Author Topic: What’s the longest you have kept a queen?  (Read 858 times)

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Offline Green bee

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What’s the longest you have kept a queen?
« on: June 10, 2019, 10:57:39 pm »
 So I was wondering , what’s the longest you guys have kept a queen. I have one queen I’ve had a year now . she’s marked so I know she’s the same queen. She’s a Wayne’s queen and a awesome laying queen. I’ve been lucky enough to get three queens from her for splits. The hive she’s in is my go to hive you might say for resources for other week hives. That being said if she’s still there and strong this upcoming fall should I leave her for the winter or go ahead and replace her before winter. I am kinda of attached to her lol I hate to see her go.
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Albert Einstein

Offline iddee

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Re: What’s the longest you have kept a queen?
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2019, 05:42:57 am »
I never replace a queen by age. I only replace them by their performance. As long as they perform well, they stay. 3 years isn't unusual.
“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”
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Offline tecumseh

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Re: What’s the longest you have kept a queen?
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2019, 06:52:24 am »
I tend to follow Iddees method but will add 'poor disposition' to the list.  I would guess 2 years plus is a good number if the queen gets properly mated < higher probabilities for this in the spring of the year than in the later part of the year.  I have had customer's who have told me they have had queens I sold them (I use to paint those pink) six seasons, but no telling what the average might be.

Offline LazyBkpr

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Re: What’s the longest you have kept a queen?
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2019, 09:20:38 am »
I never replace a queen by age. I only replace them by their performance. As long as they perform well, they stay. 3 years isn't unusual.

   6 years. Testers red dot on her that I had to refresh twice as it was getting worn off...   I found her laying eggs, with her daughter on another frame. They worked together in that hive, and it was a PITA to keep up with them.. then one day she was gone... silently vanished...  i didn't find her body, So, I don't know if she finally just flew away.....
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Offline Jen

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Re: What’s the longest you have kept a queen?
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2019, 01:23:50 pm »
Oh My Gosh! The answers here had me dabbing my eyes, sniff  :D I love queens! All Queens! I'm the queen saver/rescuer.

Personally I have gotten 3 seasons out of one queen that I remember. Mostly I get two full seasons out of my queens, but even that, I will not kill her. I know it's her because, like LazyBkpr, I give her a new pink hat each year.

I never kill a queen that is doing her job, whether she's a laying machine, or a laid back queen. I let the bees decide when she has to go. I will give her a frame of brood and eggs as incentive, it works  ;)

However, over my 10ish years of beekeeping, I have killed two queens to get rid of mean bee genetics. About 6 years ago or so, one hive was So Mean!  that I sucked up that entire colony into our shop vac, and walked away not regretting it a bit!

Follow your heart Green bee  :)




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Offline Lburou

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Re: What’s the longest you have kept a queen?
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2019, 11:05:11 pm »
I still had a queen with a green dot early this year.  She is gone now. 
Lee_Burough

Offline neillsayers

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Re: What’s the longest you have kept a queen?
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2019, 02:35:12 am »
So far, the longest for me is 3 years. Seems to me, rearing queens for longevity is not a bad thing.  :)
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Offline Jacobs

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Re: What’s the longest you have kept a queen?
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2019, 08:08:07 am »
I just went into a hive yesterday and saw that my oldest queen, a Wayne's queen, had been replaced.  She went through 3 full seasons, and this was her 4th.  I have 2 nucs going that will hopefully add more queens from this line.  I have a slow laying 2019 queen that is rapidly earning her way out of 10 frame equipment and into a nuc.  It will be one of the hives I maintain to make getting bees for a temporary observation hive easy.  I can USUALLY find a marked queen on 10 or fewer frames pretty quickly and I feel less guilty about disrupting one of these nucs to get "show bees" even when the weather is not ideal.

Offline Green bee

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Re: What’s the longest you have kept a queen?
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2019, 05:14:30 pm »
 Did an inspection of the hive i mentioned at the start of the thread and theres no sign of my queen. No queen cells open or capped. I guess i could have overlooked her but i didnt find eggs either. O well guess ill check with wally on a new queen.  Should have kept my mouth shut  :yes: i guess if keeping bees was easy everyone would do it lol.
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Albert Einstein

Offline iddee

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Re: What’s the longest you have kept a queen?
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2019, 05:23:20 pm »
I'll be in the bee yard tomorrow around 3. Call in the order before that and tell them if you want a regular or Wayne's queen. I'll pull her and have her waiting when you get there.
“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”
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Offline Green bee

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Re: What’s the longest you have kept a queen?
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2019, 06:47:59 pm »
Thanks iddee, would it be a problem to get a Wayne’s Saturday? I got to come by and drop something off for Keith and that will probably be the first chance I get to get there
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Albert Einstein

Offline iddee

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Re: What’s the longest you have kept a queen?
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2019, 07:56:47 pm »
I'll have to pull her tomorrow and then you can pick her up Sat. I'll be out of town Sat.
“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”
― Shel Silverstein

Offline Green bee

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Re: What’s the longest you have kept a queen?
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2019, 08:24:01 pm »
Ok thanks.
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Albert Einstein

Offline Green bee

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Re: What’s the longest you have kept a queen?
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2019, 10:01:34 pm »
      So I picked a new queen (thanks iddee) I went into the hive for one last inspection before I put in the new queen and found eggs. Some eggs was on the side of the cells and there was a lot of cells passed over that was empty. So I have a new queen in there that’s just started laying. I have a nuc I been wanting to requeen and decided to go that route. We will see in a week or so but I think all is good. The hive must have swarmed and I just missed it , idk still didn’t see any open queen cells but as long as it’s queen right I’m a happy beekeeper  ;D
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Albert Einstein

Offline Lburou

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Re: What’s the longest you have kept a queen?
« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2019, 12:44:56 pm »
Five years ago I grafted form an AI breeder queen.  One of those queens with a green dot was still in the hive this spring.  She was gone last month...5 years in the hive.  :)
Lee_Burough

Offline MudSongs

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Re: What’s the longest you have kept a queen?
« Reply #15 on: July 30, 2019, 12:55:34 pm »
4 years.   Newfoundland hybrid stock.  Some could probably go longer, but I don't like dealing with weak queens or supersecdure situations if I don't have to.
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