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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Verona, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    120

    Default intoducing virgin queens to the hive

    Hello,
    I'm thinking about ordering some virgin queens this spring for a few of my hives (which will be queenless). Is there anything different about how virgin queens are introduced versus mated queens?
    Thanks,
    mixofsam

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gaston, SC
    Posts
    258

    Default Re: intoducing virgin queens to the hive

    keep her caged for a few days,, for the scent to permeate the hive,, and make sure you have plenty of Drones available for her to mate with,,

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,657

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,038

    Default Re: intoducing virgin queens to the hive

    lauri has posted photos and video of simply placing (already marked) virgins directly onto frame with uncapped nectar/honey.

    she describes how most virgins will begin feeding themselves immediately after putting them in contact with frame.

    i can't wait to try this.
    beekeeping since june 2010, +/- 20 hives, tf

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Spokane, Washington, USA
    Posts
    697

    Default Re: intoducing virgin queens to the hive

    You will have higher acceptance with queen cells than virgins. I have introduced 500-600 virgins this last season and have found that you have to make sure all the brood is capped brood and feeding helps with acceptance. I dropped queens into a solution of honey and water and then dropped them into a nuc. Acceptance varied. Sometimes 90% other times 60% and even had times with as low as 30%. I have found the older the virgin the lower the acceptance.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,038

    Default Re: intoducing virgin queens to the hive

    good to know rak. how long between hatching and introducing do you see acceptance going down?
    beekeeping since june 2010, +/- 20 hives, tf

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    portland, dorset, UK
    Posts
    119

    Default Re: intoducing virgin queens to the hive

    Quote Originally Posted by RAK View Post
    I dropped queens into a solution of honey and water and then dropped them into a nuc. Acceptance varied.
    Hi, genuine question: What was the reasoning for using this method? I've no experience of introducing virgins although I have been mulling the possibilities over during this last winter. To me (with my zero experience) I would have thought that coating them with honey would cause the nuc bees to pay far more attention than they would usually pay to a virgin which in turn could also increase the chance of rejection.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,044

    Default Re: intoducing virgin queens to the hive

    Quote Originally Posted by RAK View Post
    I have found the older the virgin the lower the acceptance.
    Good observation and something that is as close to established fact as there is in the whole business of introducing virgins. Frankly I don't understand the whole logic behind doing it at all. For me the idea of introducing virgins has always been plan B that I employ only when there is a glut of ripe cells in relation to the number of cells "in the pipeline".
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

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