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Thread: Virgin Queen???

  1. #1
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    Apr 2011
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    ElDorado,Arkansas,USA
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    Default Virgin Queen???

    I had a question posed to me about caged virgin queens.I have never dealt with Virgin queens so I couldnt answer.Using the Jenter queen system and just before the queens emerge and you put on the hair roller cages.How long can you keep them in the cages and they still mate properly when released?

  2. #2
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    Palm Bay, FL, USA
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    Default Re: Virgin Queen???

    It's not recommended to leave them for more than 5-7 days or they may not mate at all. They must be fed while in the cages so keep them in a strong hive. They die within a few hours if not fed.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Virgin Queen???

    Thanks,Thats what I was looking for!!! Now something I was wondering about when you talk about feeding them.When you put on those hair roller cages what about putting in some nurse bees for attendants?Do you think they would help take care of those queens or would they kill some of the queens since you would have a bunch coming out at the same time?I have always done the one on one thing like putting in a cell in a nuc and let it hatch and they take care of her.

  4. #4
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    May 2010
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    Spokane, Washington, USA
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    Default Re: Virgin Queen???

    Put candy in the roller cage cover.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Virgin Queen???

    I knew I could put the candy in there but was curious if some attendant bees put in there before she hatches would help or hinder.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Virgin Queen???

    Why make things difficult. Just hang them in a hive and let the bees feed them through the screen. Bees are simple critters; the simpler you make your procedures the better they work.

  7. #7
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    May 2009
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    Brandon, MS USA
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    Default Re: Virgin Queen???

    Fish is right. Just to add to that, I wouldn't put candy in the cages with just the queen... when it gets sticky from the heat, she can get stuck and die.. not so bad with attendants like in shipping cages for instance, because the attendants keep her clean...

    Also, if you put attendants in the cages in a bank, there is a chance that it will lower acceptance rates, and the attendants would have to be fed by outside nurses, which could be feeding the queen instead...

    She shouldn't need attendants inside with her to take care of her so long as you use a strong queenless hive to bank them in and it has good resources. They can take good care of her through the cage.

    The hair rollers are not my cage of choice for hatching virgins for ii (I don't bank for anything else), because they are much larger than necessary and thus its harder for the temp to be controlled in cold snaps of early spring and late fall... California minis, modified three holes, and hatchery frames are my choice.

    Hope this helps.

  8. #8
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    Apr 2011
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    Default Re: Virgin Queen???

    +Thanks.I dont use the Jenter system.I had one,well come to think of it I think it still might be here somewhere.I never had any luck using it.I just had the question posed to me the other day about how long you could leave the virgins caged and they still mate properly when released and I didnt know since I dont do it.Then I myself was just curious about using attendant bees in the cages while she was hatching.Anyway thanks all you have answered my questions.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Virgin Queen???

    For a bit more detail, I believe virgins can be caged up to either 21 or 24 days before giving up on mating flights... but as a general rule of thumb, most breeders would never leave one banked for more than 5-7 days. Anything after that runs a bigger risk of failure, so that chance is eliminated right away.

    It is believed that queens that have mated and laid for 28 days can be banked for as long a full season. Reggie seems to have even found a way to bank them over the winter so he has mated queens to sell first thing in early spring.

    We do not bank mated queens (except for studies), but the reason is more because we strive for the highest quality than because we disagree with the science. The effects of banking are not really noticeable during the season of use... but the long-term effects that it may have had in future generations is what we are trying to discover in our studies. After all, stresses are communicated genetically to the following generations, and banking is certainly a stress as it completely halts the queens natural ability to lay by restricting her from the comb.

    Hope this helps.

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