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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Salisbury, NC USA
    Posts
    54

    Default virgins and incubators

    If a virgin emerges in a cage in a incubator, does she need food right away? If so how? If not how long can she survive before being put in a hive where she can be fed?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,841

    Default Re: virgins and incubators

    In my experience, around 2 days if she is not taken care of by the worker bees. Yes, she need
    food right away.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,341

    Default Re: virgins and incubators

    >If a virgin emerges in a cage in a incubator, does she need food right away?

    Yes. She will be voracious.

    > If so how?

    I put a little bit of crystallized honey in the bottom of the hair curly cage.

    > If not how long can she survive before being put in a hive where she can be fed?

    In my experience, if there is no food immediately, she usually goes back up into the cell, tries to eat what is left of the royal jelly and dies there.

    I've watched a queen emerge in my observation hive. The bees not only fed her, they opened a recently capped drone cell and the queen frantically ate the royal jelly out of it.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Salisbury, NC USA
    Posts
    54

    Default Re: virgins and incubators

    Michael,
    Should I place attendants in the cage with the cell or is the crystallized honey enough? And how long can she be held safely in the incubator, before introducing to a hive? Thank you so much

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,341

    Default Re: virgins and incubators

    >Should I place attendants in the cage with the cell or is the crystallized honey enough?

    The attendants will not help. Having the virgins emerge in a hive where the nurse bees can feed them helps.

    > And how long can she be held safely in the incubator, before introducing to a hive?

    I would introduce them ASAP. I think they suffer in quality greatly during their time of not being fed by the nurse bees. I especially think that after watching that nurse bee open that recently capped drone cell and seeing how voraciously the newly emerge queen sucked up the royal jelly. She acted desperate for it. Nurse bees don't just feed them honey, they feed them royal jelly.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Murray County, Georgia
    Posts
    214

    Default Re: virgins and incubators

    The newly hatched queens need food immediately. If they hatch in a hive they still need food as the workers in the hives do not always feed them. You also need to remove the empty cell fairly quickly as the queens can sometimes get themselves lodged by going back into the cell or between the cell and the cage. If there is any place in a cage where the queen can get lodged assume she will.

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