One of the recommendations that several of our experience beekeepers have made in various meetings is that it’s a good idea to replace the queen in a hive every year. A queen can survive for much longer than that but — one theory goes that nature prefers young queens. Therefore, many beekeepers introduce a young queen in the fall so she can be ready to build up quickly in the spring.
You are encouraged to read the literature on beekeeping theories, as well as discuss them with experienced beekeepers, before making your hive management decisions. Often you will see published studies that contradict old-time beekeeping lore. Still, lore is based in a kernel of truth – so gain your own experience as well, to develop your judgement.
Guild board member, Jeff Eckel, is starting to raise and sell his own queens in Philadelphia.
Another place to look is the PSBA newsletter that is sent out every month. If you’re not a member of the PSBA (Pennsylvania State Beekeepers Association) go on over to their site and join up.
Here are a few links to some other Queen suppliers.
- Bjorn Apiaries – located 2 hours west of Philly in Dillsburg and run by Mike Thomas. He raises queens and sells nucs that are particularly well adapted to our area.
- Singing Cedars Apiary – Sell ‘Survivor Queens’ bred from overwintered colonies and characteristics that are adapted to northern conditions.
If you find a good source of queens in the local area, please let us know so we can post the resources here. Tell: firstname.lastname@example.org