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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
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    3,752

    Default Re: Russell Queens

    .....I get at least that good a rate with queenlss nucs with no smoke direct release.

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
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    1,931

    Default Re: Russell Queens

    Not to quibble Dean but my understanding is that you put the virgins in the hive directly from the vial they emerge into. No shipping, workers to feed them, no odors from other hives. I believe that makes a huge difference. Correct me if I'm wrong please.

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
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    3,752

    Default Re: Russell Queens

    Often the first bees the queens encounter are at the introduction, but not always. If I have to transport or bank virgins, I will do so either queenlessly or queenright w/an exluder. ...always between frames of uncapped brood. I don't use queen candy, so the candy tube in the jzbz cage has to be stopped up with wax or paper (otherwise the virgins wedge themselves up in there and sometimes die). I sometimes bank them for up to two weeks...as they get older, they want to fly more.

    I usually put the queen cage on the top bars to see how the bees react...sometimes I smoke them a little, most of the time not.

    Some other tricks are opening up some capped honey and bathing the queen in it (I've seen this work even with mated queens being direct released). You can also smoke the crap out of the hive beforehand...but if the bees are calm and not reacting to the queen anyways, I don't bother.

    You can also use a little unscented tissue to delay the release just a few minutes...enough time for the hive to calm down a bit from being opened.

    As I raise my own, I always have more than I need. If one fly's away, it's ok. I'm generally using brood in the nucs from my not-worst hives...if they end up raising their own queen that is ok as well.


    If I were buying virgins, I would probably use a push in cage over emerging brood for 12 or 24 hours. I am perpetuating what I'm trying to perpetuate no matter what happens (rolling the dice a little within my own stock).....in your case, you are spending money trying to change what you have....75% would get you much further along than 55% does.

    I've been present when fertilizer is put in a smoker for a swarm of bees...given the fact that you've only tried this one way of introducing (and not the one I would consider the most foolproof), it seems premature to recommend it over other methods. Fertilizer in the smoker is a great fallback plan for getting a cluster of bees out of a populated place quickly while reducing the risk that they will start flying.

    Ripe cells are even easier.

    deknow

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
    Posts
    3,752

    Default Re: Using virgin Queens

    ....one possible factor is that the jzbz cages have some kind of pheromone analog built into the plastic....I didn't learn about this until after I started using them. At some point I'll probably order some of the california cages and try them.

    deknow

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,931

    Default Re: Using virgin Queens

    Tried introducing virgins last year and had 0% success, so 55% seems pretty good to me. Much quicker and easier that the push in cage. I never recommend anything to others, just share what I do. I know some beekeepers have better success but I've not always had 100% with mated queens, several of the failures are raising their own queens so it's not a total loss. I think only 4 are completely queenless, with no cells. Also no danger of them flying unless it's in their sleep

    A friend introduced 20 virgins with normal candy release. He reported that 3 died in their cages and it took 6-7 days for the queens to be released. Not sure what the final count was, but this method eliminates the delay in release and the dying in cages.

    Thanks for the clarification.
    Last edited by camero7; 06-10-2012 at 11:28 AM. Reason: added some

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
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    1,931

    Default Re: Using virgin Queens

    Recently did 10 more virgins and 4 mated queens with AN and immediate release. I got 9 out of 10 successful mating with the virgins and 100% success with the mated queens. I am very happy with this method. Makes it a one stop visit to the yard with no worries about release or going back to retrieve the cages.

  7. #47
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Manning, SC
    Posts
    2,493

    Default Re: Using virgin Queens

    Quote Originally Posted by camero7 View Post
    Recently did 10 more virgins and 4 mated queens with AN and immediate release..... I am very happy with this method.
    Cam.. (or anyone with experience using AN)
    Would you tell us (me) a little more about using AN? How much in the smoker? Did you use a particular brand of fertilizer that had AN? Did it knock most of the bees out and if so for how long?

    Thanks,
    Larry
    http://OxaVap.com Your source for the Varrox Mite Killing
    OA Vaporizer "One of the highest ranked" by R. Oliver

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,931

    Default Re: Using virgin Queens

    Hi Larry,

    There's a long thread about AN here:
    http://www.honeybeeworld.com/forum/v...php?f=10&t=348

    I use a couple of tablespoons in the smoker. It puts the bees out for around 5 - 10 minutes. I don't use fertilizer but pure AN.

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,931

    Default Re: Using virgin Queens


  10. #50
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,758

    Default Re: Russell Queens

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeCurious View Post
    I'm going to be sharing a dozen or so of Adam Finkelstein's VP Spartan virgins with a friend of mine.
    I set some frames of brood above queen excluders to get them ready to use in my 3-frame medium nucs (queen castles) .

    Will it be OK to setup the the queen castles a day before the arrival of the virgin queens?

    The sealed/emerging brood frames that I have also have some older larvae. Will that keep the bees in place?
    BeeCurious
    5 hives and 8 nucs................... Trying to think inside the box...

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