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Moving queen cells

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Monday night found 4 capped QC in one hive. Having failed with my first attempt at queen rearing with my cupkit I decided to try and short cut the process with nature's help.
I took a sharp knife to the comb with the QCs and cut them out. I then carefully removed excess comb and placed them in the 'curlers' and transferred them to my queenless queen raising nuc. Will this work, or will the trauma of moving the capped cells kill the developing queens? The cells were out of the hive for approx 20 mins with outside temps of 26C. Obviously handling the cells gently is not a perfect science either.
:willy_nilly:
 

Widdershins 

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I reckon you'll be ok - keep us updated!
 

oliver90owner 

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Better to transfer the frame(s) to the nuc hive and then process the 'several cells' a couple of days before emergence (when the cells are 'ripe'). Less likely to lose any due to rough handling while they are very fragile.

Regards, RAB
 

Eyeman 

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placed them in the 'curlers' and transferred them to my queenless queen raising nuc.
The bees may not keep the QCs warm enought if they are in curlers. If the QC's are newly sealed then the queens may not emerge. I put them in individual jam jars with a mesh cover + drop of honey/water in my honey warming cabinet at 35 degrees. I had a swarm cell emerge 7 days after placing in the warmer with a healthy looking queen so handling them isn't a problem as the cell was in a egg box for 1 hr before being put in the warmer.
Let us know how you get on.
 

keith pierce 

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The bees may not keep the QCs warm enought ....Yes. you will get chilled queen pupa that will fail to hatch as the heater bees cannot crowd around this queen cells to keep them warm. this happen a lot to me before i got an incubator and the problem was solved.....

here is a picture of some of my chilled brood

 

oliver90owner 

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Even more reson to put the frame(s) into the nuc! Bees are perfectly able to incubate queen cells! Been doing it a lot longer than incubators have been around!

RAB
 
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Update on my failure

I promised to update you on my progress. I am afraid I failed abjectly to 'hatch' even one of the QCs. Rather than being too cool I believe they probably got too warm. Some little scroat closed the door dial on the nuc two hot days. The bees were not happy and I think it probably baked the QCs.
I am going to have another go with a ripe cell from the next queenless hive that is looking after two QCs at the moment. What I really need is an expert to show me how to graft. I have not been successful in getting a queen to lay in the cupkit system. 3 attempts now.:cheers2:
 

Poly Hive 

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Sorry to say you cannot be shown how to graft it is a matter of practice.

I can give you these tips which work for me. I stress the me as others will give you the complete opposite method.

I use a s/s grafting tool. I prefer to graft into wax cups as I can press the tool into the wax to aid in sliding off the larvae.

I do not bother with heat or humidity issues.

I use a strong light and if in the car sometimes use a head torch.

I use a large tray to keep the mess confined.

I lift the smallest larvae. One I can barely see, then I am reasonably sure she is under 12 hours my preferred age. I scrap it if I even think I have brushed the cell wall with her either lifting her out or putting her in.

I try to graft quickly and put the grafts into a queenless broodless well fed starter box which gets a frame of pollen just before I give the grafts. They are desperate to survive and will accept the grafts happily.

Practice here is essential.

PH
 

victor meldrew 

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Monday night found 4 capped QC in one hive. Having failed with my first attempt at queen rearing with my cupkit I decided to try and short cut the process with nature's help.
I took a sharp knife to the comb with the QCs and cut them out. I then carefully removed excess comb and placed them in the 'curlers' and transferred them to my queenless queen raising nuc. Will this work, or will the trauma of moving the capped cells kill the developing queens? The cells were out of the hive for approx 20 mins with outside temps of 26C. Obviously handling the cells gently is not a perfect science either.
:willy_nilly:
Don't worry ,
I had a friend (now in the great apiary in the sky) who on apiary visits would cadge ripe Queen cells from Demo colonies (he observed colonies carefully before cadging :)), He stuck them in his top pocket , on returning home he would make up nucs and sell them on :).
As regards the frailty of Queens in cells, I have cut cells out ,chucked them in a bucket ,left the bucket out all night and found hatched Queens chasing each other round the bucket the morning after !
This business of keeping the cells upright is a little over played as by this time the Queen is an imago and all food she could drown in has by this time been long consumed ?

John Wilkinson
 
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Thanks Poly Hive. I think I am going to need a practical demonstration and then be guided through the process myself. You are too far away to coerse you into doing it for me. Incidentally do you think it is too late in the season to try now? The last two years Autumn started in July.
 

beebreeder 

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As long as you have drones and reasonable temperatures in the day you can raise queens, and as for grafting I and many others use a 00 sable paintbrush, just find a frame of eggs and brood at all ages and go for the smallest larvae you can see, break down the cell sides with the brush handle and then transfer the larvae with the brush, some use some dilute royal jelly to keep the larvae moist, you can ghraft into your cupkit cell holders and then you can cage the mature cells in the colony or move it to an incubator
 

beebreeder 

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You really need to get the bees into the right frame of mind to want to raise queens and then supply all they need to do it if that is not available from nature
 

Poly Hive 

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Yes the essential part, and I cannot stress this enough is in two parts. (would be eh?)

The first is the weather. I grafetd once for 12 days with pretty much zero results and a lot of very fed up bees.

The weather changed and from my last lot I got a take of 32 from 36 something I have never equalled.

So to emphasise again, weather is critical and so is practice. I was at that point due to the constant practice as adept as I have ever been and then with the weather and a nuc box of queenless broodless bees major success.

If you faff about with Q+ colonies (and I am sure they are wonderful for some) you are very limited compared to the flexibility of a nuc box as described.

You could always come for a night at the guest house and have a lesson. ;)

PH
 

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