Re: first attempt at queenrearing
From what I've observed, newly hatched virgins are relatively easy to catch and handle. Somewhat sluggish, and flying is not an option. I've seen swarm queens a bit more active upon hatching, but I speculate they were held in their cells by the workers until the proper time for swarming. My kids hold newly hatched queens often. A couple days later, they are quite developed in their movements, are extremely quick, and potentially will fly. It's as if they consumed mass amounts of caffeine in that period. I agree with Michael that the incubator is an added step. However, I segregate them a couple days before hatching. I don't have to worry about opening up a cell builder to find a virgin appeared and cleaned me out. Also if someone comes to pick up cells and an opportune rain shower appeared that day, no worries. I like to take them out of the builder four or five days before they hatch for safety and convenience. Newly hatched virgins do have a short "shelf life" of not cared for properly. It's best to use them within 12-24 hours unless you bank then in a queenless hive for a short time. Be careful introducing virgins that have been banked a couple days. Don't give them an escape route..... They're extremely flighty.