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How many emergency QCs should I leave?

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Haughton Honey 

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I split a very strong colony literally in half just over a week ago and removed the queen to a new location with a load of brood and nurse bees, leaving the remaining half of the original colony to create some emergency QCs from eggs on a frame that I had left behind in amongst the remaining frames of brood.

This they have now done - I think that there are about 6 to 8 cells in all at last count.

My question is, should I reduce to one or two emergency queen cells or should I just leave them to get on with it? I'm worried that I might get a series of small cast swarms as they emerge in about a week's time.

Thanks

Cris
 

oliver90owner 

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6 to 8 cells in all at last count.

When was that?

Yes. One is enough. Two is back-up. The rest are a possible liability.

Casts? - Generally not, but depends on how crowded the box is, whether a cast would emerge.

If you reduce the number to 2 or less, your worries will disappear, n'est pa? Yep, just get on and do it, but remember to be very gentle with that frame - Capped QCs are fragile.

Regards, RAB
 
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You won't find any consensus on this forum between leaving one or two. As long as it's not three it probably doesn't matter. (but I'd go for two as insurance)
 

Haughton Honey 

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Thank you all for your replies - I decided to leave two!
 

ribblesbees 

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If you wouldn't mind White Park Cattle, could you let us know how you get on? i.e. what ever the outcome, do you feel you made the right choice to leave two, or with hindsight maybe one would have been better in your situation.

bee-smillie
 

jon 

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In this situation I cut them off and put them in hair roller cages to hatch.
Even if you mess up a few you will almost certainly end up with several queens.
Just move two frames a bit further apart and let the rollers hang in between.
the bees will keep the cells warm and stick them tight within a few hours.
On hatching, this lets you inspect the queens for any defects, especially in the wings.
you can pick the best looking one and just release it as it is with it's own bees - so no problem with acceptance.
The rest you can discard, give away, or use to make up nucs.
 

jezd 

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In this situation I cut them off and put them in hair roller cages to hatch.
Even if you mess up a few you will almost certainly end up with several queens.
Just move two frames a bit further apart and let the rollers hang in between.
the bees will keep the cells warm and stick them tight within a few hours.
On hatching, this lets you inspect the queens for any defects, especially in the wings.
you can pick the best looking one and just release it as it is with it's own bees - so no problem with acceptance.
The rest you can discard, give away, or use to make up nucs.
does the roller not interfere with her hatching? how do ensure it hangs from the top?

Cheers

Jez
 

Hombre 

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The hair roller cage is ever so slightly conical. the queen cell occupies the top half and so has more than enough room for the queen to emerge.

The cage also has a top with a ridge that will allow it to be trapped in the surface of the two combs which it is trapped between. Lower it gently to the selected depth and adjust the frames to trap it securely. Just as Jon said.
 

the naked beekeeper 

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I had a nuc made up about a month ago and two queen cells were left in there.

Personally, I like to let the bees have the choice and work it out who will be their queen.
They are now queen right and she's laying, so no problem here.
 

jon 

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does the roller not interfere with her hatching? how do ensure it hangs from the top?

Cheers

Jez
Just wedge the cell in place with a little bit of brace comb or wax and make sure there is a gap at the bottom where the queen can emerge. You don't want the cell to be resting on the bottom of the roller.
There is a little plastic lip which holds the roller between the two frames which you need to push together just enough to hold the rollers. The bees will attach the rollers firmly with wax within hours. They also cover the outside of them in order to incubate the cells.
 
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