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Requeen or Not

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  • mbernice86
    Last spring/summer my father and I collected 5 swarms from a feral hive that has been in the wall at my home constantly since 1994. We combined the last two
    Message 1 of 5 , Mar 3, 2011
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      Last spring/summer my father and I collected 5 swarms from a feral hive that has been in the wall at my home constantly since 1994. We combined the last two boxes in the fall fearing they would not have an adequate winter store. Recent warm days have revealed all 4 hives have survived the Indiana winter and we have started feeding.
      My father thinks we should consider requeening the hives as was suggested at a bee school we attended. Why exactly, I'm not sure. I am not so keen on the idea. My thought is we have a strain of bees that is hardy, healthy and have been easy to work with so why chance messing it up unless a problem presents itself.
      Being brand new to all this, I'd love to hear other's thoughts on this. Is there any reason to requeen just because the bees were feral?
      Bernice
    • roger g
      I would not re-queen unless the early one and she showed signs of poor brood patern. all the later ones would have been young queens if they were from the same
      Message 2 of 5 , Mar 4, 2011
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        I would not re-queen unless the early one and she showed signs of poor brood patern. all the later ones would have been young queens if they were from the same collony roger

        --- In Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com, "mbernice86" <mbernice86@...> wrote:
        >
        > Last spring/summer my father and I collected 5 swarms from a feral hive that has been in the wall at my home constantly since 1994. We combined the last two boxes in the fall fearing they would not have an adequate winter store. Recent warm days have revealed all 4 hives have survived the Indiana winter and we have started feeding.
        > My father thinks we should consider requeening the hives as was suggested at a bee school we attended. Why exactly, I'm not sure. I am not so keen on the idea. My thought is we have a strain of bees that is hardy, healthy and have been easy to work with so why chance messing it up unless a problem presents itself.
        > Being brand new to all this, I'd love to hear other's thoughts on this. Is there any reason to requeen just because the bees were feral?
        > Bernice
        >
      • Mike S
        ... hive that has been in the wall at my home constantly since 1994. We combined the last two boxes in the fall fearing they would not have an adequate winter
        Message 3 of 5 , Mar 4, 2011
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          --- In Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com, "mbernice86" <mbernice86@...> wrote:
          >
          > Last spring/summer my father and I collected 5 swarms from a feral
          hive that has been in the wall at my home constantly since 1994. We combined the last two boxes in the fall fearing they would not have an adequate winter store.   My father thinks we should consider requeening the hives as was suggested at a bee school we attended.

          The reason for requeening each year is because the beekeeper has put the queen through a lot of stress during her short lifetime.  This is typically the case when the bees are used for consecutive pollinations through the year.  Most hobby beekeepers can keep their queen for two years or so, "IF" the queens were robust when emerging and had good mating flights.  There are a lot of things to consider when evaluating a queen.  There are some queens used for breeder queens which have been viable for five or six years.  But.... they were not placed under a heavy workload of laying for copious amounts of worker bees.

          In your case, I would not trade for the characteristics you've mentioned for unknown traits you get when you buy queens from someone else.  It sounds like you have good survival traits, good gentleness traits, and good wintering traits in the feral population in your area.  Not sure about honey production, although they've carried through the winter this last year.  That's why a lot of beekeepers mark their queens, so that they can follow each queen to determine how good she is.  If you decide to mark the queens you have, you should use blue to indicate last year's queen production.  The only questionable queen would be with the very first swarm you got.  That queen would probably be the colony's queen from some previous year.  Go with what you have until/unless they prove to be not what you are looking for in your bees.   A queen in the hive is worth two in breeder's cages.

          Mike in LA


          .


        • peter haywood
          Don`t do it Bernice.  They`re up S**T creek without a paddle, you`re not.  They`d like you to be the same as them.  Your instincts are right.  You have a
          Message 4 of 5 , Mar 4, 2011
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            Don`t do it Bernice.  They`re up S**T creek without a paddle, you`re not.  They`d like you to be the same as them.  Your instincts are right.  You have a good strong strain of bee which hopefully can survive unaided.  Value it like gold. 
            Have a read of Seeleys work on the Arnot forest bees and don`t put too many on the same site.
            Best wishes
                                  Pete H.   N. Wales.  UK


            From: mbernice86 <mbernice86@...>
            To: Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Thu, 3 March, 2011 14:18:04
            Subject: [Beekeeping] Requeen or Not

             

            Last spring/summer my father and I collected 5 swarms from a feral hive that has been in the wall at my home constantly since 1994. We combined the last two boxes in the fall fearing they would not have an adequate winter store. Recent warm days have revealed all 4 hives have survived the Indiana winter and we have started feeding.
            My father thinks we should consider requeening the hives as was suggested at a bee school we attended. Why exactly, I'm not sure. I am not so keen on the idea. My thought is we have a strain of bees that is hardy, healthy and have been easy to work with so why chance messing it up unless a problem presents itself.
            Being brand new to all this, I'd love to hear other's thoughts on this. Is there any reason to requeen just because the bees were feral?
            Bernice


          • bencobb13
            ... don t requeen you have survivor genes there - that s what we look for. local acclimatized bees. that is number one in the game.
            Message 5 of 5 , Mar 4, 2011
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              --- In Beekeeping@yahoogroups.com, "mbernice86" <mbernice86@...> wrote:
              >
              > Last spring/summer my father and I collected 5 swarms from a feral hive

              don't requeen you have survivor genes there - that's what we look for.
              local acclimatized bees. that is number one in the game.
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