Beehive Buzz: Low Honey Yields & Queen Replacement


Honeybees with capped honey. Photo: University of Arkansas Extension.


A Benton queen cage, left, and a JZ BZ cape, right. Photo:

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 Also, you can be on the “beemail” email list by emailing your request to the address above.

“Before you buy or use an insecticide product, first read the label, and strictly follow label recommendations. Mention of trade names or commercial products in this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute endorsement by Louisiana State University AgCenter.”

“This work has been supported, in part, by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Renewable Resources Extension Act Award, Accession Number 1011417.”

2/22/2021 4:15:46 PM
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