Open mating last week of September / first week October ....

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RichardK 

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Late August I removed a few of frames of brood / stores from a (for me) scarily populous hive. Not having been wearing my glasses I chose badly and there were apparently no eggs / young larva for them to rear a queen from. So a week ago, as a last chance I gave them a small frame of eggs to work with. Yesterday I took a quick look and found 4 queen cells, 3 capped and across 2 frames (which means they must have physically moved an egg / larva to adjoining frame). To give myself two chances of success, I've moved the frame one just one cell to a mating nuc with stores. I'm guessing they will emerge around next weekend, so 25th - 27th Sept.

What will be interesting will be to see is they manage to open mate at that late time of the year. I think I have a chance, but it's pretty hard to find any information on other bee keepers going through this end September / first week of October. Then of course can they build up (with some help) in time to survive winter.

When I know more I'll update this thread - it may be of interest to people in a similar position in the future.
 

Beebe 

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Somehow it's escalated to seven.
I've got quite a few, very healthy drones with only one thing on their minds, (well, maybe food as well!), but I guess they're a bit far away to be any use to you?

The point is, if we have drones at a latitude of 57.4 degrees north then you must have them at 42.7?
 

drex 

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Even if she does get mated, it is going to be another 4 weeks until workers emerge. They are then going to need a LOT of help if to get through the winter, but then you are in France. I still have some drones but the majority have been chucked out. I think I would have just united, but good luck
 

RichardK 

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Even if she does get mated, it is going to be another 4 weeks until workers emerge. They are then going to need a LOT of help if to get through the winter, but then you are in France. I still have some drones but the majority have been chucked out. I think I would have just united, but good luck
There are a lot of drones around still, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed for that. Being my first year of bee keeping I'm not sure how the season works here, however, the weather is generally pretty good through to Christmas. Winter for us is Jan and particularly Feb.

I could have united, however, I wanted to have a go at this route just to see really. If it doesn't work I can always unite later. I have 2 quite strong hives, so I'm thinking I could help these new nucs by donating a frame of brood at some point at least.
 

RichardK 

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I've got quite a few, very healthy drones with only one thing on their minds, (well, maybe food as well!), but I guess they're a bit far away to be any use to you?

The point is, if we have drones at a latitude of 57.4 degrees north then you must have them at 42.7?
You're spot on. We definitely have drones around too.

As there seems to be so little documented on late mating queens, I'm guessing it's due to getting them strong enough for winter - i.e. it's more hassle than it's worth. Still, it's a learning experience!
 

Ian123 

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I’ve got some recently mated queens doing well. Give it a go you may be surprised. Some very late will turn drone layer over winter though. You can always supplement with frames of brood from other hives. Even if the bees are older they’ll cover any brood she lays up so they will do a job.
 

oliver90owner 

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How many drones do they need to get mated? The only down-side may be the strongest may not be as strong as when there id a glut of drones.

Weather mostly dictates the likelihood of getting mated.

I might duggest it could easily be six weeks before any bees emerge. A week to emergence, a week (or more) to get mated, a couple or three extra days before she lays, three weeks to emergence. Time moves on…
 

RichardK 

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How many drones do they need to get mated? The only down-side may be the strongest may not be as strong as when there id a glut of drones.

Weather mostly dictates the likelihood of getting mated.

I might duggest it could easily be six weeks before any bees emerge. A week to emergence, a week (or more) to get mated, a couple or three extra days before she lays, three weeks to emergence. Time moves on…
I completely agree with everything you say. Being new to this I want to learn, and sometimes the best way is simply by having a go. There are some definite ifs and buts to this, but I'm hopeful of a positive outcome.
 

drex 

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Fair enough. This is not a criticism, just a suggestion. In your early days it might be better to stick with a more 'mainstream' way of doing things, so that you learn to think like a bee, and do what bees do naturally. Then by all means go off and experiment. I let my bees show me the way most of the time, they know better than me.
Starting beekeeping is hard enough anyway without introducing more difficulties.
 

hemo 

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Drones will be about as (SS) superscedure takes place and often a beek has little knowledge until spring when a different Q may be seen. SS though is safer technique for the bees as they have the old Q as insurance. Trying to rear a single Q as a replacement for QL colony is in the lap of the gods from now on in, she may mate and get them thru winter though a smaller colony be prepared to dummy them down or better still as an overwintered nuc. Also don't be surprised if mating late does occur not to see QCs occur in the spring.
 

RichardK 

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Very interesting about the increased possibility of queen cells in Spring.
 

hemo 

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The possibility may be high esp if the colony detects she is poorly mated, if she turns out to be drone layer then time is up for them.
 

Beedogg 

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I did an inspection yesterday, potentially my last full inspection of the season. Found a few drones but also, to my surprise, quite a few drone cells.
 

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