Urban beekeeping in New Mexico's largest city.
Mark and I will be attending the Thursday-May 24th ABQ beeks meeting. We'll be bringing virgin queen daughters from a few of our prize breeders.
Virgin queens are $13/each.
They are installed same as mated queens though you would then wait 3 weeks post introduction before revising/disturbing.
For those wanting to make splits or that have hives that need requeening, introducing a virgin queen in her cage eliminates the risk of unviability of cells. This is a great method for adding new genetics (50% will come from our Rocky Mountain and Sooper Yooper survivor lines and the remaining 50% derives from your area drones stock). Introducing a virgin saves your hive over 2 weeks of time.
We are limited in our number of hives and thus limited in the quantity of nucs and queens we can produce so we are sorry that we do not have more mated queens available until July.
However, with your own bees, you can nurture a survivor stock queen, incorporate and promote regionally fortified bee stock while also experiencing the thrill and empowerment of creating and maintaining your hives.
We have batches emerging weekly. We can also ship via USPS priority flat rate- which arrives overnight to NM locations- for $7 shipping.
If interested - email us at email@example.com or give us a call at
How are your virgin queens going to come? Are they going to be in some kind of introduction cage? What temperature do you need to keep the queens until they get in the hive?
we cage them in JzBz cages- same as our mated queens. They are installed, in their cage- candy tube down- in between two brood area combs. We fill the candy tube with fondant 1/2 full so that the virgins can be released within a day and can then begin conducting their mating flights.
We provide a care and installation sheet.
We will have each virgin will be in her own cage with 5 attendants to keep her warm and to feed her during transit.
Queens should be kept no colder than 70 degrees and up to 95 degrees. You can keep her in your shirt/pants pocket until you get her in to a hive or wrap a clean sock/hand towel around her cage and keep in a warm spot until the next day. They can survive in their cages for a few days but should be promptly installed to keep on her mating schedule and for proper care and nourishment.
You can smear a dab of honey on the exterior of the cage and add a drop of water for the attendants until they are housed.
Once installed, best to leave hive alone for at minimum 3 weeks: 1st week for her to conduct her mating flights, 2nd week for her to begin laying and 3rd week for the bees to begin to assess her initially laid brood. The capped fertilized worker brood will be visibly evident at the end of the 3rd week and confirms successful mating.
If one gets anxious and disturbs prior, the queens' pheremones are developing and if there is a disturbance during this critical time of acceptance, the bees may "blame" her for the intrusion and ball and suffocate or maim her. If a virgin's wings are damaged, she will be unable to fly well to mate successfully and may have issues gripping the comb when laying and begin to lay awkwardly. Patience is of essence.
Crosses of area queens can prove interesting. Adding and promoting quality genetics will help with hive health and endurance.
So the queens have already emerged from their queen cell?
Yes- they have emerged from their cells. We used to offer queen cells but if mishandled, they are easily damaged and then will not yield a viable queen. So now we offer virgins who have just emerged- we are able to "inspect" that their wings and pupal development went well. They are ready for new homes.
We plug in a lot of virgins into queenless nucs with great success. Virgin queens do not have full pheremone development and are easily introduced into a queenless hive. As she mates and matures, her subtle integration into the hive is accepted.
my name is ron and i would like to buy 3 queens from you?
Hello Ron- shoot us an email directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call- 505/929-8080. I will be passing through ABQ on Tuesday- after Memorial Day and can meet you off the highway. Otherwise, we can put them in the mail to you via USPS priority flat rate- arrives overnight.