If a queen needs to be replaced, a good time to change the queen is in late summer during feeding. Reasons for changing a queen:
- One reason for changing the queen could be that she is old. Brown bee queens can live and lay eggs for 3-4 years.
- Another reason could be that you are interested in breeding and selecting for certain traits and thus improving your bees. Your improvement will of course be faster if you select and change the queens every year instead of waiting three to four years.
- Your bees turn out to be crossbred and you would like to exchange your current queen with a purebred and puremated queen, so that the colony turns into the wanted type.
See under Splitting a hive for more detailed descriptions on how to go about changing the queen.