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Queens in alcohol... does it work as well as lemon grass oil and swarm commander? Does it work better? I bought a small bottle of three queens in alcohol from a lady at our bee supply store..it was two dollars.. not a huge loss if it’s not the greatest.
 

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It is claimed to be a very good attractant per the Eastern Euro sources.
I collected my own queens over the last season and will try this in 2020.

After all, Swarm Commander and the like attractants are essentially emulating queen smell.
What about the real deal?

The preparation tip that I read - need to mix in the queen tincture with some wax/propolis so it is working longer.
 

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I had never heard of this before and I was super confused! :lpf:

The pheromone in question is called nasonov and some people erroneously refer to it as the 'queen pheremone' but that is not correct. The swarm attracting pheromone is only produced by workers in their nasonov glands and it is specifically used to orient bees to a hive entrance. Unfortunately it has nothing to do with the queen, she does not have a nasonov gland. Nasonov is air transmittable and air detectable which is how it can attract flying bees. It is also easy to make with essential oils like lemongrass, geranium, and lemon oils.

The queen does have a specific pheromone that she uses to announce her presence inside the hive, but it is oily and spread by touch, not by smell. I would not expect this queen extract to work at all, it literally makes no sense, thankfully it was just $2!
 

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I had never heard of this before and I was super confused! :lpf:

The pheromone in question is called nasonov and some people erroneously refer to it as the 'queen pheremone' but that is not correct. The swarm attracting pheromone is only produced by workers in their nasonov glands and it is specifically used to orient bees to a hive entrance. Unfortunately it has nothing to do with the queen, she does not have a nasonov gland. Nasonov is air transmittable and air detectable which is how it can attract flying bees. It is also easy to make with essential oils like lemongrass, geranium, and lemon oils.

The queen does have a specific pheromone that she uses to announce her presence inside the hive, but it is oily and spread by touch, not by smell. I would not expect this queen extract to work at all, it literally makes no sense, thankfully it was just $2!
You could be correct indeed: nasonov pheromon <> queen pheromone.

But, here is a video for you as a demonstration as how the bees congregate around a caged queen.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_aip5pBYgeI

I am pretty darn sure if I cage a queen and hang the cage off the tree - there will be bees coming to the cage and they will be accumulating around the cage.
Or I can put a cage onto the grass and the bees will start settling on the grass.

How is it possible IF the queen has no smell?

To clarify: am talking about the very first bees to find the queen (once the process starts going, the bees then will start pumping the nasonov - we know that).
 

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While I am no expert on this topic, I understand that the target pheromone being sought when soaking queens in alcohol for the purposes of swarm trapping is 'Queen Mandibular Pheromone' or QMP.

Here is a good paper which discusses chemical communication within a colony. Here is a bit about QMP: 'In addition to its primer effect, the queen signal exerts an attractive releaser effect: it calls workers around the queen in a retinue group, which is stimulated to feed and groom her; in young premating queens it acts as attractant for drones during the mating flights; during swarming it keeps the swarm together.'

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK200983/

FWIW- I have a small bottle of queens in alcohol and I dip one end of a Q-tip in this and the other end in lemongrass oil before putting it in a baggie and installing it in the swarm trap.
 

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Here is a good paper which discusses chemical communication within a colony. Here is a bit about QMP: 'In addition to its primer effect, the queen signal exerts an attractive releaser effect: it calls workers around the queen in a retinue group, which is stimulated to feed and groom her; in young premating queens it acts as attractant for drones during the mating flights; during swarming it keeps the swarm together.'

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK200983/
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Perfect!
Thanks Russ.
 
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