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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Im having a problem. Ive been raising queens and lettling them emearg in a queen cage. Then I put them in a nuc that has been queenless for about a day. I was going to put a small marshmellow in it and let the bees free her and I did that for about 4 queens. Then I decided to just release one and see what happens. I watch for a little while and the bee seemed to ignore her. So I did it with the rest.

A couple days later I went back to check and I could find no queens at all - in any of the nucs. Is this just the way it is with this kind of placing queens or could it be that this just isnt the right time of the year for this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I noticed when I put the queens lose into nucs they stuck their heads immediatly into the cells looking for honey, so I figure they are very hungry. Today I put 3 workers into cage that the queen has immerage in and put a little granulated honey into the cell cup. They aren"t all out of the cell yet so Im holding off on putting them into the nuc untill I think they are all out that are coming out.

Hope I have better luck than last time.
 

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I had an extra cell left last Thursday and because of a bad thunderstorm and darkness could not make up an extra nuc. So I stuck the cell in a piece of styrofoam with a hole in the end and put a cage there so she would have a place to go if she emerged. Then forgot about her!

Until last night, and sure enough she was still there and still alive. I fed her some honey and water and after an hour or so placed her on a frame of bees with honey and open nectar that I had removed earlier from the hive. I placed her on the frame and watched. At first they ignored her, then one worker bee started to bite a leg. then another bee got on her and I thought she was grooming her. The virgin stuck her butt in a cell like she was going to lay. After a while she continued to move through the mass of bees without any particular incident. I plan to watch her carefully every day to see if she survives and mates.
 

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Why are you letting them hatch into a cage instead of directly into the nuc?
 

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Might want to go look through the archives at Bee-L... there was some discussion on introducing virgin queens the other day.
 

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I can't speak for Fat Drone but the reason I emerged in cages was partly just curiosity, and also to evaluate the size of the queen. I used the biggest and let the others die. You could also use this to select for color.
 

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While I don't do it routinely (except when inseminating queens) I will put cells in cages or a nursery frame to emerge in a queenless hive for later introduction to mating nucs. I may do this because I have extra cells one week, or the weather may be poor and I can't remove the mated queens from the nucs so I can place the cells.

Newly emerged can be released directly, but they quickly get their scent and can't be directly released. I've had the most luck introducing the cage to the nuc and leaving it for 4-5 days before releasing the queen. It seems to work best if you feed the queen before placing the cage in the nuc (a drop of honey on the cage will do) or possibly with candy in the cage (but don't expose it to the nuc or they will release her too early). Also be very careful when releasing the queen as the caged virgins will be very flighty.

I prefer pulling out the cage to check if she is alive, then replacing the cage, pulling the cork immediately closing up the hive. That way she walk out of the cage with the hive closed and won't fly off. It is easier if you use one of the California style wooden cages because the queen cell will fit into the cage as a plug, or if you cage then in JZBZ cages as either type can fit between frames without removing a frame.

Success can be as good as with queen cells in my experience. It is a handy management tool at times with our weather though it is more work than just placing ripe queen cells.

-Tim
 

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If you want to look at the queen after she hatches

Place the queen cell in her cage into the nuc that you intend to place her and let her emerge in the cage in the nuc where she is going to be the mother of that nuc. Do this a day or 2 before she hatches and they will already have had contact with her and the hive scent is already on her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
thanks for the responces. Ive been doing it this year to have more time getting the nucs ready to place the queen also to not wast time with cells that have dead queens. Also I have more time to evaluate the queen in the nuc to see if the brood will devolope in good brood. and to check to see if the queens front legs are good. Ive seen queens laying well but having a missing front leg and then losing her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
This time I put the cage with the queen and 3 workers into the nuc and then 2 or 3 days later releasing her. It worker much better.
 
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