If you are looking for the best advice on how to re-queen a beehive, I suggest you keep looking because you are not going to find it here.
Reasons to re queen a hive:
- Older queens are more prone to swarming
- Replacing a failing queen
- Better stock traits like pest and disease resistances
- And in my case, improving bad attitudes
So how do you get new queen bees? There are a few suppliers online; I chose to use Gabees.com mainly due to its proximity to my location
How are queen bees shipped to the beekeeper? Well see for yourselves below. I had to pay extra for the overnight delivery because I needed to run out of town for a few days. Here is the envelope that arrived last Thursday.
Below are the contents of the envelope. On the left 3 marked queens (mine) and on the right five marked and clipped wing queens(Mike's).
What is a marked and clipped queen? See the bright spot on the picture below. That’s the queen with a painted dot on her thorax. It makes it easier to spot her next time I’m looking for her in the hive. A Clipped queen is a queen that had one or two of its wings clipped off. It doesn’t prevent her and the hive from attempting to swarm away, it just prevents her from getting very far. Since the workers won’t leave her behind, the swarm is usually found in a cluster on the floor right outside the hive, making it easy to collect and re-hive somewhere new.