Need Bees Removed?
International
Beekeeping Forums
November 26, 2014, 09:09:25 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
News: 24/7 Ventrilo Voice chat -click for instructions and free software here
 
   Home   Help Search Calendar bee removal Login Register Chat  

Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Using virgin queens to supersede packages?  (Read 1150 times)
fermentedhiker
Field Bee
***
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 514


Location: Midcoast Maine


« on: June 19, 2010, 08:39:02 AM »

I was reading in the new book "the idiots guide to beekeeping" about intentionally superseding a package by releasing a virgin queen of local stock.  According to the book(if I remember correctly) a direct release is used and the virgins are almost always accepted and allowed to enter the hive(I think it said to place them at the entrance).  Upon successfully completely her mating flights the colony would use her to supersede the package queen.

I'm curious how many have used this technique?  If effective it seems like an excellent way to gracefully requeen a package.  By that I mean the whole time your waiting for the new queen to mate and start laying the package queen is still doing her business and if the virgin doesn't come back from her nuptial flight the old queen is still there and the hive never misses a beat.

One added benefit of using a virgin is that she mates with local drones and so her progeny have a better chance of being adapted to your locale.
Logged

Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.
--Douglas Adams
deknow
Field Bee
***
Online Online

Gender: Male
Posts: 752


Location: Massachusetts


WWW
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2010, 11:46:54 AM »

...since i'm one of the idiot's responsible for that book, i'll respond with some thoughts.

there are a number of studies and writings about introducing virgin queens, none (besides dee's) talk about introducing to queenright colonies to supercede them (most first dequeen the colony).  most use cages for introduction.

in addition, virgin queens often emerge into a colony (inside a cage), or emerge in a cage in an incubator.

doolittle talked about introducing virgins....and saw no problem with introducing very young virgins, but was focused on having better success with older (4-10 days old):
http://books.google.com/books?id=Vy8pAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA82&lpg=PA82&dq=introducing+virgin+queens&source=bl&ots=mR24gRhSKw&sig=WFCEsgqIbGC4XhVbHMrCKegHxvk&hl=en&ei=yDQeTJWqBoT48Aa00uG6DA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6&ved=0CD0Q6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=introducing%20virgin%20queens&f=false

i'm currently doing this, but because of several intersecting needs (stocking observation hives for market, making cell raising colonies, making nucs), none at the moment are queenright.

we are replicating dee's methods very closely.....using an incubator and having the queens emerge into 3 dram glass vials (so that the virgins are relatively isolated and don't pick up scents from a hive, from each other, or from a queen cage).  i have queens emerging as i type (7 on the kitchen table ready to go into queenless nucs i made up yesterday...another 13 to emerge today, and another 8 in two days).

this round of queens will probably head up the nucs they are mated in...the next few rounds will go into "mating nucs", and we are going to try "accelerated queen rearing" (where one virgin is caged in a mating nuc while another takes her mating flights and lays...once a week the mated queen is removed, the caged queen is released to mate, and a new caged virgin is placed in the hive).

...i know i didn't answer your question directly, but in any case, if you think you have some genetics worth preserving, you should never requeen with a mated queen.

fwiw, if all goes well, we will have nucs (expensive), and both mated and virgin queens available at the conference this year.

deknow
Logged
fermentedhiker
Field Bee
***
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 514


Location: Midcoast Maine


« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2010, 01:13:36 PM »

Thanks for the reply deknow.  I appreciate the clarification.  I can't claim to have any particularly good genetics.  I have two overwintered hives from packages last year(1 Russian, 1 Caucasian)  and I have 10 italian packages this year.  I'm in the process of "aggressive" splitting.  I'm planning on splitting the packages through the month of July and providing the splits with more Northern raised queens.  I've just managed to work out a deal with a large multicrop farmer to place a couple outyards.  This will give me a little income and more importantly a place to segregate and evaluate some different queens.  My plan for next year is to convert some old 10 frame mediums into queen castles so I'll be raising my own in the future.  That section in the book just got me thinking about ways to blend in some new genetics once I have my stock stabilized.

I enjoyed the book btw.  Being a beginning book it left me wanting more.  Do you guys have any plans to publish some more in depth articles in the future?  Good to know about the queens.

Adam
Logged

Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.
--Douglas Adams
deknow
Field Bee
***
Online Online

Gender: Male
Posts: 752


Location: Massachusetts


WWW
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2010, 01:26:39 PM »

be careful with the outyards on agricultural land.  the more we see, the more we are convinced that the ag chemicals (even the "organic fungicides") are a problem for the bees.  the reason you are being paid to place bees is because the location isn't good for your bees.  our best bees are far away from most agriculture.

if you need queens (mated or unmated) give me a holler....we are in portland regularly.

thanks for the kind words about the book.  yes, there is much more to write....this project just fell into our laps Smiley

deknow
Logged
bugleman
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 106


Location: Oregon, Aloha, Willamette Valley


« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2010, 11:42:35 AM »

Deknow,

Your queens only get to lay for one week in your nukes?
Logged
deknow
Field Bee
***
Online Online

Gender: Male
Posts: 752


Location: Massachusetts


WWW
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2010, 12:03:37 PM »

in the case of accelerated queen rearing, yes.  remember, having enough mating nucs is the limiting factor in queen rearing (which is why most of the commercial breeders use "baby nucs"...we use 5 frame deeps). 

ideally, you would want to leave the queen in for a month so you can see both her mature laying pattern _and_ the resulting offspring (mostly an issue if you are selling "pure stock" where the customer expects all the offspring to look the same).  i expect very few queens for sale are in their mating nucs for a month.

we have multiple purposes in our queen rearing this year:
1.  provide queens for overwintered nucs of our own
2.  provide some queens (and/or nucs) for sale to others
3.  get our systems tested and working so we can do this on a larger scale next year

for anyone who might purchase queens from us, they will certainly be laying a tight pattern before they are sold, and since we are producing many more than we will sell, we have backups in case there is a problem with a specific queen.

deknow
Logged
fermentedhiker
Field Bee
***
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 514


Location: Midcoast Maine


« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2010, 01:48:58 PM »

My arrangement maybe a little unique, in a good way that is.  The farmer I'm working with used to work bees with his father.  They kept over 1000 hives going at the time.  He still does some trucking of bees for other commercial beeks but didn't keep the business when his father died.  He maintains a  300 acre farm with fruit/berry/vegetable crops which they sell at his farm store which is on the property.  He has a pretty good idea which locations the bees used to do best at.  We picked a couple locations away from any crops that get sprayed and he indicated when he does spray he won't do it if he sees that bees are on the crops and waits until they've moved on to some other crop.  Makes sense really spray the bees is like shooting the hand that feeds for a farmer.  He does buy in hives of Bumbles for his green houses but doesn't have any time to deal with any honeybee hives.  So he was happy to have hives back on the property that he didn't have to deal with.  He's paying me to put the bees on his blueberries and the rest of the summer he gets free pollination of his other crops in exchange for me getting the yard space.  Not sure if I'll be able to find another location like that.  I'd like to end up with at least three yards that are far enough apart to limit unintended crossing betwen them.
Logged

Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.
--Douglas Adams
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Beemaster's Beekeeping Ring
Previous | Home | Join | Random | Next
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.20 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines | Sitemap Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.195 seconds with 21 queries.

Google visited last this page November 11, 2014, 04:20:26 PM