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Is The Age Of The Queen Important?

Category: PRUNING.

There is another object effected in this way, considered by some
apiarians as very important. It is the change of the queens in the old
stock. A young queen is thought to be "much more prolific than an old
one." They even recommend keeping none "over two or three years old,"
and give directions how they may be renewed. But as I have been unable
to discover any difference in relation to the age in this respect, I
shall not at present take much time to discuss it. It is well enough,
when we can take our choice without trouble, to preserve a young queen.
When we consider that there are but few queens but what will deposit
three times as many eggs in a season as are matured, it looks as if it
would hardly pay to take much trouble to change them. At what time the
queen becomes barren from old age, I presume has never yet been fully

A friend of mine has had a stock in a large room eight years, that has
never swarmed, and is still prosperous! I think it very probable that
this queen will gradually decay, and possibly become barren, some weeks
before she dies; if so, this stock will soon die off. A few such cases
will probably occur in swarming hives, perhaps one in fifty, but
generally such old and feeble queens are lost when they leave with the
swarm, especially in windy weather. As long as they are able to go with
the swarm, and sometimes when they are not, I have found them
sufficiently prolific for all purposes. I would rather risk their
fecundity, and hive the swarm, than to allow the bees to return to the
parent stock, and wait eight or nine days for a young queen to mature.
A great many will remain idle, even if there is room to work in the

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