Treat your new queen with respect. You don’t need to do anything ‘extra’ in caring for your new virgin queen. Points to note: please keep your queen out of the sun, out of draughty places, away from household sprays (this includes standard kitchen spray and wipe, fly spray, insect repellent dispenser). Treat her gently.
As with all creatures, it’s best to leave each species in their own environment. Ideally, if you can introduce her to her new colony on the same day as you receive her, it is best for her. In a situation where you will be requeening over a couple of days, the virgin queens will be totally fine, but is highly recommended to introduce her to her new colony by within 3 days of arrival. If possible, split your orders to get smaller numbers of queens on the days that suit you. This way you can be reassured you are introducing a newly hatched queen. There is no charge for freight, and smaller orders are welcome. Point to note: as long as there is candy to eat, water for hydration given and she’s in a suitable environment…your queen will live for a long time (maybe a couple of weeks). But remember…your queen will mate between day 4 – day 16, so her success rate (and yours) will decrease rapidly if you don’t introduce as soon as you can.
Typically, she will go on her mating flights between day 4 – day 16. She may leave the colony several times during this period until she is satisfied she’s done a good job. It is common to have eggs as early as day 7 after introduction, but she can take up to 3 weeks to mate and lay. There are 3 major dependent factors on her success to mate properly: the balance of the colony, the weather (including the temperature) and drone availability. Unfortunately, at times, the queens can get caught out in a sudden downpour or windy conditions while she is on her mating flights.
The best thing you can do to help her get mated is provide a great environment for her to be accepted into her new colony. If the balance of the colony is good, the new queen will be encouraged to go on her mating flights by worker bees. Promoting drone production is also something that the beekeeper can do to help your new queen to be mated successfully. The rest is up to nature. Point to note: please do not move your colony until your queen has been mated and is laying successfully. She may lay a few eggs, then go out on some more mating flights until she is satisfied she’s done a good job. Once she is laying consistently and continually, you are safe to move the colony to a new location if need be.
Not if the colony has been prepared to accept a new queen. In the presence on an existing queen or emergency queen cells, the acceptance rate of your new virgin queen may be challenged. In a great set up, your bees will be very excited on the arrival of their new queen, and will normally accept her with eager.
It is recommended to have your colony queenless prior to requeening. 12 – 24 hours is great. If your hive is queenless for more than a day, there is a risk the colony will start creating their own new queen. In this case, the acceptance rate of your new queen may be compromised. If you are making your splits a day or two before your queens arrive, or you are struck with bad weather etc, it is a good idea to quickly check your split for emergency queen cells before you introduce your new queen. Remove emergency queen cells before introduction.
All our breeder queens are incredible. Beautiful temperaments, hygienic behaviour, excellent brood laying patterns from end to end, collecting pollen and nectar whenever possible, abundance of bees hatching at all times. Their daughters (your queens) have every capacity to be like their mother, it comes down to the success of their mating.
Mated Queens are much more expensive than a virgin queen due to the time and management factors. Mated queens can take up to a month at the least to mate and prove they are excellent layers, there is a lot of management required to produce an excellent mated queen.
If it’s possible to plan your splits or requeening, it’s a great idea to pre-order your queens in advance. In this way, you can rest assured that the most important factor of doing your splits is taken care of. Sometimes beekeeping takes us by surprise…communication is key.
When you purchase a queen, or beekeeping equipment, you don’t need to give your apiary registration number. But we do expect all our customers to have their beekeeping records up to date with Asure Quality. It is very important that all beekeepers, whether you own 1 hive, or 1000 hives, to keep hive numbers, site locations and afb outbreaks up to date at all times. It is in the best interests of the beekeeping industry that we all abide by the law. If you have any questions regarding what your legal requirements are, please contact AsureQuality.
Yes, we are happy to supply a small number of queens to hobby beekeepers. Small orders are respected and treated in the same way as large orders. Sometimes your local club will collate numbers of queens, so could be an option to check up with them also.
If you have never done a split before, we recommend you get a bee mentor or bee buddy in your area, so you can talk over different scenarios and challenges as they arise. There is more to it than initially meets the eye, and is not a good idea to trial and error with ‘live’ stock. Alternately you can join your local bee club. The recommended book that is written for NZ beekeepers is ‘Practical Beekeeping in New Zealand’. We do recommend you have some beekeeping experience, or somebody with beekeeping experience that can help you, before you attempt doing a split. Remember if you make a new split, you need to update your apiary register with your new site.
It is better for the queen if the colony is free of chemicals during her mating period. But on the other hand, if you need to treat due to an infestation, it would be detrimental to the colony to leave treatment for a later date, you may loose the colony.
We regard disease as a serious threat to our business. We continually and diligently check all our hives for all diseases. We put in extra time checking our queen breeding hives and can ensure our customers our queen breeding colonies are in optimum health giving confidence in the purchaser of our queens. We treat with Apivar in Spring and Bayvarol in Autumn. We don’t have a big issue with mites, possibly due to the fact we are constantly doing splits, reducing varroa build up. We have never had AFB in any of our colonies to date (spring 2016)…. touch wood it stays that way. We have had a few AP2 Visits checking our hives and always had a good report. The Directors and staff hold DECA licences. We can reassure all New Zealand beekeepers that aggressive action would be taken immediately if we were to come across it. While we take every precaution possible to ensure our Queens are free of all diseases, BeautBees will take no responsibility for any issues with Queens sold.