Raising or taking care of a hive is a meticulous process, as you would always have to know what is happening with your bees, especially if there are anomalies that are occurring in their life cycle. One of the biggest anomalies that could happen in a hive is that their queen bee can die, which would lead to them unable to produce more workers bees and drones, thus slowly causing the depletion of their population. Luckily for beekeepers, there are numerous shops around the United States that sell queen bees, which means that you can easily replace a dead or old queen bee with a new one that will lay more eggs or lay them more efficiently. Now, why would you buy a queen bee instead of letting the bees raise their own in their hive? To know the answer, let us take a look at some of the reasons why it makes sense to buy a queen bee.
If an old queen bee dies in a hive, most beekeeping experts would say that it would take at least a month before the colony will be able to produce or raise another queen bee. A month without a queen is detrimental to the life cycle of bees, as the hive won’t be able to produce more bees, and this dilemma would be more problematic during the summer, as it is during that season that bees are often busy collecting nectar and pollen. So, if the bees aren’t able to increase their population during the summer, then that would basically mean that the honey they will produce will be fewer than hives that have queen bees.
Buying a queen bee that is already in its adult stages would allow the hive to produce more eggs without the need to raise another queen bee. Because the bees won’t need to raise a new queen, there wouldn’t be one month of being queenless for them, meaning that their production and population will increase without any hiccups.
Higher Survival Rate
The second reason why you should buy a queen bee instead is that an adult queen bee has a higher survival rate than the ones that are raised by the bees themselves. To further explain, a raised queen bee may not be able to survive the period where she turns into an adult, and this is often caused by several complications, including harsh weather conditions or dwindling food supply.
On the other hand, an adult queen bee wouldn’t go through those complications, as she is already matured and able to lay eggs, and the shop where you bought the queen ensures that the bee was raised well in the hive. If a raised queen bee dies, the bees in the hive will most likely take another month to raise a new one, and beekeepers can’t afford for their hive to remain queenless for more than a month since this would mean that the hive is failing and the honey production in that hive is slow.
There may be an instance where the hive won’t accept the bought queen bee as their new queen, but you don’t have to worry about this problem since you have two options to choose from in regards to what you are supposed to do with a hive that doesn’t accept the queen you bought.
The first option is to buy another queen bee in hopes that they may accept that bee. Unfortunately, this option will only work if the bees actually accept foreign queens, as there as certain hives that would only accept queens that they raised.
The second option is to transfer the hive to another hive that has a queen, which would allow them to perform tasks for that other hive without even realizing that they are already serving a new queen. But, this process could sometimes lead to problems as well, as the hive’s population may be overwhelming to the other hives in your area, and this would lead to the other hives failing because they are being robbed of their food supply by the hive that has more worker bees.
In hindsight, it would seem that the better option is the first one, as you wouldn’t overwhelm the other hives by just providing the queenless colony with a new queen bee. This option allows all your hives to have a balanced production wherein they would produce almost equal food supply and honey.
And those are three reasons why it is better to buy a new queen bee compared to letting the bees in one hive raise a new one. Beekeepers benefit more if the production of honey doesn’t stop or doesn’t slow down, so it is better for them to buy a queen for the queenless colony in order for them to continue their life cycle in a year without the need to spend their time raising an egg to become a queen bee.