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Thread: Unmated queens.

  1. #1
    Senior Member Greengage's Avatar
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    Default Unmated queens.

    Has anyone ever given thought to selling unmated queens or would ther be a market for them.

  2. #2
    Senior Member fatshark's Avatar
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    LASI sell them ... for 20.
    No comment.
    Presumably there's a market.
    I've given them or sealed cells away ...

  3. #3

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    Well, you can sell anything! There is always a buyer for any kind of tat, or useless beekeeping equipment. But, perhaps the question could be out another way. Why would you buy an unmated Q ? And would any reason you can come up with really justify the risk of such a purchase?

    Has anyone studied acceptance rates of mated v unmated Qs?

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    Senior Member busybeephilip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feckless Drone View Post
    Why would you buy an unmated Q ? A
    Its all about genetics

  5. #5

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    Virgin queens are fairly freely traded. Going rate about a fiver, available from several sources, mainly in Europe but in the UK too. Compare to buying mated laying queens the success rate is poor, sometimes very poor.

    I know one guy who bought 300 virgins from Batsis in Greece. The outcome was not great.


    To directly answer FD..........Not formal studies I know of, but with mated queens you typically get 85 to 95% acceptance, the cases I know of, which will only be at best 15 people purchasing, most said a success rate with virgins varying from 10% up to about 60%. One guy said they were all a success and this was a significant number too (very very dubious of that). However, freshly hatched virgins less than say 12 hours old, have a far better acceptance than shipped ones that may have been in cages with workers for several days. My father did it once in the 1970's with virgins from a breeder in Wales but only got about 35% that worked, so a huge cash loss in wasted splits and the consequent lack of a crop from two thirds of them.
    Last edited by Calluna4u; 13-01-2017 at 02:43 PM.

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    Senior Member Mellifera Crofter's Avatar
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    I bought five virgin LASI queens and ended up with six nucleus colonies with laying queens.

    I caught a small swarm near the colonies, and when I checked the colonies, found one of them with an open queen cell - so, of those two colonies I'm not sure which queen is the LASI one - but at least they all survived.

    I suppose my purchase was rather expensive compared to a fiver a virgin as C4U said - but I didn't know about those, and I'm happy with these queens. I understand that their success in my apiaries also depends on the drones they met - but I think they've got a good start as far as genes are concerned and, if all goes well next season, will increase the gene pool among my bees. Will see.

    Kitta

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    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
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    Mated queen introduction success should be well over 90% if you do it properly and follow instructions.
    Biggest problem is usually a virgin already present which many beekeepers just wont acknowledge and they introduce an expensive queen to certain doom.

    I introduce virgin queens hatched in the incubator to apideas with near 100% success rate.
    The queen goes in first and gets a scoop of wet bees on top of her. The apidea is left closed for at least 24 hours after that.
    Mating success then depends upon the weather more than any other factor, but you would expect maybe 70-80% to start laying properly under favourable conditions.
    Don't know how Lasi manage to sell many at 20 a pop. I would value a virgin queen at a lot less than that.

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    Senior Member fatshark's Avatar
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    I don't know how LASI manage to sell anything through the University system for 20 ... presumably there are salaries, overheads etc. sliced off this ... ? Considering the price of high quality mated queens, the introduction success rate and the hit and miss nature both of getting them mated and to something desirable (genes-wise) they look pricey.

    Nevertheless, I'm pleased they appear to be working for you Kitta and would be interested to hear how you get on with them. Are there piles of Varroa being turfed out of the entrance?

  9. #9

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    From what I've gleaned they are good at turfing out frozen killed dead brood.....but not tested for specifically removing larva with Varroa . i.e not Varroa Sensitive Hygiene. If I remember correctly LASI suggest they are treated for varroa as well, at least once a year....somewhere in their blurb.
    Perhaps someone knows the answer to this but hygienic behaviour and 2 recessive genes (1 for uncapping, 1 for removal) have been well described for AFB resistant bees many moons ago. It's always been unclear (to me at least) what the difference is between these known traits and the LASI bees, except they have just been tested for freeze killed brood.removal with no AFB involvement.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Mellifera Crofter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatshark View Post
    ... they look pricey.

    Nevertheless, I'm pleased they appear to be working for you Kitta and would be interested to hear how you get on with them. Are there piles of Varroa being turfed out of the entrance?
    No! But then, I've hardly seen any varroa in any of my colonies. As Thymallus said, I don't think they're sold as varroa biters.

    Pricey ... I don't know - but they come from colonies that's been tested. I'm happy for now. I hope they met some of Jon and Drone Ranger's queens' drones on their mating flights.

    Kitta

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