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Markypoo

Is February too early to start Autumn mated queens off?

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I had a few issues last year. I should have requeened a couple of hives that had some old queens in them. Due to some health issues my wife was having it got put on the back burner, and the queens went through another winter and the hives tried to supercede end of august/early september. Way too early down here IMO. One was fine, but the other had issues with what was probably a poorly mated queen and it took a couple of frames of eggs to get them to have another go. This year I want to do autumn mating. Do I need to make it late as possible or will it not matter if I start the process this month? I don't think 6-8 weeks is going to make all that much difference.

From reading this forum, it sounds as if Autumn matings was the normal way to do things. But as a newbie, I had gotten the impression that spring was when things had to be done.

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29 minutes ago, Markypoo said:

I had a few issues last year. I should have requeened a couple of hives that had some old queens in them. Due to some health issues my wife was having it got put on the back burner, and the queens went through another winter and the hives tried to supercede end of august/early september. Way too early down here IMO. One was fine, but the other had issues with what was probably a poorly mated queen and it took a couple of frames of eggs to get them to have another go. This year I want to do autumn mating. Do I need to make it late as possible or will it not matter if I start the process this month? I don't think 6-8 weeks is going to make all that much difference.

From reading this forum, it sounds as if Autumn matings was the normal way to do things. But as a newbie, I had gotten the impression that spring was when things had to be done.

Go for it!

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February is a great time to get queens mated down here. Usually plenty of warm and settled weather and drones are still being tolerated. Down here (Dunedin) hives can start kicking their drones out in March, although this is often only some hives and not all.

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We’ve started re queening. As @Otto said, with the flow drying up due to drought the drones will Be the first to go. 

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Does anyone else have trouble with there queen raising hive constantly burying capped cells in drawn comb and honey stores ? 

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