Queen cell not emerging

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Do224

Drone Bee
Joined
May 27, 2020
Messages
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Location
Cumbria
Hive Type
National
I had a hive making swarm preps on 1st June. I knocked all cells down and left one open one with royal jelly in. Marked the frame. Nuc’d the queen. Went back in on 9th June to knock down any emergency cells….and this is where the problems started. The marked frame now had loads of sealed cells and I couldn’t figure out which one was the one I had left on 1st June. There were no decent looking open cells, so I just had to choose the best sealed cell and knock the rest down. Rightly or wrongly, I opted for the biggest cell to leave. Went back in today 18th June and it’s still capped. I think it should have emerged by now?
 
If it had RJ in it then on June 1st it was at least day 4 or day 5 and the egg recently hatched so was fed , so any VQ should have merged on June 13th /14th. She is overdue so either dead or a worker capped in side a cell.
If viable the tip should be darkened /opaque one should be able to carefully pry the end off to see what has ocurred, sometimes the end cap can be very thickened and if a Q is inside may still be alive.

When marking QC's I'm a bit OTT and make sure my pin marking is exact so no confusion with nearby QC's, another option is to gently use your Toma or Posca to part paint the cell.
 
If it was an egg when you nuced the queen it's just about due to emerge, I'd check in a few days.

Not an egg as RJ was present so at larvae stage whether larvae was visible only Do can say, dating puts it as min of 4 days along in the process.
 
I had a hive making swarm preps on 1st June. I knocked all cells down and left one open one with royal jelly in. Marked the frame. Nuc’d the queen. Went back in on 9th June to knock down any emergency cells….and this is where the problems started. The marked frame now had loads of sealed cells and I couldn’t figure out which one was the one I had left on 1st June. There were no decent looking open cells, so I just had to choose the best sealed cell and knock the rest down. Rightly or wrongly, I opted for the biggest cell to leave. Went back in today 18th June and it’s still capped. I think it should have emerged by now?

If I'm removing a queen or ASing then I leave this as long as poss and only remove her on day 13 or 14 , if one can be 100% sure of dating then I leave it till day 14 in to 15. In my experience the longer one leaves Q removal then the more imminent the bees know a successor is due out, this leave little /less chance of worker panic and other multiple or EQC's being produced. One has to read the bees and think like a bee and more logical the more one thinks about it.
 
Still at least 9 days old if not a 10 day old cell on the 9th any cell should have emerged by today as today is day 18 of the process.
I would pull her to see if she is alive , she is ready if so.
 
Still at least 9 days old if not a 10 day old cell on the 9th any cell should have emerged by today as today is day 18 of the process.
I would pull her to see if she is alive , she is ready if so.
By ‘pull’ do you mean I should uncap the cell by hand? If so, I’ll do it tomorrow.

If the cell proves to be empty/dead, I presume I should get some eggs from another hive and put them in, hoping they’ll draw new cells. I’ve never done this before. I’d be reluctant to steal a whole frame of brood from another colony, but I’ve seen reference to just pinching a small patch of eggs to do this. How exactly do you go about this? Just cut a couple of square inches of comb with eggs and then somehow patch them onto an existing frame in the queenless hive?
 
Yes, "pulling" is manually opening the cell, though from my experience and JBM's recent recommendation it may be best done from the base.
You can cut out a patch of brood with eggs and insert it into a similar hole in a frame, but moving a frame with eggs & young larvae isn't that much of a drain on a colony normally.
 
so any VQ should have merged on June 13th /14th. She is overdue so either dead or a worker capped in side a cell
Some time ago I watched an American Youtube lecture from an Entomology Prof. and in it they said that workers can preempt or delay virgin queen emergence by either opening a cell early or waxing shut any attempt by the virgin queen to open the cell. They were mentioning it as part of sequencing cast swarms when there are multiple Queen Cells. I've never seen that detail in print and my google foo cannot find anything similar. I've always wondered how tight/wide are the tolerances for the various developmental duration's written in the text books?
 
moving a frame with eggs & young larvae isn't that much of a drain on a colony normally.
you can always move it back into the donor colony once you have finished with testing.
 
I’d be wanting to raise a new queen so would have to leave them with the frame
the test frame is to confirm they are queenless, much better then to buy in a mated queen rather than battle poor odds for a colony of old tired bees to raise a queen and flourish
 
If it was an egg when you nuced the queen it's just about due to emerge, I'd check in a few days.
Yeah that’s a fair point. I’m pretty sure it’s a different cell to the one I originally selected on 1st. That said, even if the egg was laid on the 1st, the latest it should emerge is 17th isn’t it?
 
I had an over due queen cell at the weekend. Decided to gently remove the end. It had been resealed trapping a worker inside. First time I’ve seen this happen. Did cause a minor panic though thinking that they had failed to re queen.
 
If the cell proves to be empty
Then it would be reasonable to conclude that the virgin has emerged and that the bees have re-sealed the cell, sometimes trapping a worker inside.

You will find that a re-sealed cap opens easily with a hive tool; by comparison, an unopened tip, even one thinned prior to emergence, is a fibrous tough thing and a hive tool is not right for the job; take a scalpel or craft knife to open the cap.
 
The likely hood is that given the dates , there is a VQ present in the colony . The answer will known once the cell is open via the tip first.
A test frame will likely back up the above so a cas eof leaving them to it for three or four weeks to allow her to mate and settle in laying up brood.
The obvious is are there polished cells prepped for her or are they back filling with nectar.
 
If it was an egg when you nuced the queen it's just about due to emerge, I'd check in a few days.
It seems you were dead right. Checked this morning and it had emerged 👍. Still can’t get my head around how that’s possible though as the cell was definitely already capped on 9th and definitely still capped yesterday (18th). Still…all seems to be well so happy days
 
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