Is there a trick to introducing a virgin queen
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  1. #1
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    Default Is there a trick to introducing a virgin queen

    I have few mating nucs that the queen did not make it back from her mating flight. This was 15 days or more ago, I tried to introduce a virgin into one of them a few minutes ago and they tried to ball her. Is there a trick to doing this with such an old queen less nuc. There is no laying worker or queen in the nuc.

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Is there a trick to introducing a virgin queen

    Put the virgins remaining cell cup on a frame and then put the virgin on that cup. Keep watch and remove her and do it again if needed. This is Lauri's way of doing it, see here:

    https://www.beesource.com/forums/show...88#post1572688

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Is there a trick to introducing a virgin queen

    I put her in a roller cage with her cell cup as the top plug, I then placed her between 2 frames. I will see how it goes tomorrow.

  5. #4

    Default Re: Is there a trick to introducing a virgin queen

    If they are queenless, give them a frame with some eggs and let them make another. I've never had any luck introducing virgins. Much simpler, in my opinion, to start over.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Is there a trick to introducing a virgin queen

    I like to powder sugar a bunch of the combs of bees. While they are busy with that, I set her down on the screened bottom of the hive in an open roller cage and let her climb out into the fray.

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Is there a trick to introducing a virgin queen

    Put her in a queen cage and introduce her like a mated queen. Let them release her or do it yourself after 3-4 days. She then acts like a regular virgin and goes thru mating flights. Almost 100% success, and I've done a bunch of them.
    Thad

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Is there a trick to introducing a virgin queen

    Quote Originally Posted by RayMarler View Post
    Put the virgins remaining cell cup on a frame and then put the virgin on that cup. Keep watch and remove her and do it again if needed. This is Lauri's way of doing it, see here:

    https://www.beesource.com/forums/show...88#post1572688
    Ray,

    Have you actually done this?

    Personally, this is a subject that I've struggled with. I hear so many comments about how easy it is, but my success has been spotty at best. For this reason, I try to avoid introducing virgins. Actually, in my operation, I rarely find the need to introduce virgins, so this is not a huge loss in my book. What I've observed is the success depends upon numerous factors, including, but not limited to:

    Average age of receiving bees (younger is MUCH better)
    Sub-species of receiving bees relative to virgin (same is better)
    Age of virgin (younger is MUCH better)
    Current flow conditions (more is better)
    State of the receiving, i.e., the ability to make their own queen
    Size of the receiving colony (smaller is better)
    ...


    Cells are far easier. In fact, very few of the above matter that much when planting cells.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Is there a trick to introducing a virgin queen

    Quote Originally Posted by AstroBee View Post
    Ray,

    Have you actually done this?

    Personally, this is a subject that I've struggled with. I hear so many comments about how easy it is, but my success has been spotty at best. For this reason, I try to avoid introducing virgins. Actually, in my operation, I rarely find the need to introduce virgins, so this is not a huge loss in my book...

    Cells are far easier. In fact, very few of the above matter that much when planting cells.
    No, I've not tried it. As I said, that is Lauri's idea from here:
    https://www.beesource.com/forums/show...88#post1572688

    I'm like you, seldom need to install virgins and success is spotty at best. Cells are easier, but I've had the bees tear down cells and build their own a few times.

  10. #9
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    Clinton, Iowa
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    Default Re: Is there a trick to introducing a virgin queen

    I've had pretty good returns dipping them in honey water and putting them right on a frame with the bees. Within 24-48 hours of emerging. Been doing the same with early laying worker colonies as well and been lucky.
    Not doing this in full size colonies, mind you. In mating nucs and nucs mostly.
    Last edited by jwcarlson; 04-11-2018 at 10:19 AM.

  11. #10
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    Aug 2016
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    Hampton Arkansas
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    Default Re: Is there a trick to introducing a virgin queen

    I left her in a roller cage with her cell cup as the top plug in the nuc all night. I released her this afternoon and everything seem to be ok now ( No balling) will check on her in 15 days and see how it went.

  12. #11
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    Roy, Wa
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    Default Re: Is there a trick to introducing a virgin queen

    Quote Originally Posted by GregH View Post
    I have few mating nucs that the queen did not make it back from her mating flight. This was 15 days or more ago, I tried to introduce a virgin into one of them a few minutes ago and they tried to ball her. Is there a trick to doing this with such an old queen less nuc. There is no laying worker or queen in the nuc.
    With that time line I'd say their self made virgin queen was out on a mating flight and the mating nuc knows it's not queenless, although the queen was not in the hive when you were looking.

    -Reliable method for introducing virgin queens.

    It would be nice to be able to state an exact procedure that works without fail, but after several years of introducing them on a regular basis, I can only say there are a ton of tiny subtle variables that can make or break acceptance because each colony's status can vary widley. It takes hands on experience and some intuition to become successful enough you can rely on a decent percentage of acceptance. .

    The receiving colony's attitude is the key and can be manipulated in several ways towards favorability towards the virgin. My opinion is the virgin herself has little to do with it, unless she is a poorly reared specimen. Although in some circumstances a more mature virgin is more vigorous and confident for direct release than a blurry eyed newly emerged one.

    I do different things depending on the receiving hive situation, but have successfully released virgins in hives as small as mating nucs, hives as large as triple deeps and everything in between including laying worker hives. I've learned what signs to look for and little tricks like the cell cups that can make a difference.
    It doesn't work every time, but enough I can fill in from time to time with a decently successful outcome.

    There are circumstances a virgin queen can fill in better than a mated queen or capped cell. If I have any cells I can't place out of the incubator, I let them emerge and bank them for about 5 days in a queenless colony so they are very well fed. That extends my options another week. In case of a failed batch of queen cells, I have some back up.

    For instance, if I check nucs and find they were queenless & made their own cell, I can remove it and easily immediately direct release a 5 day old virgin and get that mating nuc back on track quick with a grafted superiorly fed virgin instead of a weak dink self made cell. BAM! Just gained about a week back.

    But I have to catch & remove that cell before it emerges or the whole ball game changes.
    Last edited by Lauri; 04-11-2018 at 04:30 PM.
    Lauri Miller.
    Carniolan Hybrids. Glenn, Latshaw & Wild lines.

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