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Incubating Queen Cells

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Ando 

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Hi All

I was given a couple of Sealed QC's last night and have out them in my Chicken Eggs Incubator to try and hatch them, I have it set at 93DegF but need to know what the humidity needs to be, also I was thinking of Mounting them in there natural Position, facing down on a jar lid with some super glue so then I can see which from which cell and keep them aprt so they don't fight, if they do hatch.

Anyone done this or have any advice?

Cheers

Mark.
 
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I'm no expert but I believe a saucer of water in the incubator helps on the humdity. As for orientation I would have thought they have to be the right way round. You also need to cage them to stop the first emerging having a go at the rest.

The French company Nicoplast make little artificial tubes which queen cells can be sat in which then hang down from sockets nailed to a bar but I don't know of a UK supplier.

Biggest problem with sealed queen cells is knowing how old they are as in the early days they are very sensitive to bumps etc. It is not until day 12 when they harden off a bit inside.
 

plumberman 

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When I did it, I used some molten wax to bond the QC to the lid ( I'd be suspicious as to how effective superglue would be, as well as its potential toxicity). As far as humidity goes, I kept about a teaspoonful of cotton wool moistened in the jar.

Worked for me, but I think the older the QC the more likely you are to have success. Small amount of honey ( no less than a dab) to provide nutrition when queen hatches.

HTH
 

Ando 

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Excellent, Thanks Guys, I'll let you know how it goes, thought it has to be worth a go, shame to see them not used and left to die, got them from the local BKA last night, after they'd gone through the hives, we found about 20 cells in one colony.

Cheers

Mark.
 

marcros 

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Make sure you get them out of the incubator asap after they hatch- they go downhill very quickly- I lost one last year that hatched about 10pm, and by 7am was no more.
 

Poly Hive 

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The best incubator is a super, preferably third sup over qex.

If you do NOT include a spot of queen candy she will starve. Literally a spot mind as they are very prone to get fouled if you put in too much and that is fatal.

By far the best way is as above in cages in a super. Let the bees do the work people, they are the experts.

I will take some pics of my cages later this morning and post up. Very simple.

KISS.

PH
 

Ando 

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HI Marcos, PH

Thanks for the heads up on the hatching, I have put them into NC holders with a hair roller over the top, if I attach them to super frames do you think it will be better to put them in the top super to hatch out? i have 3 on one Hive that has swarmed and should have, in the next week or so a new mated queen, but will they still hatch these 2 out and feed them till I can set up a mini nuc to mate them in, obviously this is all hindsight that they will hatch! lol

Be interested to see you set up PH.

Cheers

Mark.
 

Max 

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The perfect temp is 34 degrees with humidity at least 50%, but no more than 70%.

Ideally cage each queen cell and place a small amount of honey and pollen with it so the virgins can feed. then either run them into a nuc, or if the nuc is quiet old the guard bees will kill the virgin, so the best bet is via a butler cage with a piece of marsh mellow as a stopper.

Works every time, the problem is not getting the virgins into the nucs its getting them back after they have mated.
 

plumberman 

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The best incubator is a super, preferably third sup over qex.

If you do NOT include a spot of queen candy she will starve. Literally a spot mind as they are very prone to get fouled if you put in too much and that is fatal.

By far the best way is as above in cages in a super. Let the bees do the work people, they are the experts.

I will take some pics of my cages later this morning and post up. Very simple.

KISS.

PH

My one concern about cages in a super would be that the emergence of a virgin (even if caged) could result in a queen right colony to swarm- probably paranoia, but could someone confirm that I need not worry?
 

Poly Hive 

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Note I said 3d super.

I have never seen one pushed to swarm despite over ten virgins above.

Which is of course not the same as saying it might never happen.

PH
 
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