Timing queen rearing/splits

How to make queens for yourself, don't be held back by the availability from somebody who is not local to you.
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Allen Newberry
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Timing queen rearing/splits

Postby Allen Newberry » Tue Mar 08, 2016 8:08 pm

When do you guys start your queen rearing/splits? I know it is going to be different based on where you are, but when do you find it to be safe to do so? In my case it seems like half the time I mistime it and it gets cold again.

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Michael Bush
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Re: Timing queen rearing/splits

Postby Michael Bush » Wed Mar 09, 2016 2:08 pm

The first thing I look for is drones flying. The second thing is hives that are at least four eight frame mediums (or two ten frame deeps) full of bees. Then they are strong enough and there are enough drones and the bees are in the mood to raise a good queen.
"Everything works if you let it"--James "Big Boy" Medlin
http://www.bushfarms.com/bees.htm

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Allen Newberry
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Re: Timing queen rearing/splits

Postby Allen Newberry » Thu Mar 10, 2016 2:16 pm

I try to follow that advice when making splits. My issue is when to time splits for the weather. I have to do them early as there is a dearth in the summer. It just seems that somewhere in the middle of the process the cold weather unexpectedly comes back.

lharder
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Re: Timing queen rearing/splits

Postby lharder » Thu Mar 10, 2016 2:37 pm

That is the one advantage to living in a semi desert. Rarely get that solid week of cold and rain by the time swarm season comes around. Am going to use a snelgrove board to make vertical splits for the first time this year. The advantage is the ability to recombine and try again if it doesn't work the first time while not losing too much honey.

herbhome
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Re: Timing queen rearing/splits

Postby herbhome » Thu Mar 10, 2016 8:58 pm

Allen,

I'm wondering the same thing, since we are in the same area. I haven't seen any drones yet and bees are just starting to build up from winter numbers.

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Solomon
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Re: Timing queen rearing/splits

Postby Solomon » Mon Mar 14, 2016 5:06 am

Allen, and other NWArkansas beekeepers,

In good years, I grafted on Spring Break. The seasons are highly variable. In a bad year, I didn't get to graft until mid to late April, and then got snowed on in May. That didn't work very well.

NW Arkansas is the only place for which I have objective dates. It really does depend on your weather. But if you've had a nice warm March, you'll be good to go pretty soon, as soon as the hives are built up.
Solomon Parker, Treatment-Free 14 years, ~24 colony baseline
Treatment-Free Beekeeping Podcast - Parkerbees.com - Treatment-Free Beekeepers Facebook Group

herbhome
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Re: Timing queen rearing/splits

Postby herbhome » Tue Mar 15, 2016 4:24 am

Thanks Solomon

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Allen Newberry
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Re: Timing queen rearing/splits

Postby Allen Newberry » Tue Mar 15, 2016 2:31 pm

Thanks. It has been getting warmer. I have barely had a chance to mess around out in the hives. But, hopefully I'll see some drones soon.


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