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Most package queens get artificially inseminated so unless the AI fails or one gets missed the queens should all be mated. That being said I think that a high failure rate of package queens would be more indicative of the low quality rather than it being a high rate of unmated queens.

These are grafted queens in large quantities, some larva selected is bound to be too old or damaged during grafting resulting in poor queens.
 

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I believe most package queens are open mated.
Not possible. The package producers buy their queens from queen breeders who are doing thousands of queens a season... They are not maintaining hundreds or thousands of mating nucs... they are artificially inseminating because it is much faster than waiting for a queen to open mate.

maybe some small scale guys open mate package queens, but the bulk are AIed.
 

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I've been to B. Weaver's operation in Navasota, TX, and seen part of their mating nuc setup. Maybe their special breeder queens are AI, but unless I'm wrong, the rest are open mated.

It would be interesting to know just how many queen breeders AI, and how many open mate. We'd probably all be surprised.
Regards,
Steven
 

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Hi BlueGrass,
Most if not all package queens are open mated, many use mini nucs or queen castles in mating yards. The queens do lay a little in these nucs. The nucs are too small to show a good brood pattern, they can just tell that she is fertile. Not how well shes been mated, or what kind of job she will do in a full size hive.
An instrumentally inseminated queen would cost you at least $100 plus shipping. Many breeders who sell packages purchase II queens too make the queens they sell from. Some just use whatever queens they run in their operation.
 

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3/28/10
FYI:
:) I have 100 Pierco drone base combs in full production so that the virgin queens can be mated properly with weather permitting.
I know a queen breeder in northern California that has over 500 drone frames in production.
Some of us do our very best to supply a well mated queen!
I cage out my mated queens after they have been in their nucs for at least 17 days. Any queen that is not laying at caging out time gets a death sentence and the nuc gets re-stocked.
Regards,
Ernie
 

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I'm amazed by those that think they know so much yet they know so little. If all package queens were II we wouldn't have the supercedure problem we have when we get queens that were open mated with lack of drones, poor stock or poor weather.
 

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This message is irresponsible and should be removed by the moderator.

Not possible. The package producers buy their queens from queen breeders who are doing thousands of queens a season... They are not maintaining hundreds or thousands of mating nucs... they are artificially inseminating because it is much faster than waiting for a queen to open mate.

maybe some small scale guys open mate package queens, but the bulk are AIed.
 

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So much for an open public forum of free exspression.... When did Americans become such censor nazis?:rolleyes:

Feel free to disagree with my perception. Bottom line is package queens are crap...most of us can agree on that. If your in the package queen business maybe think about figuring out why they do so poorly and do something about it.

Personally I stay away from packages....have for years.
 

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I don't think your message should be removed. I'm just glad others have responded so folks can make up their own mind as I always do and by the way I don't agree with you. Like BEES4U I think most breeders try to do a good job. Not all queens are a winner no matter how they are breed.
 
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