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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello and thank you.
I am looking for tips and tricks for using "extra"virgin queens that I have emerged, caged in an incubator. They are "extra" because all the mating nucs I make up receive ripe cells to emerge within the nuc.
Other questions...
What is the (dare I ask it) best way to successfully introduce her?
My common scenario is a failed mating nuc (QL for whatever reason).
If, upon successful introduction, will she tear down other cells started when she is hardening off/waiting for mating flight(s)?

Thank you for your responses.
 

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I just turn fresh hatched virgins right into my two frame mating nucs and the bees dont bother them.Now if they are a few days old bees dont bother them either but in a few days later they are gone and bees have started emergency cells.For older virgins I put in cages with candy and have good luck that way.
 

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I've only had one year's experience using an incubator, but very quickly discovered that getting virgins out of isolation and into the company of other bees is critical to their long-term survival - within a few hours if possible, but certainly within 48hrs. Any longer than that and their future looks bleak. My guess is that this is related to nurse bees providing the virgin Queen with a higher-protein diet than the honey which is normally supplied within the incubator.

I've heard of beekeepers obtaining improved results by putting a couple of nurse bees into each incubator cage along with the Q/Cell. That also might be worth trying.
LJ
 

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>>>I've heard of beekeepers obtaining improved results by putting a couple of nurse bees into each incubator cage along with the Q/Cell. That also might be worth trying.<<<
I tried that, workers ended up dead as soon as virgin emerged, followed by her death shortly after.

I have put a small ball of candy in along with 6 workers after emergence, but the longest I have kept them alive was 48 hrs, on the other hand I have placed a few emerged virgins in cages into the top of a full hive and kept them alive for 5 days,
I have heard the people who do II can manage to keep them alive
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you.
I have not yet tried attendends in the roller cages with the cell. Generally I stock the number of mating nucs to meet my cell numbers but am trying to tighten my resource managment. Two days ago I made a quick QL nuc for a bank, two open frames and one nectar/pollen. As this is day five, my window is shutting quickly. I may mark them and run a few in some older hives, fingers crossed.
 

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>>>I've heard of beekeepers obtaining improved results by putting a couple of nurse bees into each incubator cage along with the Q/Cell. That also might be worth trying.<<<
I tried that, workers ended up dead as soon as virgin emerged, followed by her death shortly after.

I have put a small ball of candy in along with 6 workers after emergence, but the longest I have kept them alive was 48 hrs, on the other hand I have placed a few emerged virgins in cages into the top of a full hive and kept them alive for 5 days,
I have heard the people who do II can manage to keep them alive
I put them in cages in a queenless hive if I have extras and the bees take good care of them until I can make a spot for them.I have kept them up to a week that way.
 

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As stated by many here, I had great luck in direct release of virgins. I make the mating nucs queenless for at-least couple of hours. About 24hrs makes it ideal. Then I spray a little of 1:1 sugar and introduce the virgin and give another small spray of 1:1 sugar. They are all accepted almost 100%. In some cases I lost couple of queens. This year i got 100 success with the above method. Also banking them in cage for too long also have negative results. If you are introducing a banked virgin - meaning banked for more than 3 days, I would make sure the mating nuc is hopelessly queenless. Meaning no larvae good for queen cells, no queen cells. Introduce the banked virgin in the same way described above.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you, very sound advice.
In my perfect world, I would use the banked virgins to replace any cells in the mating nucs that did not emerge correctly (knocking off emergency cells started). Therin lies my dillema: I have heard that opening the nuc too soon after emergence may cause the bees to ball the new queen. Having pershible virgins, time is of the essence. Thoughts?
 
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