Replacing the Queen

William Lesko writes:

What is the latest date you have replaced a queen? At this time of year are there enough drones available to mate a unmated green?

Sometime in early August I would guess. I try to get my re-queening done earlier in the season, so the new queen can set up her broodnest. I suppose you could replace the queen in September with a mated queen. If re-queening is a must, then do it soon. I wouldn't attempt to re-queen with queen cells, or allow a colony to raise a new queen. The weather is changing, and the drones are getting the boot. While there surely are drones still flying, their limited numbers and the marginal weather we're now moving into will make proper mating of the virgins doubtful. - Mike