Starrfarms Queens

Quality Queens raised in the heart of the Willamette Valley

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Frequently asked questions

Lets face it, the queen is the most important part of your hive.  Your entire season depends upon her doing her job well.  Poor layers, or queens who produce mean workers can really ruin your summer plans.  It's easy to put off replacing her because you hope "she will kick it in to gear".   Don't wait too long, our nectar producing season is very short, and you will miss it with a dud queen.  

Are your queens any good?

When should I requeen?

How do I requeen?

When you hear "buy local" it really applies to Queen Bees. My breeder queens have come from local stock and survived multiple seasons. They have  been selected for;
1) Gentleness.
2) Honey production .
3) Survivability.
They have been allowed to lay in Queen Nucs for a minimum of 21 days, ensuring they lay well and are suitable for production colonies. Poor layers are culled.
I guarantee them, because only the best queens are made available, and I already know they are excellent queens. 
I can't guarentee your introductions though, that's up to you.
Most beekeepers requeen in the spring, but  Fall is the best time to requeen a hive.
1) It provides an important
brood break to slow down the varroa mite. 2) A young, vigorous queen
lays a substantially larger winter brood cluster, making the colony
stronger in the spring.
3) MOST IMPORTANTLY! Your hive won't swarm the following spring because young queens are much less likely to swarm.
It is ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL your hive is queenless. Laying workers, mature queen cells, or virgin queens are accepted by the colony as their queen, and any newly introduced queen will be regarded as an invader and killed.
1) Make colony queenless for at least 4 hrs.
2) Introduce new queen cage candy facing up. 
3) Allow  a minimum of 4 days for introduction.
4) After 4 days observe nurse bees have accepted new queen.
5) Release! 
6) Check back in a week for eggs.  May take up to 10 days for her to begin laying again, be patient

How often should I requeen?

Which variety of queen is best for me?

How do I get the queen?

Queens should be replaced at a minimum of every 2 years, or as needed if egg production slows, or the hive becomes mean.
For maximum production, replace her every year
Queens are available;
1)Shipped Over-night via UPS
2) for local pick-up
3) I travel up the I-5 corridor 3-5 days/week.  We can coordinate delivery with a little notice
This is a tough one...Mostly a personal choice, but there are some specific differences between them that you can take advantage of

What if I have other questions?

Contact Starr Farms!   We'll be happy to help.