Northern Queens?

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by ndm678, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. ndm678

    ndm678 Member

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    Is there a good place to get Northern Queens? I posed the same question at my beekeepers meeting.
    I did some internet searching and found a couple of outfits in Penn. and NY that sell northern queens, but I really wanted a bit more northern then that.
    I'm ordering a couple of packages this spring, they will most likely come from Georgia (Italians) or Tennassee (mixed). I want to get them going, then slip a nice northern queen in sometime this summer.
    There is a website for a northern queen bee coalition, but I don't know if its active. There isn't much recent activity.
     
  2. ndm678

    ndm678 Member

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    Just wanted to add, the suppliers I've talked to up here order queens from away.
     

  3. Marbees

    Marbees Member

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    ndm678: I did some internet searching and found a couple of outfits in Penn. and NY that sell northern queens, but I really wanted a bit more northern then that.

    French Hill Apiaries, Vermont is the only place further North I could think of.
     
  4. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    I'm not far from you and the only choices we have for early northern queens would be from overwintered nucs. Local queens are usually not available until mid June and your only other choice is Hawaii or Australia.
    The queens from overwintered nucs would probably come at a hefty price as the seller then has a queenless nuc to deal with, where he could simply let it build up and put it into pollination and earn almost as much.
    I think member Adam Collins is going to try setting up a overwinter nuc situation to try and combat this problem.
     
  5. Marbees

    Marbees Member

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    Perry, he wants to replace original queens during summer time, so it shouldn't be a problem.
     
  6. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    Bees are resilient and being from Maine your winters are not that harsh and southern queens can overwinter well. Get your northern queens and as early as you can and make up splits and take more hives into winter if they all survive and you don't want the extra hives sell the extras off as nucs.
    Northern queens to me means early to shut down slow to get going in the spring the queen doesn't start laying until the pussy willows come out. Yes they are more conservative on the amount of stores consumed but at the expense of having hives with an abundance of bees in the early spring.
     
  7. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    :oops: Oooops! :lol:
     
  8. ndm678

    ndm678 Member

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    Thanks for the good replies.
    No one at my beekeepers meeting (which is in its infancy) knew of anyone overwintering nucs around here. I contacted places that sell nucs, but they combine them before winter, they also tend to order queens from south for the summer.
     
  9. Omie

    Omie Active Member

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    Sounds like it'd be real easy to produce your own 'northern queens' during the summer.
    A thought to consider, if you have at least one hive with a northern Maine queen:
    Let your southern packages get going until you are ready in early summer, then pull the italian queens out and set them up in temporary 3 or 5 frame nucs. 6 days later, go through those queenless hives thoroughly and destroy all queen cells, and then give them a (marked) frame with fresh eggs from any hive you have that has a 'northern' or local genetics queen. They will be forced to make a queen from those eggs. Check them again in 6 days to make sure they made some queen cells from that frame, then leave them alone. (don't bump any queen cells, they are very delicate) You can easily sell off the Italian queens once you see your new queens laying.
     
  10. lazy shooter

    lazy shooter New Member

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    For all of her well thought out and precisely written answers for new beekeepers, I believe Omie is a Northern Queen. That last reply was spot-on good.
     
  11. Ray

    Ray Member

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    The genetics issue can get confusing very fast!
    1) Are the genetics of a musk ox born in a Zoo in California different from those born in wilds of Northern Canada?
    2) Are the hygienic genetics:roll: different from Florida to Maine?
    3) If a hive shuts down brood rearing, during Winter weather, does it matter how long the Winter is, if the Beek
    leaves enough honey? ( F- punctuation!)
     
  12. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    Thanks Ray and nicely stated.

    I would suggest that the management practices of the origin of any packages or queens you might purchase is what will matter more than any singular thing like breed or location. For example if it is your desire to rear treatmentless bees and you purchase either article from someone who treats their bee I myself suspect you will be nothing but disappointed.

    Honey Run apiary produces some very nice new world carnis.
     
  13. ndm678

    ndm678 Member

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    Good point Ray. I wasn't looking for 'the perfect genetic code' for my area. I had some troubles with 'mail order' queens last year. From arriving dead to getting executed only weeks after installing them.
    Maine isn't exactly the epicenter of beekeeping, there really aren't a lot of options as to where you can get queens.
     
  14. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    People in ordering packages want them to arrive early so they have time to build up before the main honey flow, a week or two delay can mean the different between a honey crop or not. Package bee producers live far enough south to have early bees and queen available for when they are needed in the northern areas most years. Some years the weather dose not cooperates and they may get stormy rainy weather or unseasonal cold during the weeks the queens are mating. For the most part the queens supplied with packages are good queens. If there is a problem with the queen and the hive is not building up like you expect change the queen sooner than later. If she is thriving and producing an abundance of brood I would leave her. There is no insurance the new local queen will be any better than the the one that came with the package.
    Most package producers ship extra queens with the large package shipment to the distributor. if you have a queen problem contact who you bought the package from right away and if you can't get the queen replaced ask for the package supplier info and contact him He will be interested where the extra queen shipped went to. We use to get an extra 8 to 10% queens every 10th to 12th package would have two queen in it.
     
  15. ndm678

    ndm678 Member

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    With the exception of the queen that arrived dead. I got the cold shoulder from the sellers I used, so I'm hesitant to use them again. Maybe it was just a bad year for 'mail order' queens. I wanted to let the bees make their own queen, but the gene pool is rather shallow here. The only other bees I know of nearby is the hive that absconded on me day 2.
     
  16. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    Your day 2 abscond was it a package placed on foundation, drawn comb, foundation-less frames, was there any drawn frames present, was it wax or plastic foundation?
     
  17. Hawkster

    Hawkster New Member

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  18. ndm678

    ndm678 Member

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    Wax foundation, no drawn frames were present. They built out about half a frame, released their queen, and got out. I sprayed the foundation with sugar water with lemongrass oil. FYI, the hive that stayed went queenless 2 weeks in. Played phone tag with the supplier, and then their supplier,for about a week. I lost confidence in them and went with another place. Queen #2 lasted about 2 weeks, I found her dead on the front porch. Queen #3 arrived dead, replaced by supplier with Queen #4. She lasted about a month, then disappeared.
     
  19. pistolpete

    pistolpete New Member

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    I'm not sure northern queens are a magic bullet for you. The best bees for you would likely be ones that have survived for many generations in your area. You should hunt for an old time beek in your area who has proven producers/survivors. Then arrange to purchase a queen or a baby Nuc with new eggs from them.
     
  20. Hawkster

    Hawkster New Member

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