Still time to raise a new queen?

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malawi2854 

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Is there still reasonable time to raise a queen from egg, and get her mated in time for winter?

I would hazard a guess at yes, assuming we get a bit of nice weather... :confused:
 

plumberman 

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No question ( assuming reasonable weather) yes.

Had a cast couple of years ago in late August that got a queen sorted out and survived the winter quite happily.
 

Winker 

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Is there still reasonable time to raise a queen from egg, and get her mated in time for winter?

I would hazard a guess at yes, assuming we get a bit of nice weather... :confused:
hope so im in the same situation :eek:
 

Mike a 

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Gamble or play it safe.

I think you may be cutting a very fine line trying to raise a queen at this time of year. So many variables to consider - does she mate well, weather, feeding syrup, X number of weeks treating if required, robbing, wasps and lastly hoping the new queen to build up a reasonable sized colony before the end of the season. Chances are the colony will of dwindled down to a few frames by the time she is laying then +3 weeks before any of the new bees emerge. I'm not saying its impossible but my cut off is the end of June for trying to raise a new queen unless I know she is worth the risk (daughter of an exceptional queen) but even still I have plenty of other colonies in case I need to combine so for me the gamble isn't fatal if it fails. If I'm honest taking both of my apiaries in to account over the last two years bearing in mind I live along the south coast and generally we have slightly better weather than most of the rest of the country.

Attempts to raise a queen - 15
Raised virgins - 13
Lost during mating - 1
Failed to mate - 4 (all from the same apiary)
Mated - 8
Requeened again for various reasons - 2

Alternatively
Buying a mated queen who could be laying within a week even if you used a slow release method.
 

aseeryl 

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I was in the same boat last year - and this year, what with the bad weather, a Q from a queen cell that hatched in mid June has only started to lay last week.

If you do try it make sure you can boost the numbers with frames of brood from other hives. the timeline will dictate dwindling numbers, no matter how soon she begins to lay, if she gets that far. Wasps are becoming a problem, especially for weak colonies.
 

Hivemaker. 

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Perhaps i should stop grafting now then, if it's that grim to get anymore queens mated.....makes one wonder how the bees supercede on the heather in late august and manage to get the young queens mated.

Not nioticed any mass eviction of drones yet.
 
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The Riviera Kid 

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I hope that there is still time for a new queen to get going. My favourite queen has been superseded (or died). About 10 days ago the cup was sealed - the colony is very powerful so I don't think that they will dwindle too badly.
 

malawi2854 

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Thanks all for your input. Unfortunately, i don't have a whole lot of choice in the matter - this is to replace a DLQ - already tried introducing a mated queen, virgin queen and sealed queen cell - they rejected the lot.

Frankly, I'm amazed the little blighters are still with us at all - she was laying the occasional worker - but it was VERY few and far between.
I gave them a frame of emerging brood a couple of weeks ago - which boosted their numbers quite nicely - and I've given them a frame with brood at all stages (including new eggs) this weekend - so I'm hoping they'll FINALLY get the idea, and produce a half-decent queen at last.

Sometimes I do despair of the little darlings! :rolleyes:

Maybe we should all post again in a few weeks for an update on how all our queens are getting on! :hurray:
 

Mike a 

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Perhaps i should stop grafting now then, if it's that grim to get anymore queens mated.....makes one wonder how the bees supercede on the heather in late august and manage to get the young queens mated.

Not nioticed any mass eviction of drones yet.
Hi Pete

You are very lucky and live in a very nice part of the UK and of course your patch is flooded with enough drones to mate hundreds of queens on any given reasonable day pretty much.

not worthy

Hopefully I'm wrong and the weather will improve and all will be well, but I still think a bought queen is far better than a home breed queen if there is the slightest chance the weather is going to remain unsettled for the next few weeks.
I know most of us never believe the M.E.T office but they are saying:
UK Outlook for Monday 1 Aug 2011 to Monday 15 Aug 2011:

During the first week of August high pressure should retreat from the southwest of the country with low pressure favoured to lie in the vicinity of the North Sea. This should mean that unsettled conditions are increasingly likely to develop in the east, perhaps extending westwards with time. Rainfall amounts are likely to be around or slightly above average, with sunshine fairly limited and this in turn will lead to generally below average temperatures.
 

malawi2854 

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drstitson - yes, DLQ was removed pre-introduction.

Mike a - that's not looking good really...
Although I would like to try and breed from my own stock if possible - if there is the slightest wobble from them, I'll go down the bought-in route.


Thanks again all.
 

m100 

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A queen mated and laying now won't be producing foragers for another six weeks (3 weeks as an egg/larva/pupa followed by three weeks as a hive bee) , by then all the bees in the hive now will be dead, so you'll effectively be starting a new colony with near zero bees at the end of August.

Taking frames out of other hives will weaken them, in May that might be ok, in Mid July in a crap summer its probably not as the queen wil have slowed down hern her rate of lay enormously. Also open brood needs feeding which can overwhelm a weak hive, leading to chilled brood and chalk brood etc. If the queen is raised from a graft or a test frame etc it'll be the middle to end of September before there are any new foragers. With the current weather I'd guess that drones will be thrown out in the next week or so.

I have a couple of recent artificial swarms, if they aren't laying in another week they will be reunited with the parent hive freeing up spare equipment and reducing the need for feeding going into winter (although I keep a stash of 14x12 and national brood frames with stores)

I had what I thought was some success with August matings last year, out of five that made it successfully through winter, two suddenly became drone layers this May.

So unless there is a desperate reason to keep this colony, and I can't think of one, you'd be better to shake all the bees out in front of an adjacent hive (a couple of feet away) on a warm day and go into winter with stronger colonies (alternatively find the queen and do a paper unite)
 

Hivemaker. 

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With the current weather I'd guess that drones will be thrown out in the next week or so.


Let us know when yours start doing this out of interest,my bees are still laying up drone cells really well,and i have never known them get rid the drones at the end of july.......usually nearer the end of september.
 

m100 

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I still find the odd cell, but all my sacrificial comb on short frames has been laid up with workers for a long while now. I saw a few frames from a 14x12 artificial swarm the other day that were near 100% brood with nearly zero drones.

Of course we might have a fantastic late summer (is there a flying pig smiley?)
 
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My BONES tell me that we are going through another wet summer.... but maybe September and October will be settled and even warm... Halcion days and Indian summers..., the weather seems to have slipped back about 3 weeks here: must be the warm tropical waters flowing around the SW peninsular bathing our golden coastline and lapping gently up the Tamar Valley... it is only gentle warm summer rain after all... Ducks are loving it!!!
 

drstitson 

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"by then all the bees in the hive now will be dead, so you'll effectively be starting a new colony with near zero bees at the end of August"

m100 - in the absence of brood to rear the lifespan of the existing bees will be prolonged (cf winter bees).
 

m100 

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in the absence of brood to rear the lifespan of the existing bees will be prolonged (cf winter bees).
Indeed they will, but its still going to be a tiny colony going into winter, and unless you have banked frames of stores then those bees are going to be knackered by feeding or by foraging if not by feeding brood. They might make it into winter, but have a high possibility of being a winter or spring loss.

On the plus side the varroa count will be low due to the brood break but no doubt some beeks would treat with thymol regardless, putting the queen off laying just when she needs to.
 

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