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Thread: virgin queens

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Starke, Florida, USA
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    126

    Default virgin queens

    i took a queen cell and put it in an incubator. it hatched this morning so i put it in a queen cage then put it in a queenless hive. is that ok to do?

    p.s. i didn't touch the queen at all. i put the cage in the incubator and she went right in.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Clinton County, Michigan USA
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    301

    Default Re: virgin queens

    Sure, as long as you delay her emergence from the cage, i.e. queen candy. I had one sitting in the house for about 3-4 days and she was accepted and laying a few weeks later.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    Denver, Colorado
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    5,113

    Default Re: virgin queens

    If you were to delay for a longer period of time, could it have detrimental effects?
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Tucson, Arizona, USA
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    5,408

    Default Re: virgin queens

    Absolutely, after a certain age, virgin queens no longer seek to mate -- they become drone laying queens, queens unable to lay fertilized eggs.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    Denver, Colorado
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    Default Re: virgin queens

    Is there a generally accepted range of deadlines when the virgin will no longer mate?

    I ask because some breeders sell virgin queens, and more information about the situation is always better.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  6. #6
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    Jun 2010
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    Starke, Florida, USA
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    Default Re: virgin queens

    i think about 20 days.

  7. #7
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    Dec 2010
    Location
    Humboldt, California,USA
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    24

    Default Re: virgin queens

    The sooner you get those virgins to there nucs ,the better they will be excepted, usually within a day. been doing some that method for many years, that way you know your nucs have virgins ready for there first flight in a few days.
    And hope for warm and still days

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Azle Texas USA
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    369

    Default Re: virgin queens

    Would it be feaseable to let a virgin (from good Queen) not mate to produce only drones with that blood line?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    Denver, Colorado
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    Default Re: virgin queens

    Sounds like more work that it would be worth. You'd have to keep the hive stocked up with brood, and she'd lay drones in worker cells so they'd be small. Plus, she'd likely get superceded.

    It is my view that drone comb would be a far better option.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: virgin queens

    Quote Originally Posted by Beaver Dam View Post
    Would it be feaseable to let a virgin (from good Queen) not mate to produce only drones with that blood line?
    It is done for AI.
    It's a bit of an aside, but interesting. Haven't heard of it being done these days, but long time ago, this was done. To get a queen that will produce workers exactly like the queens mothers workers, you cannot mate the queen with one of the mothers drones. Because the workers, having a father, are genetically different from the drones, who are the same as the mother only.

    So what was done, a virgin was treated with Co2 and induced to start laying early, before she was inseminated. The resultant drones were raised in ideal conditions and as soon as they could give semen, this was used to artificially inseminate the queen. So the queen was inseminated from her own drones giving a queen that will produce bees exactly like her mothers. BTW the previous post about the 20 day mating period is more or less correct, the longer mating period in this instance only worked because AI was used. Before I get any hate mail I'm not recommending this procedure. It was used to "fix" traits, but (i think) would result in a possible loss af allelles. Also bear in mind if some of these types of procedures were not done we would not have some of the varroa tolerant bees that we have.

    As to virgins being caged, the first thing a virgin does if hatched naturally is go find herself some nectar, and some pollen. She is still developing for the first few days after hatching and not ready to mate for perhaps a week. For this reason, in my humble opinion, keeping a newly hatched virgin caged, could result in her detriment. But that's just my opinion.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Humboldt, California,USA
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    24

    Default Re: virgin queens

    I would always cage up the queen cells inside of swarm boxes (queen less , brood less hives) with many many young bees to care for the young virgins.

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