@JeffH I’ve been told my bees are pretty calm by another beekeeper but I can confidently say that I have been stung at least 8 times since starting this adventure back on March 19th. Typically, I use my jacket and veil almost all the time except for cursory inspections and even then I always wear a hat and veil. It was just so hot yesterday and since I’d already gotten cleaned up for Father’s day, I didn’t want to get all sweaty. (I did get a sting on the upper arm BTW)
I think the queen is great. She’s the only one of the three home grown queens I’ve seen so far but since they are all sisters I’m hoping the others are like her as well. I attribute the 100% success rate to the local drone population and this brings me you @Martydallas - I want you know I likely would have purchased queens were my circumstances different.
I’m fortunate to have at least 3 multi-hive apiaries all withing a mile-and-a-half of my location so there were plenty of drones to increase the odds of my queens having successful mating flights.
Check out this map:
Other factors contributing to my decision to let the bees raise their own queens was that the beekeeper closest to me could supply me with bred queens literally within minutes if I needed them so my overall risk in this scenario wasn’t nearly as high as others like yourself @Martydallas may find themselves in should they lose (or in my case kill) a queen.