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Author Topic: Commercial re-queening question  (Read 1428 times)

Offline van from Arkansas

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Re: Commercial re-queening question
« Reply #20 on: December 11, 2019, 11:49:31 am »
If the drone passes on his genetic data, the drone immediately dies.  The drones looking for a queen, mature drones, can sense a failing hive and head for greener pastures.  The science is very clear, drones from healthy hives are known for entering foreign healthy hives and are readily accepted.  This is documented by many studies.  Accepted as common knowledge, drone migration, africian, Italian, etc. has been documented so many times by so many authors in so many countries with every known species of Apis mellifera, sp.
Blessings
Van






I have been around bees a long time, since birth.  I am a hobbyist so my answers often reflect this fact.  I concentrate on genetics, raise my own queens by wet graft, nicot, with natural or II breeding.  I do not sell queens, I will give queens  for free but no shipping.

Online Oldbeavo

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Re: Commercial re-queening question
« Reply #21 on: December 11, 2019, 04:11:31 pm »
As this is comment that may not be fact I am open to other opinions.
"The second season queen will slow down her laying as winter approaches earlier than a first season queen."
The reason this is important is that bees bred in Autumn are the pollinators for almonds, we need good hives, 8 frames of bees, to go to almonds.
If a hive slows down too early in Autumn, all we are left with at the end of winter is the geriatrics which are dying off, and so can't make the standard to go pollinating. Due to our climate the bees slow down dramatically in Winter, where up north, same as Florida they can breed bees most of the year is the feed is available.
So we have an artificial selection for hard laying queens that go against their natural instincts.

So do I requeen annually for more winter bees?

Offline van from Arkansas

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Re: Commercial re-queening question
« Reply #22 on: December 11, 2019, 04:34:01 pm »
Mr. Beavo, I always appreciate your post.  Across the planet from me you are.  So I always find your way of bee keeping to be interesting.  I take what you say as fact.  Almonds in Fall sounds strange to me, I always think of February, our Spring and location is in California.

Do you requeen in Fall?  I leave that answer to you, I would be presumptuous to answer.    By the way, are you still Varroa free?
Thanks for your post, always interesting to me.
Cheers
I have been around bees a long time, since birth.  I am a hobbyist so my answers often reflect this fact.  I concentrate on genetics, raise my own queens by wet graft, nicot, with natural or II breeding.  I do not sell queens, I will give queens  for free but no shipping.

Online Oldbeavo

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Re: Commercial re-queening question
« Reply #23 on: December 12, 2019, 06:11:58 am »
Mr Van
The bees bred in Autumn are the bees that overwinter and pollinate almonds in early Spring. (My poor expression has confused the situation) We go to almonds on the 1st of August. So if poor breeding in Autumn the population will be down in late July when we audit our bees for almonds.
On our calender August is the last month of winter (officially) but feels like the first month of spring.
In our area Canola flowers about 7-10th August, while apples and pears are about 20-25th September.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Commercial re-queening question
« Reply #24 on: December 12, 2019, 06:46:36 am »
Oldbeavo, is your Continent still Varroa free? 
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

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Re: Commercial re-queening question
« Reply #25 on: December 12, 2019, 04:05:18 pm »
Hi Ben
At present we are still free of Varroa.
A lot of work is done to try and keep it that way. They have sentinel hives around all the ports for early detection.
All bee keepers are encouraged to do sugar shakes and drone larvae inspection.
I have enough work now without the  extra Varroa would add.
There has been an explosion of amateur bee keeper in our state, last official figures for all bee keepers were 4000+, but only 230 have more than 50 hives.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Commercial re-queening question
« Reply #26 on: December 12, 2019, 07:08:50 pm »
I am glad to hear that the varroa iis being held at bay in your country. Hopefully the new beekeepers will understand just how important it is to do everything possible to keep it that way.  I do not know what the stats are here in America on our  number of beekeepers, but unfortunately the varroa is here to stay along with SHB. What a mess, but manageable.
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline TheHoneyPump

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Re: Commercial re-queening question
« Reply #27 on: December 16, 2019, 04:53:25 pm »
A brief response to the original question. ... it depends ...   Much depends on the business model, specifically if have a program for raising queens in-house or ifbuying/importing queens.
Basically for the in-house queens:
- Let the bees bee bees as best they can bee
- Purposeful re-queen only the hives that have to be. The decision is based on colony health and performance, temperament, and the timing within the annual cycle of the seasons.
- In large apiaries, each queen is not monitored nor managed at a detail level. Each hive is assessed and managed holistically at the colony level. The queen is just one member of the colony, albeit the most important one.  Hive management decisions are made within a minute of cracking the lid, at the hive level, and the beekeeper moves on.
- The bees will often re-queeen themselves without the beekeeper even noticing. In good colonies, good genetics, only when queens are marked will the change of reign be noticed.  In the poor genetics, the poor colonies fall flat during a supercedure period and these are promptly culled by the beekeeper.
- In a commercial environment the queens are pushed hard.  She is done and gone in 2 years.  Her lifespan typically goes like this:  Raised spring/summer 1, winter 1, production summer 2, winter 2, spring 3 she is split / superseded / replaced at least 6 weeks before main flow season.  If she is exceptional, she will survive the spring split and go on to rebuild to a production level hive for the summer.  By the fall she has swarmed or been superseded or the hive has gone queenless and falls flat in September.
- Commercial hive management is merciless, generally.  There is no such thing as -wait and see- stance taken with a hive.  Exception being in small mating nucs.  Queens and colonies are culled ruthlessly.  Only the proven prominent get through to survive.
- This following comment is depended and skewed entirely on the business operating model.  In my personal practice/experience, re-queening commercially has become quite rare.  The practice is to cull, combine, replace at the colony level.  This is done through a continuous program of stocking nucleus colonies.  The method of re-queening by (a single bug in a cage) has become a rare exception applied to a very limited one week window in mid-April in desperation to backstop a season against unusually heavy winter losses to both the main apiary stock and the nucleus colony stock.


Hope that helps, in some way.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2019, 05:23:21 pm by TheHoneyPump »
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Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Commercial re-queening question
« Reply #28 on: December 16, 2019, 09:47:22 pm »
A brief response to the original question. ... it depends ...   Much depends on the business model, specifically if have a program for raising queens in-house or ifbuying/importing queens.
Basically for the in-house queens:
- Let the bees bee bees as best they can bee
- Purposeful re-queen only the hives that have to be. The decision is based on colony health and performance, temperament, and the timing within the annual cycle of the seasons.
- In large apiaries, each queen is not monitored nor managed at a detail level. Each hive is assessed and managed holistically at the colony level. The queen is just one member of the colony, albeit the most important one.  Hive management decisions are made within a minute of cracking the lid, at the hive level, and the beekeeper moves on.
- The bees will often re-queeen themselves without the beekeeper even noticing. In good colonies, good genetics, only when queens are marked will the change of reign be noticed.  In the poor genetics, the poor colonies fall flat during a supercedure period and these are promptly culled by the beekeeper.
- In a commercial environment the queens are pushed hard.  She is done and gone in 2 years.  Her lifespan typically goes like this:  Raised spring/summer 1, winter 1, production summer 2, winter 2, spring 3 she is split / superseded / replaced at least 6 weeks before main flow season.  If she is exceptional, she will survive the spring split and go on to rebuild to a production level hive for the summer.  By the fall she has swarmed or been superseded or the hive has gone queenless and falls flat in September.
- Commercial hive management is merciless, generally.  There is no such thing as -wait and see- stance taken with a hive.  Exception being in small mating nucs.  Queens and colonies are culled ruthlessly.  Only the proven prominent get through to survive.
- This following comment is depended and skewed entirely on the business operating model.  In my personal practice/experience, re-queening commercially has become quite rare.  The practice is to cull, combine, replace at the colony level.  This is done through a continuous program of stocking nucleus colonies.  The method of re-queening by (a single bug in a cage) has become a rare exception applied to a very limited one week window in mid-April in desperation to backstop a season against unusually heavy winter losses to both the main apiary stock and the nucleus colony stock.


Hope that helps, in some way.

This does help Mr HP. Thanks for giving a full in depth look at what is seen and looked for from the eyes of a commercial keeper. Very informative and interesting as well. I thank you for your response.
Phillip


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For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Online Oldbeavo

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Re: Commercial re-queening question
« Reply #29 on: December 17, 2019, 04:05:59 pm »
Very interesting Honey Pump. We have started that if you are in a hive for any reason and find the queen then mark her. The supercedure is relatively high, especially in hives that are not the top performers and you go back to check what they are up to.
We tend to go through most of our hives in early spring and make nucs as swarm control, in this process we will note (write on lid) below average, Fizzy, ageing queen etc. This builds a history for potential requeening.
It is common for an early spring below average hive to get itself back on track, but other don't and are requeened. So in late spring the hives will be assessed and requeened.
We would average 30% over most of the apriaries.
As we are migratory then where bees are in spring can effect apriaries, on group must have swarmed, superceded or wahetever in an area of mean drones as we have requeened 60% of this apriary, mostly due to temperament. Even I put the gloves on to deal with these mongrels.
Poor brood pattern, shotty, erratic, or just not enough brood is a common requeening reason. I know this gets down to a commercial decision, if I wait will they rectify it by requeening, or just do it now and get the hive back into production, we end up with "do it now".
The other question in commercial requeening is what is the take %? What is the % of requeened hives that are not up to standard?
Are you getting good value from your queen purchases?

Offline van from Arkansas

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Re: Commercial re-queening question
« Reply #30 on: December 17, 2019, 07:03:31 pm »
Honey Pump, where ya been.  So good to see ya post!!!  You have certain open my eyes to commercial operations and a different way of bee management.  I only see thur the tired old eyes of a small hobbyist that adore raising bees with focus on my precious queens.  I enjoy your post, HP.

Cheers
I have been around bees a long time, since birth.  I am a hobbyist so my answers often reflect this fact.  I concentrate on genetics, raise my own queens by wet graft, nicot, with natural or II breeding.  I do not sell queens, I will give queens  for free but no shipping.

Offline van from Arkansas

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Re: Commercial re-queening question
« Reply #31 on: December 17, 2019, 07:58:35 pm »
I always requeen if I have a good reason.  Like a failing queen or a hot hive.  I'm just saying routine requeening just because the queen is old is passively selecting against the ability to sense a failing queen.  If they are not sensing the failing queen, I would not wait around for them.

Mr. Bush: I agree natural selection inwhich I believe you are a proponent of regarding honey bees is the apex of nature?s crafting, curtailing creatures for the absolute best vitality which is same as longevity, of any species as weakness is slowly weaned out and strength is directed towards infinite survival of the species.  In short, survival of the fittest to which I absolutely agree.

However, as one species evolves to overcome stress caused by another organism, say a parasite, the parasite also evolves to overcome host evolved defenses.  Thus we have the wax moth and foulbrood discussed in length by Langstroth  in his book the Hive and the HoneyBee, A Bee Keepers Manual, 1850.  The honey bee has yet to evolve natural defenses to moths, foulbrood, despite selecting for survival for the past 150 years.

So natural selection at least with regards to the honey bee is not a cure all, just give it time sort of thing. The loss of the ability for supersedure is your argument if we requeen on a timely basis.  At least that is what I ascertain from your above text.  So I am not so sure about selecting against supersedure as I requeen.  Supersedure is a process by the honeybees that we have little understanding of and selection against or for this phenomenon reminds me of the selection and weaning of honey bees against wax moths.
More later,,,,,
Cheers 


I hate to mention Varroa because requeening is the subject matter.  Hopefully BenFramed will forgive me for changing subject.  There are species of honey bees in Europe that evolved resistance to Varroa.  The catch is those bees have been cultivated for thousands of years.  My point is evolution takes a long time, I doubt requeening will generate bees, or evolve bees, that lose the ability to detect the need for supersedure.

Blessings
Van
« Last Edit: December 17, 2019, 08:19:33 pm by van from Arkansas »
I have been around bees a long time, since birth.  I am a hobbyist so my answers often reflect this fact.  I concentrate on genetics, raise my own queens by wet graft, nicot, with natural or II breeding.  I do not sell queens, I will give queens  for free but no shipping.

Online Oldbeavo

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Re: Commercial re-queening question
« Reply #32 on: December 18, 2019, 06:50:28 am »
Waiting for bees with poor brood, shotty, to supercede is commercially costly. When you wait and nothing happens you get very little honey from that hive, If they do supercede then do I get more of the same as they have used an egg from the poor brood queen.
Is shotty, poor brood pattern (resulting in not enough bees in the hive) hereditry or is it the result of other factors?
I know Chalk brood and EFB will result in poor brood, but even when these are not present the brood pattern is poor then we requeen.

Offline van from Arkansas

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Re: Commercial re-queening question
« Reply #33 on: December 18, 2019, 10:04:50 am »
OldBeavo, well said.  Agreed.

Cheers
I have been around bees a long time, since birth.  I am a hobbyist so my answers often reflect this fact.  I concentrate on genetics, raise my own queens by wet graft, nicot, with natural or II breeding.  I do not sell queens, I will give queens  for free but no shipping.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Commercial re-queening question
« Reply #34 on: December 20, 2019, 12:58:36 pm »
If a colony is failing, I would always requeen.  Waiting likely won't help, though sometimes a queen is new (they already replaced her) and she hasn't hit her stride yet.
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Re: Commercial re-queening question
« Reply #35 on: December 20, 2019, 04:09:17 pm »
If the bees replace the queen or you requeen the hive the new queen is stuck with the brood pattern left by the old queen, eggs beside capped cells etc and so the space to lay is where brood hatches but has capped brood around it.
From a very knowledgeable bee keeper came the advice that if you requeen a hive for poor brood the give it 2 new drawn out frames for her to start to lay in. This will give you a chance to assess your new queen and to let some of the old brood hatch.
You learn something every time you talk with a bee keeper.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Commercial re-queening question
« Reply #36 on: December 20, 2019, 04:13:26 pm »
If the bees replace the queen or you requeen the hive the new queen is stuck with the brood pattern left by the old queen, eggs beside capped cells etc and so the space to lay is where brood hatches but has capped brood around it.
From a very knowledgeable bee keeper came the advice that if you requeen a hive for poor brood the give it 2 new drawn out frames for her to start to lay in. This will give you a chance to assess your new queen and to let some of the old brood hatch.
You learn something every time you talk with a bee keeper.

Excellent advise!
Phillip
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline Troutdog

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Re: Commercial re-queening question
« Reply #37 on: December 27, 2019, 10:11:20 am »
By routine requeening we passively select for bees who can't sense a failing queen and replace her.  So not only do I think it's a waste of money and time, I think it is a really bad idea.  Now if a colony is not thriving and not replacing their queen, I will requeen them.  But I would much rather that they would sense she is failing and replace her.  In nature this is strongly selected for because if they don't they are out of the gene pool.  Any selection that we avoid letting it happen is being passively selected against.
So I struggle with that as I often think the parameters that led to failing queen are still present in hive whatever it was i.e. nutrition nosema
Failing queen hives need some attention on multiple levels.
My new favorite selection criteria is hives that frequent themselves in spring. This is a neat trick or bad queen rearing in july.
Cheers

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Offline van from Arkansas

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Re: Commercial re-queening question
« Reply #38 on: December 27, 2019, 11:01:47 pm »
If the bees replace the queen or you requeen the hive the new queen is stuck with the brood pattern left by the old queen, eggs beside capped cells etc and so the space to lay is where brood hatches but has capped brood around it.
From a very knowledgeable bee keeper came the advice that if you requeen a hive for poor brood the give it 2 new drawn out frames for her to start to lay in. This will give you a chance to assess your new queen and to let some of the old brood hatch.
You learn something every time you talk with a bee keeper.

I agree with Ben Framed, excellent idea.  Thank you again Mr. Beavo.
Cheers
Van
I have been around bees a long time, since birth.  I am a hobbyist so my answers often reflect this fact.  I concentrate on genetics, raise my own queens by wet graft, nicot, with natural or II breeding.  I do not sell queens, I will give queens  for free but no shipping.