is15th August too late

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GaryH

New Bee
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May 8, 2023
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Location
Preston
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National
Number of Hives
4
I’m in Lancashire. Is Mid August too late for Virgin Q to mate and get my only colony through winter? Or should I buy an F1 Buckfast ?
 
I picked up a swarm on Sunday so the bees obviously think there is still time.
 
I’m in Lancashire. Is Mid August too late for Virgin Q to mate and get my only colony through winter? Or should I buy an F1 Buckfast ?
Do you have a virgin queen or are you hoping to raise one from scratch? If you're talking about buying a VQ then i would spend a few quid more and get a mated one from a reputable queen breeder. Less risk of poorly mating - especially with the weather. No risk of not returning from the mating flight.

Why gamble if its your only colony? 40 quid verses 150 / 200+ for a nuc in spring.
 
My nuc with the VQ is empty, looks like they have absconded with her.
 
Get a mated queen in there of you must ... personally I wouldn't at any time in August and id just join them with a weaker hive but that just my preference , everyone is different I suppose
 
I came back from a 13 day holiday and the hive had 12 QC’s I reduced to one. A week ago so she should have emerged and could mate in this forecasted good weather. I had drones in my hive which could indicate the status of other local colonies.
I have a opportunity to buy a colony on 11 frames for about twice the cost of a buckfast inc post ( my other option)
Or let my bees get on with it? The Himalayan Balsam is in full flower near me but I have very little brood atm.
 
I came back from a 13 day holiday and the hive had 12 QC’s I reduced to one. A week ago so she should have emerged and could mate in this forecasted good weather. I had drones in my hive which could indicate the status of other local colonies.
I have a opportunity to buy a colony on 11 frames for about twice the cost of a buckfast inc post ( my other option)
Or let my bees get on with it? The Himalayan Balsam is in full flower near me but I have very little brood atm.
Personally I'd get the other colony at that price and let the other get on with producing a queen.
The weather is set fair for a week or 2. Then you'll have 2 colonies going into winter so if you lose one all is not lost .
 
If you like the local genetics let them get on with it. If not buy in a known mated queen. Being greedy I would take the other colony as well if I knew how old the queen was and her origins. You could always think about combining colonies anyway and or think about making a nuc up for overwintering.
 
If you like the local genetics let them get on with it. If not buy in a known mated queen. Being greedy I would take the other colony as well if I knew how old the queen was and her origins. You could always think about combining colonies anyway and or think about making a nuc up for overwintering.
Exactly What is was going to suggest.

Cheap colony, at any time = 👍

So long as you have the equipment available, go for both.
 
Do you have a virgin queen or are you hoping to raise one from scratch? If you're talking about buying a VQ then i would spend a few quid more and get a mated one from a reputable queen breeder. Less risk of poorly mating - especially with the weather. No risk of not returning from the mating flight.

Why gamble if its your only colony? 40 quid verses 150 / 200+ for a nuc in spring.
So I’ve bought a queen and she arrives on Tuesday. Meanwhile (I’ve not been into the hive) the capped QC will have emerged. The Virgin may have taken her mating flight. And returned.
My plan is to make up a separate nuc with the new Q making sure I do not move the VQ or any QC’s into the nuc. Although finding the VQ will be difficult.

Is this a good plan?
 
Do you have a virgin queen or are you hoping to raise one from scratch? If you're talking about buying a VQ then i would spend a few quid more and get a mated one from a reputable queen breeder. Less risk of poorly mating - especially with the weather. No risk of not returning from the mating flight.

Why gamble if its your only colony? 40 quid verses 150 / 200+ for a nuc in spring.
Thanks. My new mated buckfast Queen arrives on Tuesday
I’m pondering whether to make up a nuc with her. Or find and kill the virgin/recently mated queen in my hive and introducing.

What do you advise
 
Thanks. My new mated buckfast Queen arrives on Tuesday
I’m pondering whether to make up a nuc with her. Or find and kill the virgin/recently mated queen in my hive and introducing.

What do you advise
I do the nuc method as you can control the age of bees that are doing the acceptance.
 
Thanks. My new mated buckfast Queen arrives on Tuesday
I’m pondering whether to make up a nuc with her. Or find and kill the virgin/recently mated queen in my hive and introducing.

What do you advise
What are you working within? How big is the colony that may have a virgin queen? Have you definitely got a queen in there?

Did you buy the other colony? If so how strong is it? Could these be split? thinking you may find it easier to find their queen to prevent an accident with 2 queens if you cant find the VQ. They should also have younger bees.

I would do a split and add the new mated queen in there. Leave the VQ with the stronger colony and if she doesn't pan out you can unite.
 
What are you working within? How big is the colony that may have a virgin queen? Have you definitely got a queen in there?

Did you buy the other colony? If so how strong is it? Could these be split? thinking you may find it easier to find their queen to prevent an accident with 2 queens if you cant find the VQ. They should also have younger bees.

I would do a split and add the new mated queen in there. Leave the VQ with the stronger colony and if she doesn't pan out you can unite.
Thanks for the note back much appreciated.
 

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