Honeybees with capped honey. Photo: University of Arkansas Extension.
A Benton queen cage, left, and a JZ BZ cape, right. Photo: bee-health.extension.org.
Jenny described the poor performance of a hive and asked for guidance, “I have a hive that barely made any surplus honey that I could pull off last year and made no surplus this year. I have tried feeding them during the dearth and this winter, but they seem uninterested. In fact, last time I tried feeding them they were still bringing in pollen. Should I replace the queen?”
The University of Florida Extension shares these comments about queen replacement, “There are many reasons to requeen a bee colony. The current queen may not be in the best condition, you may want to minimize swarming tendencies, or you may have a new nucleus colony.”
For beekeepers, poor brood production is a reason to replace a queen. The lack of brood and worker bees may be the reason for low honey yields so replacing a queen seems to be a solution. Jenny seems to have made a good faith effort to help her hive, but she is failing to find positive results. In this case, a new queen may help with more honey making.
If you want to contact Beehive Buzz, please send your questions and pictures to Keith Hawkins, Area Horticulture Agent (AHA), 337-463-7006 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, you can be on the “beemail” email list by emailing your request to the address above.
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“This work has been supported, in part, by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Renewable Resources Extension Act Award, Accession Number 1011417.”
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