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  1. #1
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    Default Introducing virgins

    I want to ask about introducing virgins queens to mating nucs. What is the best procedure?

  2. #2
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    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
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    Default Re: Introducing virgins

    Quote Originally Posted by olympic View Post
    I want to ask about introducing virgins queens to mating nucs. What is the best procedure?
    Bump

    I ran across this and was surprised that it didn't receive any reply...
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Introducing virgins

    I introduce virgin queens into queenless nucs via queen cells. It works well and probably better than mated queens. I have had higher success rates w/ the use of cells. They are less expensive, but you have some time when a queen isn't laying.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Millbury, MA, USA
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    Default Re: Introducing virgins

    I use ammonium nitrate to introduce virgins into my nucs. I get about 70% success rate.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Default Re: Introducing virgins

    Quote Originally Posted by camero7 View Post
    I use ammonium nitrate
    Please explain.
    Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. -Frank Zappa

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Introducing virgins

    Pretty good thread with explanation here:
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...light=ammonium

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Introducing virgins

    If you would simply tell us why you use ammoniumnitrate it would be much easier on us. I looked at that Thread and found reference to you using it in your smoker and then nothing more. I stopped digging after looking to the next page.

    How does ammonium nitrate help?
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Introducing virgins

    It puts the bees to sleep, and impairs their memory - much like the CO2 that the Hawaiian breeders use.

    Put the virgin in the hive [in her shipping cage].

    I put about 2 tablespoons in the smoker, get it bellowing, put about 3-4 puffs at the entrance, pop the lid and give a good puff there. I do about 20 nucs at a time. Then go back to the first, pull the screen and lay the virgin [who will be asleep] on the top bar. Go to the next nuc, etc.

    When they wake they tend to accept the virgin easier.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Introducing virgins

    Interesting. What form does the stuff come in? Where do you get it? What do you use for smoker fuel?
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Default Re: Introducing virgins

    It is a common fertilizer. However, getting hard to get because of all the terrorist problems. It is also an additive to fireworks. I get mine on line in small quantities [2#] which is about a 2 year supply for me. I use punk wood with this stuff. It burns quite hot and will really do a job on your smoker.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Introducing virgins

    Where did you learn about doing this?
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  12. #12
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Introducing virgins

    Originally from a Chilean Beekeeper [Juanse Barros] then got more info on it from Allen Dick and Bob Hack. Juanse and Bob both use it exclusively to introduce queens [mated and virgins]. I used it on a couple of mated queen last year with success.

    Should note that Allen tried it and didn't like it.
    Last edited by camero7; 11-25-2012 at 07:21 AM. Reason: added info

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Default Re: Introducing virgins

    How does it effect the beekeeper, if breathed.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  14. #14
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Introducing virgins

    It is laughing gas, so I think you might get the giggles. I try to avoid it. Haven't noticed any problems, but I've only used it one year.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Dexter, Missouri USA
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    Default Re: Introducing virgins

    Try putting honey on the virgins when introducing them to queenless nucs. I've found virgins that I almost drowned in honey from me attempting to feed them, had very high acceptance rates. A little on her thorax will get the workers to licking her clean immediately. This seems much more natural than ammonium nitrate. And you won't be on the terrorist watch list when you try to buy it.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
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    Default Re: Introducing virgins

    I tried a small ball of toilet paper instead of candy on 5 last year. They accepted all 5 the other 5 used candy in tube and lost 3.

  17. #17
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Introducing virgins

    Quote Originally Posted by Whitetail View Post
    Try putting honey on the virgins when introducing them to queenless nucs. I've found virgins that I almost drowned in honey from me attempting to feed them, had very high acceptance rates. A little on her thorax will get the workers to licking her clean immediately.
    How many virgins have you introduced that way and what is your success rate?

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Dexter, Missouri USA
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    Default Re: Introducing virgins

    Cam, I've introduced a lot this way. How many exactly? I'm not certain. Over a hundred I'm sure. The biggest factor I've seen with acceptance is environmental conditions. This is best used during a nectar flow, unless you are feeding consistently. Ive had 100% success with some batches. Some I attempted during the hot and dry periods of summer when the drone numbers declined, were complete crap. I don't think any method would have salvaged them. I'm not a commercial queen rearer, so I choose to shut down queen rearing during this less than optimal period, and resume in the fall when the nectar is more consistent in my area. The fall reared queens performed well. Hope this helps.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Introducing virgins

    Thanks

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Introducing virgins

    I did dozens of mean hives in the '70s using this method, works great. I now do most of my bee work in shirt sleeves.


    Ammonium nitrate - Get a few table spoons from a local wholesale nursery or farmer. Have a new caged queen, division screen and drone guard (entrance queen excluder) ready. Light the smoker, drop in a table spoon of ammonium nitrate, don't inhale the smoke as it will blast out of the smoker. Fumigate the hive with the blasting smoke. The bees will fall unconscious. Shake them onto a sheet in front of the hive. Place all the brood in the upper brood chamber. They will awake from their stupor and walk back into the hive, the queen being found on the entrance excluder. Divide the hive introducing the new queen above the division screen into the box containing the brood. These mean bees will kill the new queen if you try a direct introduction. The division screens sends the old mean bees back to the box down below, young bees above to accept the new queen. Either squish the old queen, or mark her and run her back into the bottom. You will then have to find her and squish her after the new queen up above is accepted, then merging the boxes.

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