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  1. #1
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    Default Determining if queens in nucs are purebred

    I made up some nucs on the 16th and added cells on the 18th. I have one nuc that has tons of eggs in it, but when I poped open a capped queen cell (the one I put in the nuc) there was a fully grown queen that looked like she was about to hatch. Was this the original queen from the original cell or something else? How can one determine if the queen that is heading up the nuc is from the cell that you put in or from a egg/larvae in the nuc?

    mike
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Determining if queens in nucs are purebred

    Mike,
    I would say that if you had a queen cell in a nuc and then before that cell hatched or emerged, that there was already a queen laying in that nuc. No way was there enuf time for the cell to have hatched, gotten mated, layed in the queen cell and grown a mature queen. From the way you described what you have seen.

    When I make splits w/ queen cells, I am mostly concerned whether there is a laying queen doing her job than I am about whether it is the cell I installed or not. Most likely it is, unless when I made the nuc, I accidently took the queen from the original/parent colony.

    I'm not as concerned about genetic as lots of people are. I just want a queen that can do her job. But I do start out w/ cells of known lineage.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Determining if queens in nucs are purebred

    Well...here is the deal. I know for a fact that there was not a queen in the nuc as I have all the marked queens from nuc shakers accounted for (unless there was a misterious 2nd queen in the hive, but there would be much more brood in there). So what is going on? There is the same amount of brood in this nuc as the 15 other ones that the cell took. Anybody want to take a shot at this?

    mike
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Determining if queens in nucs are purebred

    The way I can tell, which is best for me: If the queen in a nuc is from the queen cell I placed in the nuc or, at least, a queen that I want in the nuc.

    My mother queens are homozygous for the Cordovan trait, and they are also Italian. Part of my MQ (Mother Queen) selection process is for most of the female progeny of my MQs to also be homozygous for the Cordovan trait. This has produced, for me, 50% or more of my daughter queens as Cordovan Italian. Though they are then open mated, it is rare for a queen to mother a colony with exceptionally undesirable traits.

    If the daughter queens are homozygous for Cordovan coloration, they are as purebred as I need them to be.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Determining if queens in nucs are purebred

    Sometimes virgins return from mating flights and enter the wrong nuc/hive. I've seen it happen several times and I only raise a few dozen queens each season.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Determining if queens in nucs are purebred

    Well...there was a no take next to it...the reason I care so much is that these are the ones that I am selling...and the ones that got nucs shaken from them are not the best of hives....so should we call it a queen that lost her way?

    mike
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Determining if queens in nucs are purebred

    It certainly sounds like one of those times where a queen found her way home, to the wrong home. At least she was accepted, mated queens rarely kill queen cells, you caught it before the virgin emerged, that could have been bad, the virgin might have killed the mated queen, then that nuc would still be waiting for a mated laying queen.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Determining if queens in nucs are purebred

    Thanks Mr Clemens. I will mark it lost and tell the customer that gets that nuc that fact. Good queen though.

    How can one be absolutely sure of the breed of queen other than II though? I make my on breeder queens and the last thing i want is the wrong queen. Should i intro marked virgins?

    Mike
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Determining if queens in nucs are purebred

    I don't have any, and haven't ever used them, but I've heard that isolated mating yards are a good way to control the drones that mate with virgin queens.

    I've also read in a queen rearing text, available on Michael Bush's web site that describes a way to help control mating, by confining the virgins and drones, then releasing them, together just before or just after the normal mating times for free-flying queens and drones. Encouraging them to engage in mating after most other drones have already gone home for the day.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Determining if queens in nucs are purebred

    No, I am mainly concerned that I get THE QUEEN I PUT IN THERE when it is all said and done and NOT SOME OTHER QUEEN THAT THEY RAISED OR A STRAY. Make sense? not concerned about the drones...I flood my area with em

    Thanks
    mike
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Determining if queens in nucs are purebred

    I see. I understand that a few breeders mark the virgin queens soon after they emerge, but before they are mated. This sounded like more trouble than it is worth, so I only did it with a few, and I agree with those that say it isn't worth the effort. I only mark my queens after they have proven themselves capable of producing worker brood (as evidenced by cappings), and then use colored thumb tacks to mark the nuc as having a mated/laying and marked queen.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Determining if queens in nucs are purebred

    was the queen in the cell dead or alive?

    In my opinion if you have only eggs in your nuc then you have a new queen thats probably strayed from a nuc close by, if it was from your original hives that yopu used to make up your nucs it would have brood in all stages of developement because the old queen would have continued laying without a break.

    In my experience mated queens most definately do kill queens in queen cells, but I think in your case that the queen still in the cell has died from whatever cause and the nuc has accepted this newly mated queen from next door.

    If you put your cells into nucs just before they are ready to hatch you can go back in a couple of days to make sure she has.
    If she's hatched you are most likely not going to get a queen that they have raised them selves because they generally wont raise their own in a nuc unless there is something wrong with the queencell you planted.

    Also when you are ready to pick [catch] your queen have a look at the frames if they brought out their own you should still see a queencell on the broodframe.

    I use queenless starters for my queencells and during the season I would find a mated queen maybe 3 times, the only way for her to have been there is to have strayed from a nuc the nearest are about 50 metres away!

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Determining if queens in nucs are purebred

    I bashed the cell before I could check if she was alive. This was not a mated queen from the parent hive b/c it was not that full of brood. All of the brood was eggs. Could have been a virgin from the parent hive though.

    mike
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