The power of a young queen.

Discussion in 'Organic Beekeeping' started by BjornBee, Apr 10, 2009.

  1. BjornBee

    BjornBee New Member

    Messages:
    1,696
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    In nature, a few things hold true (non AHB areas)...

    1) Bees favor a cavity size a little larger that a deep brood box.

    2) Feral hives in smaller cavities swarm on average 2-3 times per year.

    3) 9 out of 10 feral colonies will swarm every year.

    4) The first queen to leave the hive in a swarm is the old queen.

    5) Nature selects the young queen over the older queen.

    Compare that to what beekeepers traditionally has tried to accomplish...

    1) Keep a queen for as long as possible.

    2) Suppress swarming by artificially enlarging the bee cavity.

    3) Discourage supersedure by clipping, ripping out queen cells, and confining the queen.

    Nature always plays the odds that are in her favor. She dictates that the successful colony is best with a new queen over an established queen.

    I am not suggesting that you should let your queen swarm. I am pointing out what nature shows us time and time again, and what nature favors as the best odds for the perpetuation of bees.

    Did you know in studies that second year queens will have twice the swarm rate than a queen going through her first winter?

    It's hard to replace a good queen. But I also have lowered my winter loss by the mere fact of using first year queens. Mother nature knows the power of young queens. And so should you.... ;)
     
  2. An-Nahl

    An-Nahl New Member

    Messages:
    128
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    so I should order a new one pinch my 2nd year queen?
     

  3. BjornBee

    BjornBee New Member

    Messages:
    1,696
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    It's not always as black and white as that. What we know is a first year queen on average, will outproduce, overwinter better, and swarm less, than a second year queen. The same can be said about a two year queen versus a third year queen and so on. I understand it'd hard to pinch a good producer. But in short, we know that younger queens do better.

    What you want to do, is use good swarm prevention, maximize your honey production, etc. Then after the main flow, do your summer splits, or just simply requeen at that time. Queens later in the spring/early summer are better than April/May queens anyways. It's not about what your queens are doing now, it is about having that same queen go through another winter with no problems. And those odds go down hill with every season.
     
  4. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

    Messages:
    8,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Many commercial beeks requeen in late summer or fall for that exact reason. Young queen winters better and produces better in the spring. And the brood break is during a dearth and not during the flow. Also, less chance of swarming with a 6 month old queen than with a year old one.