Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Requeening a Couple Hives - VIDEO

It is requeening season for DC Honeybees, especially as we are starting to create new nucs for sale this summer.  This is especially true for now as we are not only seeing strong demand for nucs among new beekeepers, but also because we are now forced to reconfigure one of our apiaries and convert some strong hives to nucs.  But more on that later.

We have been buying our queens for requeening from three two main sources:  Long Lane Honeybee Farms and Russell Apiaries.  Why?  The nucs we have requeened with this stock have done very well, over-wintered, and built up quickly in Spring.  We particularly like the large broodnests the Sunkist Queens from Russell produce, which for us has equaled higher honey output.

While not very instructional, here is me requeening a couple of hives:

As you may know, we have quite a few colonies that are resident members of our family living on our roof.  These colonies run the spectrum from full-blown colonies in major honey production mode to a queen breeding experimental colony to a couple nucs we are trying to get to requeen themselves.

All has been going swimmingly, but recently my neighbor's wife has been stung twice in as many weeks.  Not that big a deal for most (and she is not allergic in any way) but she is now freaked out about the bees.  So I've been told they have to go.

Generally I do not bow to such demands, and I am frankly surprised my friend has taken such a strong stand, but in the interest of being a good neighbor I will accommodate.  In truth, they are moving in 60 days so I think a quick return of the bees will be forthcoming.  But moving these live colonies off the roof will require no slight bit of effort.  Stay tuned for a video on how we move a whole 2-deep hive to a new location.

In the interest of simplification we will break up the other hives into small nucs to let season at one of our out-yards.  They may return to the rooftop or we may sell.  In any event, they will be queened with fresh queens that should stand the test of old man winter if last year was any indication.



  1. I have several hives on my residential rooftop so I feel for you having to move them all. Good luck!

  2. Good luck with the move guys. Sad to hear your neighbors reaction.

    Having hives on your roof must bring it's own set of challenges. Hopefully you don't have to move a huge hive.

    See ya