Requeening?

I just ordered another package of bees for the 2nd hive I’ll be starting in the spring, but I then wondered if I should also order a new queen for Large Marge’s hive. Most books I have read suggest replacing the existing queen each year, but I wanted to get some opinions from more experienced beekeepers.

Anyone have any strong opinions/suggestions on requeening each year?

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Requeening?

  1. I would keep the queen, if I were you. If you don’t care about your ‘Large Marge’ and only care how to maximize your honey production, yeah, go ahead, kill her! But why not add another package and hive to your collection and leave your existing hive alone? There should be more to raising critters beyond human benefit. I would give them a chance to have a full godgiven life. I will never kill a queen.

  2. Personally, I’ve never requeened unless the hive was queenless but I have heard it argued that in an area with AHB, requeening with known (and docile) genetics will help keep your hives from succumbing to feral AHB colonies in the area.

    Philosophically, I’m with Hem. To me, it’s not about optimizing production but rather about providing a safe environment for bees and hopefully, over time, contributing to local “survivor bee” genetics.

  3. Thanks for your opinions. I had pretty much already decided on letting the hive take care of business without requeening. However, I didn’t want my affection for the anthropomorphised version of Large Marge to cloud my judgement especially if more experienced beeks thought providing known non-AHB genetics was more important in the long run.

  4. Chris

    I also have a large hive (1 nuc 3 sups) that was already on my property when I bought my home. I have not checked it yet (I’m a newbie), but I have decided to requeen if they are particularly nasty when I do open them.

    I will be adding 2 new carni-italian cross hives in early April as well.

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