Queen Cell Incubator

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madasafish 

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What do you experienced queen raisers do with your queen less colonies once you've gone through multiple rounds of grafts? Do you simply unite or shake out?

Last year when I used a queen less colony as a cell builder, I had problems at the end uniting the queen less bees to another colony. They were definitely queen less (tried a test frame) and still had sealed brood, so no laying workers, but they would not accept a new queen. Even taking precautions such as uniting over newspaper, caging the queen on the comb etc.

Cloake board : two Lang jumbo 5 frame nucs. Easy to lift. Q in bottom nuc. Add new capped brood from other nucs to make extra strong. (Equivalent to National double brood)
(Two lang jumbo full broods are just too heavy for an aged wimp.)
 

rolande 

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What do you experienced queen raisers do with your queen less colonies once you've gone through multiple rounds of grafts? Do you simply unite or shake out?
I don't tend to go through multiple rounds with the same bees, I reckon they'll do better for me if they have a break but as to the question of what to do with them, I prefer to leave one of the cells which they've just built for (me) themselves.
 

Bazzer 

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I bought one, but have no experience wiht it yet. What I like about it is that the temperature and the moisture remain the same.
I have been using one of these for about 3 years - I have it sitting in a large picnic cold box in the garage so it doesn't need to work as hard and is much quieter.
I control the humidity by placing a small box containing a saturated NaBr solution inside the incubator - this keeps it constant at 60%RH . If you add damp sponges in the outer cold box to slow the loss of water this only needs topping up every week or so.
I have had good success with incubating grafted cells and cells cut out from comb - it is very convenient being able to mark the virgins and move them into a mating nuc over a 1-3 day window.


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If you use an incubator with your sealed queen cell in an enclosed roller cage, how long after hatching would a queen survive without attendants before you pop it into a queen mating nuc or Apodea. Any idea? Is it critical in case it emerged in the evening.
 

Swarm 

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I've kept some for a couple of days but I would prefer not to, if you get what I mean. I much prefer to get them straight out and into a mating nuc.
More critical is to put a dab of honey in the cage cap and yes I've found quite a few emerged through the night. Without the honey for an immediate feed you may well find them dead by the morning so don't leave that part until they emerge is my advice.
If you have a bunch of cells due around the same time, it won't hurt to wait until they are all out before taking them to the apiary, just give them a top up dab of water to be sure.
 

madasafish 

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But if you give them a brood frame (emerging brood), once a week
Which is what I do: and used the same hive for weeks.
 

Bazzer 

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At what point are you putting the cells in the incubator? Immediately after capping or later?
I have used cells harvested from d8 to d10 and d14-d15. Important to keep a careful record to ensure the virgins have access to food as soon as they emerge.
 

Prof 

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I have used cells harvested from d8 to d10 and d14-d15. Important to keep a careful record to ensure the virgins have access to food as soon as they emerge.
Thanks for that. Have you encountered any queendeformities from slight movement/temperature shifts in the transfer to the incubator?
 

Swarm 

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Thanks for that. Have you encountered any queendeformities from slight movement/temperature shifts in the transfer to the incubator?
On the contrary, the virgin in my video was from a damaged cell, I could see the white pupa through a hole in the side of the cell wall. Also another (hold my hands up) from a frame we shook.
 

Prof 

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On the contrary, the virgin in my video was from a damaged cell, I could see the white pupa through a hole in the side of the cell wall. Also another (hold my hands up) from a frame we shook.
Many thanks.
 

Jos Hillen 

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I control the humidity by placing a small box containing a saturated NaBr solution inside the incubator - this keeps it constant at 60%RH .
Mine has a pump. It pump drips of water into the incubator when the incubator asks for it. This way I noticed that when I put it on 70% the RH stays exactly on 70%
 

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Bazzer 

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Mine has a pump. It pump drips of water into the incubator when the incubator asks for it. This way I noticed that when I put it on 70% the RH stays exactly on 70%
Yes - I still have the pump in its bag - good to hear it works so well. I figured the fewer moving parts and trailing pipes the more reliable and easier the set up would be but I may have a try with the pump this year.
 

Jos Hillen 

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Yes - I still have the pump in its bag - good to hear it works so well. I figured the fewer moving parts and trailing pipes the more reliable and easier the set up would be but I may have a try with the pump this year.
It took a while to figure it out how it works best but once you get it going it works a treat.
 

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