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Author Topic: Double mesh cage for virgin queen to prevent subsequent supersedure  (Read 330 times)

Offline ugcheleuce

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Hello everyone

A Dutch beekeeping blogger (who is also a queen rearer), writes the following:  Beekeepers sometimes/often find that when they introduce a caged virgin queen into a colony that has been made hopelessly queenless, she is initially accepted, but then supersedured after a few weeks (or over winter).

The reason for this, he says, is that the colony is so frantic to get to the queen that they pull on her legs, and sometimes damages her feet in the process.  As you know, the feet contain the tarsal glands.  Also, the queen uses her front legs to measure the size of a cell before laying an egg in it.  The queen might have mated successfully, but with damaged feet the bees regard her as "not quite right", or she might not put out sufficient swarming suppressant pheromone, and so they replace her.

The solution to this, he says, is to wrap the cage in an additional layer of mesh.

What do you think of all this?

Samuel Murray, Apeldoorn, Netherlands
3 hives in desperate need of requeening :-)

Offline Michael Bush

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The JZBZ cages are designed so they can't pull on her feet.  Yes, that is an issue.
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"Everything works if you let it."--James "Big Boy" Medlin

Offline little john

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Extra layer of mesh ?  Sure - if it works ... that's all that matters. BUT - you really need to get that virgin in QUICKLY, as her clock's ticking.  Especially if poor weather is forecast.
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