Successful Queen Introduction tips. - Page 3
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  1. #41
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    Default Re: Sucsessful Queen Introduction tips.

    Harry, can you elaborate on what you mean by "she was a spent virgin"?

    Also, If I may pose a scenario for your consideration ...the other day while doing routine inspections I found, in one of my queen-right hives, right on the top of one of the frames, a virgin queen being balled. I immediate grabbed an old JZBZ cage I had in the truck and placed her in it after blowing off the balling workers. Note, obviously I didn't have any candy to plug the end with so I used one of those caps that sometimes come with the JZBZ cages, depending on where you might buy them from. Anyway, I continued my inspection only to find my original marked queen walking around doing her usual job of laying eggs. All is well in the hive again...

    Now, with all that said, what to do with this mysteriously appeared queen? Well, I also recalled that I had a split which I had just made a few days ago and figured I would place her in that nuc. So, the point being is that this virgin is in a cage that is capped and NOT plugged with candy. I realize that I can either go back to the apiary (a good 45 minute drive one way) and plug the cage with candy or I can wait a few days and release her myself. My question is...how long can a virgin be confined? I have read somewhere, I forget where, that a virgin has a very short window to get out and mate otherwise her ovaries won't ever develop. I don't know how true that is but I would like to know but can't find any answers via Google search. I would appreciate y'all's input. Thanks all in advance.
    Last edited by Swiftwisdom; 05-11-2015 at 10:59 PM. Reason: Spelling

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  3. #42
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    Default Re: Sucsessful Queen Introduction tips.

    My question is...how long can a virgin be confined?

    I would say as soon as possible to go release her because within 3 days after hatching her hormones changes and the workers cannot recognize her anymore to say she is an intruder. When allow to freely roam from day one she gradually spread her scent all over the hive to enable her to secure a position in the hive. I recently got some virgins that got balled by the foreign bees that I put in their mating nucs. So I caged them for one day. The next day I released them using Karo syrup spread all over the frame of bees and the virgins. The one that survived this ordeal I let her be and everything is normal again. She was able to secure her position and got mated. It was a bit past due for her mating flight too. I was worried for a while since they've been balling her for almost 3 days already. So bring a bottle of syrup to dip the virgin in if they continue to balled her after you release her from the cage. The more syrup you put on the better but don't cover her head only her body all over and the other bees on the frame. If they accepted her then you don't need to syrup her up.
    Good luck on this one!
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  4. #43
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    Marshall county, AL
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    Default Re: Sucsessful Queen Introduction tips.

    Quote Originally Posted by HarryVanderpool View Post
    Brad, it is so funny that you ask because I just got done doing the same rig-a-ma-roll!!
    Every year my peach growers start screaming for bees while they are still in almonds.
    So as soon as some bees hit the ground in Salem, I pull some directly off the semi and onto a truck to deliver the next day .
    Every year these hives get PACKED with bees and honey from a number of sources by the end of pollination.
    Some of them were right down to a day or so from issuing swarms; cells EVERYWHERE!!!
    No eggs, a skinny, ready to fly queen, etc....
    I have divided these hives 3 ways.

    But now to answer your question:
    I don't have advice just yet.
    It appears that the way I am dividing these full-blown swarmy hives works out really well.
    It appears to "Knock the swarm right out of them" as well.
    But I don't want to post any thing just yet until I have proven, through repeatability, the process for a few more years.
    Otherwise I am just another "junk on the internet" poster child.
    Thanks for the response. I ended up tearing down the cells again yesterday. There was only one more built in one nuc. I finally found some 1/8" hardware cloth and made large push in queen cages. I turned the queen and attendants loose in the cage over capped brood and honey. I'm going to leave them be for a week and see how that goes.
    The more I learn about bees, the less I know.

  5. #44
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    Default Re: Sucsessful Queen Introduction tips.

    >My question is...how long can a virgin be confined?

    Anytime over three weeks and she will be a drone layer. Bad weather will often delay mating by a week. I would say two weeks is pushing it...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  6. #45
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    John Day River, OR
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    Default Re: Sucsessful Queen Introduction tips.

    Thanks Harry for the great thread. Lots of good wisdom for novices.

    My wife and I have only been keeping bees for 5+ years but we have been blessed by some really exceptional mentors. We now have about 100 hives and are raising quite a few queens for our own use. Here are a few other thoughts to add on.

    What Harry said is too true. Keep it Simple. Introduce your queens, use the candy. Remember, the queen producers make their living supplying queens. If their queens consistently failed acceptance, they wouldn't stay in business. Everyone has a bad batch, but be sure to evaluate your own methods before calling them to complain.

    For really big hives we even add masking tape across the candy to slow them down (poke a hole in the tape not the candy). DO NOT CHECK THE STATUS FOR 10 DAYS. If you check early, you might see confusing weird things like cells (they often start building cells while she is caged, only to tear them down later). If you wait much after 10 days, in the odd event that she was not accepted, you might have hatching virgins.

    Please please please, before introducing a queen into a "queenless hive," be sure they are actually queenless. There could easily be a virgin. Torn down and hatched cells are easily missed. The presence of a virgin will deny queen acceptance every time. If there is no brood left in the hive, introduce some brood with the queen. Itll increase your acceptance and help them rebuild faster. And again, make SURE there is not a virgin in the hive.

    The smaller the hive, the easier acceptance. So when you re-queen, ideally you are also pulling some bees out of it (making nucs/splits). I have talked to a few people who requeen with nucs. They get the queens accepted into the nucs, then introduce a nuc to the parent hive and pull out brood to make the next round of nucs.

  7. #46
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    Default Re: Sucsessful Queen Introduction tips.

    Harry, do you leave the hive queenless for a specific period of time before introduction? 1 hour? 24 hours? 48 hours?

    Thanks again,
    Adam - Zone 5A
    www.adamshoney.com

  8. #47
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    Default Re: Sucsessful Queen Introduction tips.

    I would say as soon as possible to go release her because within 3 days after hatching her hormones changes...[/QUOTE]

    Thanks Beepro...appreciate the quick reply and advice.
    Last edited by Swiftwisdom; 05-12-2015 at 12:33 PM. Reason: typo

  9. #48
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    Default Re: Sucsessful Queen Introduction tips.

    Mr. Bush, just to clarify, your saying I can leave her in the cage, unreleased, upto 2 weeks? No threat or concern of what Beepro described as to hormone changes? Thank you in advance.

  10. #49
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    Default Re: Sucsessful Queen Introduction tips.

    >Mr. Bush, just to clarify, your saying I can leave her in the cage, unreleased, upto 2 weeks? No threat or concern of what Beepro described as to hormone changes? Thank you in advance.

    I'm just saying a virgin queen can take three weeks to get mated and still be good but after that she is unlikely to be good. I would not push my luck as bad weather can delay things enough. But two weeks would be safe if the weather is good.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  11. #50
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    Default Re: Sucsessful Queen Introduction tips.

    >I'm just saying a virgin queen can take three weeks to get mated and still be good but after that she is unlikely to be good. I would not push my luck as bad weather can delay things enough. But two weeks would be safe if the weather is good.[/QUOTE]

    Understood...thank you, again.

  12. #51
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    Default Re: Sucsessful Queen Introduction tips.

    Quote Originally Posted by zhiv9 View Post
    Harry, do you leave the hive queenless for a specific period of time before introduction? 1 hour? 24 hours? 48 hours?

    Thanks again,
    No.
    And nobody that I know of does.

    Pinch the queen, reassemble the box of frames with extra space between the frames that I have chosen to place the queen cage between just as a reminder, go to the queen bank and pull out a caged queen, insert candy tube, one wrap of cheapy-ass masking tape, go back to the hive and insert between chosen frames, shove frames together, replace feeder, fill feeder close up hive, put sticker on hive, write date on masking tape and place on lid.
    Done deal.

    If I thought I could improve my acceptance percentage by waiting to install the queen I might consider it, BUT WAIT!... It is impossible to improve my percentages!
    Why mess with success?
    I have exactly ONE more hive than you.
    That makes my opinion beyond dispute!

  13. #52
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    Default Re: Sucsessful Queen Introduction tips.

    Thanks Harry for taking the time to share some valuable information.

  14. #53
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    Default Re: Sucsessful Queen Introduction tips.

    Quote Originally Posted by beepro View Post
    Is there anything else you recommend for a laying worker?

    I did an experiment last year attempting to requeen a LW hive and a 2nd attempt to
    requeen a nuc hive with an expensive queen. Both worked out very well. What I did was
    wrap the entire frame of capped broods about to emerge with a large piece of window wire screen. And thumb tact the
    screen all over so the bees cannot get out. Then put in about 50 young nurse bees along with the queen inside the wire frame cage.
    As more young bees emerged and the queen was laying all the LWs bees disappeared later on. The expensive queen also got accepted and laying successfully.
    A small push in cage is not enough in my situation because the more bees that can spread the queen's scent the better her acceptance. So maybe you can try
    this method to requeen a LW hive too.
    beepro - I am intrigued by your requeening method. With the brood frame with queen and nurse bees enclosed with screen so bees couldn't get in or get out, how was the queen and trapped bees fed? Did the brood frame also include honey and pollen stores? Did bees outside the screened frame pass food store to the bees inside?
    --shinbone
    (1975-1980, and now since 2011; maintain about 10 hives; Zone 5b; 15" rain; 5500')

  15. #54
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    Default Re: Sucsessful Queen Introduction tips.

    Quote Originally Posted by shinbone View Post
    beepro - I am intrigued by your requeening method.
    How was the queen and trapped bees fed? I gave them a quart of syrup so that all the workers are fed inside the hive. They will
    share the syrup with the newly emerged bees inside the frame cage too.

    Did the brood frame also include honey and pollen stores? Yes, I on purpose selected a frame with emerging broods that has the
    pollen and open nectar in it.

    Did bees outside the screened frame pass food store to the bees inside?
    Yes, as the young bees emerged the workers outside the
    frame will feed them. Inside the cage the young nurse bees also feed and take care of the laying queen.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  16. #55
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    Default Re: Sucsessful Queen Introduction tips.

    Beepro - Awesome. Thanks for the additional info.
    --shinbone
    (1975-1980, and now since 2011; maintain about 10 hives; Zone 5b; 15" rain; 5500')

  17. #56
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    Default Re: Sucsessful Queen Introduction tips.

    Harry, I requeened 1 of my hives this morning. I followed your steps and will not open hive for 10 days. 1 question .....I placed cage in between 2 brood frames capped of course about 3/4 towards top. I put cage in screen facing down is this correct ? Or does it not matter? Thanks very much. Robert

  18. #57
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    Default Re: Sucsessful Queen Introduction tips.

    Hi Robert,
    As long as the screen is available to the bees to feed the queen, the orientation does not matter.
    However, I do not buy queens with attendants in the cage.
    So I generally face the candy down so if it gets runny, it will not smother the queen.It sounds like you have the cage in a horizontal placement.
    I am quite sure that you are O.K.
    I have exactly ONE more hive than you.
    That makes my opinion beyond dispute!

  19. #58
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    Default Re: Sucsessful Queen Introduction tips.

    Yes I did place cage horizontal. Good idea if vertical place candy down. Queen supplier told me to leave attendants in cage and after few days they would be accepted as well. Thanks for reply. Robert

  20. #59
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    Default Re: Sucsessful Queen Introduction tips.

    I wish I had searched for this thread BEFORE asking my requeening question in the beekeeping 101 section earlier today. This thread answered all my questions! Going forward, I believe I should always search first... and then ask the question!

  21. #60
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    Default Re: Sucsessful Queen Introduction tips.

    I just got done with my second round of queens. The 1st round I had a 25% failure rate as I removed the queen cages on day 3. The second round of requeening and requeening supercedures during terrible weather I had 100% success by leaving them alone for 12 days except to slide the lid over to fill the frame feeder. Thanks Harry!

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