Beekeeping isn’t always the most straightforward hobby, as it comes with making controversial decisions for your hive. Because there’s more than one way to do things, every beekeeper may tell you something different. As a result, you may become overwhelmed with information. We encourage you to find your favorite way to do things to avoid harboring multiple opinions. Requeening is a divided topic among beekeepers; here are a few important things beekeepers should know about requeening a hive.
Requeening Is an Important Process
As a beekeeper, you should consider requeening your colony every few years. Because colonies swarm as a form of population reproduction, requeening is an incredibly helpful and important process. When the colony’s population gets too large for the space, half of the workers and the existing queen will leave the hive to find a new home.
As a beekeeper, you can keep your colonies from swarming by splitting them manually, but you’ll need a new queen for one of the new groups. With that said, requeening benefits your bees by providing a great way for your colony to reproduce without losing half of your bees.
Introducing a New Queen Isn’t Difficult
Despite popular belief, this process isn’t entirely difficult. Although you can release a new queen into the hive directly, the workers may see her as a threat and kill her. With that said, an indirect approach is best. Here are a few different ways to introduce the new queen indirectly:
- If you raise your queens, you’ll need a queen cage. It’s a small compartment to keep the new queen safe from the rest of the colony. Gradually, the rest of the bees will become familiar with her presence.
- If you buy your queens, they usually come in a box that goes directly inside the hive. However, there is a small section of the box that the rest of the bees will eat through. They’ll accept the new queen into the hive in the short time they take to eat through it.
You Can Do This Almost Anytime
Believe it or not, there’s no specific time of year that you should requeen your colony. In fact, you can do this almost anytime that it’s still warm outside. If you want to requeen your colony in the summer, you can do so. On the other hand, you can also requeen during the early fall. It’s never a good idea to disrupt the hive during the cold months, as they’re already in their most vulnerable state.
It Can Increase Hive Productivity
The queen has one important job within the hive—lay brood to increase population numbers. However, as a queen ages, she becomes less productive. Even if she’s still doing her job, it may not be as efficient, resulting in decreased honey production. Consider replacing her with a younger queen to ensure your hive stays productive.
Whether you raise them yourself or you’re looking for mated queen bees for sale, you can be successful when it comes to requeening your hive. After learning a few things beekeepers should know about requeening a hive, you can create your own routine that works best for you and your colony.