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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
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    Default What's the optimum environment for virgin introduction?

    I will be using medium frames in queen castles or divided 5 frame nucs. It has been suggested that using two frames is better than three...

    The virgins will be about two days old when I get them.

    I have read conflicting advice concerning the makeup of the bees/brood. I have been led to believe that nurse bees and emerging brood was best, with little or no open brood.

    Is this true?

    When people are heavily smoking bees or spraying them with syrup (or using ammonium nitrate) before releasing the virgins, are they doing this with a nuc or hive that also has a population of field bees? Or is this also recommended with nurse bees?

    There's so many variations...

    Is there an optimum environment for virgin introduction?
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
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    Default Re: What's the optimum environment for virgin introduction?

    Bump
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Knox Co, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    857

    Default Re: What's the optimum environment for virgin introduction?

    I have no experience introducing virgin queens. I have heard from people I trust they prefer not to use virgins because of acceptance problems. I have read about people having higher sucess by putting nucs to sleep with ammonium nitrate and then putting the virgin in.

    I believe Cam Bishop has done the above process with some sucess. There is a thread on Allen Dick's site on this process.

    Tom

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
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    Default Re: What's the optimum environment for virgin introduction?

    Quote Originally Posted by TWall View Post
    I have read about people having higher sucess by putting nucs to sleep with ammonium nitrate and then putting the virgin in.
    I have been reading some threads and articles on the use of ammonium nitrate. AN is apparently used more in Europe, and is available through some of their beekeeping suppliers.

    One of the articles was about using ammonium nitrate on a laying worker hive... After being put to sleep the laying worker hive is combined (using newspaper) with a queenright colony, laying worker hive on top. It was suggested that the AN disrupted the laying worker(s) and facilitated a successful combination.

    Ammonium nitrate was also said to be helpful when dealing with aggressive colonies and moving hives short distances. There's some debate as to whether or not the AN has an effect on the bee's memory.

    I wouldn't think that queenless nurse bees would need to be knocked out for them to accept a virgin queen... Wouldn't some smoke and a little syrup misting be adequate? With possibly a little honey dribbled over the virgin as she walked out of her (nurse bee free) cage...
    Last edited by BeeCurious; 04-17-2013 at 01:11 PM. Reason: Typo
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

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