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  1. #1
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    Default Virgins hatch in mating nuc and then the bees kill them

    I have a problem with my mating nucs. I put cells in the nucs and virgin queens hatch from the cells and the 2 days later they are all found dead in front of the nucs. Any ideas to address this problem?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Virgins hatch in mating nuc and then the bees kill them

    Yes, it is better now to put a laying queen in the nuc. Do the proper introduction to see how they
    are accepting her. Maybe they already have another queen inside? I heard that a strong nuc will not
    be likely to accept a new queen. Maybe to break up the nuc and recombine after they had accepted
    the new queen. Are all the nucs show this same behavior that they all killed the queens?

  3. #3
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    Polk County, Ar. USA
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    Default Re: Virgins hatch in mating nuc and then the bees kill them

    Quote Originally Posted by beepro View Post
    Yes, it is better now to put a laying queen in the nuc. Do the proper introduction to see how they
    are accepting her. Maybe they already have another queen inside? I heard that a strong nuc will not
    be likely to accept a new queen. Maybe to break up the nuc and recombine after they had accepted
    the new queen. Are all the nucs show this same behavior that they all killed the queens?
    The way I'm reading it, he is putting cells in the mating nuc to hatch a new queen. If they are killing the newly hatched queen, doesn't that indicate that there is already a queen in the nuc?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Virgins hatch in mating nuc and then the bees kill them

    If they are killing virgins that hatched from cells you placed in the hive. You either have laying workers or there's another queen in the nuc.

  5. #5
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    Portland, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: Virgins hatch in mating nuc and then the bees kill them

    Try putting your cells in a protective cage. Let them hatch & then see what is happening. Search the nuc carefully for a queen. Try another nuc and see if the same thing happens. Hope this helps.
    Beeman
    All things may be lawful; but not all things are advantagous.

  6. #6
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Virgins hatch in mating nuc and then the bees kill them

    Quote Originally Posted by olympic View Post
    I have a problem with my mating nucs. I put cells in the nucs and virgin queens hatch from the cells and the 2 days later they are all found dead in front of the nucs. Any ideas to address this problem?
    You have a queen in your mating nuc. That or two virgins.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Virgins hatch in mating nuc and then the bees kill them

    Not necessarily. I always have some % of my mating nucs that reject my cell and raise their own emergency cell. You can see the cell hatched, you can find the slaughtered virgin on the bottom board. Lots of possible reasons, but I don't know why....

    Made your mating nucs too strong
    Made them too long before you gave them the cells
    Had queen/cells/virgin in the mating nucs
    Queen pupae were damaged
    Nectar dearth

    Cell protectors may increase cell rejection

    I had the same rejection of my virgins.I looked at the whole cell building plan and did what I could to improve the above. My % take has risen from the 40-50% range to 80-90% range. Takes time and practice.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Virgins hatch in mating nuc and then the bees kill them

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    Cell protectors may increase cell rejection
    Increase? Did you mean decrease?
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Virgins hatch in mating nuc and then the bees kill them

    There are no virgins in the nucs and they do not have laying workers. The nucs had laying queens removed and the 10 day old cells were put in the next day. Almost all the cells hatch and then about 30% kill the young virgin queens. This procedure normally works quite well, but recently there has been this problem.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Virgins hatch in mating nuc and then the bees kill them

    I do not have any scientific papers to back up my own ideas. Level of Acceptance at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVKalyj1xiI
    From my experiences with the "level of acceptance" of a new queen either a virgin or a laying one, I think every hive has one. It does not matter how long they are queen less. Or just a recent 24 hours queen less hive. If they don't accept the virgin queens then they will kill them.
    We all know that the recently emerged nurse bees are too innocent to kill off any bees. Their bodies are still too soft.
    They are more than happy to accept any virgin or a laying queen. So if my 3 frame of bees have 90% nurse bees then I am o.k. when introducing a new queen to this nuc. Because a virgin look just like them and in the development process to blend right in. Wet, fuzzy looking and still soft!
    In comparison, if the 3 frame of bees are majority foragers then their level of acceptance of the queen is much more picky.
    A strong forager hive cannot turn their thinking to say this is going to be our new queen now. They are still thinking our old queen is still alive so we're fine now. Any new queen that look and smell different from what we recognized before this is an intruder. So we need to get rid of her.
    I lose 2 queens this way while dealing with mature foragers to requeen a queen less hive this past winter.
    Given this past experiences, to increase the level of acceptance of the queens I raise, I let the virgin hatch first. Then go find the hives with the most nurse bees to form my new mating nucs for as many queens that I have. The foragers will fly back to their original hive leaving only the nurse bees with the new virgin queen. The level of acceptance of the new virgin queen is 100% even after 2 days later. Mating flight and laying is 100%.
    I learn from your posts to not put queen cells inside a nuc with a laying queen removed 24 hours prior. How come it works before and not now? Maybe there are more mature bees than nurse bees now? Maybe that is why the level of virgin tolerance went down.
    Thanks you for posting because I know what to do in another 5 days when my new batch of queens emerged. I can test your method compare
    to mine to see if this is just an isolated case of killing the virgin queens. My risk will be 4 virgins only if that is the case.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Virgins hatch in mating nuc and then the bees kill them

    Quote Originally Posted by olympic View Post
    Any ideas to address this problem?
    You could remove the queen, wait a week, knock down all the emergency queen cells they have made, then introduce your chosen or grafted cell.
    They have no choice then but to accept the virgin which emerges as they won't have any larvae young enough to make their own queen cells at this point

    Having said that, I have seen a colony ball its queen and leave itself hopelessly queenless. You can never quite say anything will work 100% with bees.

    Another possibility would be to get queens mated via cells introduced to (broodless) mini nucs such as apideas and use them to make up colonies once mated.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Virgins hatch in mating nuc and then the bees kill them

    "You can never quite say anything will work 100% with bees."
    Yeah and female ones - right!

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Virgins hatch in mating nuc and then the bees kill them

    I wouldn't be dequeening a nuc to make it a mating nuc. I would just start out with only bees in the mating nuc and giving them a queen cell within a day of setting them up. John

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Virgins hatch in mating nuc and then the bees kill them

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Increase? Did you mean decrease?
    No, I mean increase...

    Something Dr Fell suggested. He was looking at pheromones given off by un-emerged virgin queens. The pupa gives off pheromones that transfer through the queen cell wall. He suggested that the cell protector may in some way interfere with that transfer.

    So, I quit using cell protectors...and my queen cell % acceptance rose.

    Olympic, there are too many variables to point a finger at any one cause. You have to look at everything, and see if there isn't a difference in some little detail. You seem to be giving the mating nucs their cells correctly, and on time.

    It could be something you haven't thought of, or something that will result in dead virgins occasionally. Several things seemed to help my take a little..hence my list above. Using the same grafting source as the queen you pulled from the mating nuc is another one I tried. Also seemed to help a little bit with some, but not the complete answer.

    After looking at everything else, do you think you are making the mating nucs too strong?

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Virgins hatch in mating nuc and then the bees kill them

    I was reading in one of the old books that before adding the cell, in the evening after flying was done, the bottom board was tipped back a little and a small amount of syrup was poured in on the bottom board. By small amount I mean enough that they would clean it up fairly quickly - it would put them in a good mood and the author claimed it made them more accepting. I have no idea if this practice is common today.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Virgins hatch in mating nuc and then the bees kill them

    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Quiney WI View Post
    I was reading in one of the old books that before adding the cell, in the evening after flying was done, the bottom board was tipped back a little and a small amount of syrup was poured in on the bottom board. By small amount I mean enough that they would clean it up fairly quickly - it would put them in a good mood and the author claimed it made them more accepting. I have no idea if this practice is common today.
    Well, a flow always helps with any aspect of beekeeping...

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Virgins hatch in mating nuc and then the bees kill them

    Yeah! And with the young virgins too. Who knows?

    Now to think about it I did put honey/syrup mixture in every hive that I made a nuc from. They are very well
    fed through out the queen mating and laying process. Maybe that's why the good mood might help to accept the queen better.
    Do you feed them honey/syrup too?

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Virgins hatch in mating nuc and then the bees kill them

    Cell builders always, mating nucs if they need it

  19. #19
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    Rutherfordton nc
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    Default Re: Virgins hatch in mating nuc and then the bees kill them

    The older the bees get the less aceptance ull get after three queens ether leave them a queen or make new mating nuc. Three is what commerical people do.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Virgins hatch in mating nuc and then the bees kill them

    When I introduced my queen cells I made the nuc up of two frames of brood in all stages and 2 frames of food and an empty foundationless frame. All queens hatched and were accepted. The nucs were made up within minutes of putting the cell in also and kept on the same trailer they came from. Infact, those same nucs are ready to be transferred into a single ten frame deep this week!

    Gonna graft again tomorrow to make some more nucs up when its time. Hopefully I get a better take on grafting this time!!
    Coyote Creek Bees

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