Virgin Queens Introduction Guide
In this short presentation we will try to give you some useful tips on introducing virgin queens into mating hives.
It is well-known that the virgin queens have less pheromones than mated ones, which leads to bees’ reluctance to accept them.
To increase the introduction success rate, the following factors should be considered:
The virgin queens should be introduced into nuclei as soon as possible. (the older they get, the lower acceptance rate will be).
One of the most common practice is the immersion of the virgin queen in liquid honey before releasing in the mating hive to be cleaned by the bees. So the bees will get in contact with the new queen pheromones little by little and not suddenly.
Other method is by using queen cells made in plastic which allows the rebirth of virgin queens.
The mating hives should be of the smallest size and the bees as young as possible. (the younger they are, the more permissive they will be)
It is also necessary to keep the mating hives in the dark and cool place (basement) for a period of 3-5 nights. So the bees will cluster together and consider themselves to be a new colony.
The mating hives should be taken out of the basement only in the evening when the flight of the bees stops.