Re: Is there a trick to introducing a virgin queen
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.
Originally Posted by GregH
-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.
Carniolan Hybrids. Glenn, Latshaw & Wild lines.