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  • Virgin queens-pro/con-discuss?

    There is a treatment free supplier relatively near me. Though I wouldn't call him local the terrain and climate are similar. I am in the Arkansas Ozarks, he is in Missouri Crowley's ridge. He sells virgin queens from his TF stock. What considerations should I take before heading down this path. BTW, The bees I have now, started from spring nucs I purchased last spring, are queened with his stock.
    Neill Sayers
    Herbhome Farm
    Arkansas Ozarks, USA
    Zone 7a

  • #2
    The preference is for working with your own bees, but a good queen source can rocket you ahead in the game of increase.
    100% Treatment-Free, 16 years.
    Medford, Oregon, USA

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    • #3
      Solomon,
      My homestead property is abutted by about 2000 acres of unbroken forest. Over the years I've lost about 7-8 swarms of russian bees in those woods,( I hope they are doing well), and there was already ferals in that forest. So I think I am in a pretty good spot to rear my own queens. The few I reared in the past, by walkaway splits were superior to my originals.

      My question in opening this thread was about introducing virgin queens. How does this work out for people? Does one build a nuc and introduce as one would a QC? Do you place them in a cage with tenders and let the bees release them? Will the nurse bees even be interested in releasing her, given she is unbred?
      Neill Sayers
      Herbhome Farm
      Arkansas Ozarks, USA
      Zone 7a

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      • #4
        I don't have a lot of experience with virgins, but I have a little. Several times I just smoked a queenless nuc real good and dropped her in. I've also sold virgins with attendants and had no complaints.

        As far as releasing her, they don't give a rip about releasing a queen. There is sugar and they want the sugar. There is no logic further than that.
        100% Treatment-Free, 16 years.
        Medford, Oregon, USA

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        • #5
          Virgin queens are much trickier to introduce than a laying queen. Probably the old methods of rolling her in flour or dipping her abdomen in honey work as well as anything. A cage introduction does not work at all in my experience.
          Nehawka, Nebraska. My website: bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm em portugues: bushfarms.com/pt_bees.htm My book: ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
          -----"Everything works if you let it."--James "Big Boy" Medlin-----

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          • #6
            Thanks Solomon and Mike. For now my plans for spring are to learn grafting and raise some of my own queens but I came across this and wondered how one would go about introducing a virgin. Especially one I just paid for with shipping.
            Neill Sayers
            Herbhome Farm
            Arkansas Ozarks, USA
            Zone 7a

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            • #7
              "rolling her in flour or dipping her abdomen in honey work a" is this to prevent her from flying off or to disguise her ?.....

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              • #8
                Probably a little of both, but mostly for helping her get accepted.
                Nehawka, Nebraska. My website: bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm em portugues: bushfarms.com/pt_bees.htm My book: ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
                -----"Everything works if you let it."--James "Big Boy" Medlin-----

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                • #9
                  Solomon did a podcast with a breeder who only ships virgins. I’m struggling to find the podcast maybe he can point us in the right direction if the breeder actually covered the introduction process?
                  Angela
                  Kalispell, Montana Zone 4a
                  Certified Master Beekeeper

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