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Removing swarm cell

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MrTrueman 

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The title says it all really. I have just had to do an AS split and was thinking about trying to remove a capped cell and putting it in an Apidea type mating nuc with a cup full of bees.

The idea is a bit of an insurance policy really in case the other queen does not mate etc.

My question is, how easy/is it possible to remove a natural capped cell from the bottom of a frame without damaging it?

Any tips?
 

jon 

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Use a really fine box cutter type blade and don't rush it. It is easier to remove them from the frame than from the comb. Be careful it doesn't come away suddenly and drop to the ground as that is unlikely to do a developing queen much good.

I have a few which I cut off last week and put in hair roller cages wedged between two frames.They are due to hatch this week so I don't know yet if I have cut them off without damaging the cell.
 

Finman 

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Critical point is that does one cupfull is enough bees to keep queen cell warm??? If the nuc has no other brood, their temperature is too low.
 

MrTrueman 

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Thanks guys.

Finman I was thinking of using a Swi-bine Mating Nuc do you think also they wont keep warm enough. I guess I had better do some reading.
 
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Finman 

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I don't know what kind is you hive, but I would put an exluder in the hive, then 1 or 2 brood frames and queen cells in gcgaes between brood frames.

When queens emerge, take what you want.

When you make a mating nuc, and put there cupp full of bees, perhaps you see that they all return to home to old place. That is diffiult point when you do nucs in same place where is old hive.

Nuc should have allways piece of brood. Otherwise bees became mad and go to search better home.
 

victor meldrew 

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A cup full of bees will successfully manage to get a queen mated when using a polystyrene mini mating nuc :). this technique is used all over europe.
These mating nucs usually house three tiny frames plus a compartment for fondant .
The technique used to involve putting a cup of bees in the nuc, placing same in a dark cool place for a couple of day (giving the a spray of water occasionally.)
This as been modified, the current trend is to charge the mini nuc ,wrap the queen cell in tin foil leaving the tip exposed and putting in the mini nuc straight away !!.

John Wilkinson.
Don't make the mistake of trying to get a cup of bees to raise a Queen cell :(.
 

Roy S 

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You should be fine with a cupful of bees their insulation qualities are excellent, I've never had a problem with them. As mentioned though, protect the QC with a roller cage or baking foil just to be on the safe side if possible.
I prefer the Apidea even though they are more expensive, you can replace the internal feeder with a couple more frames and can even buy a super and feeder for them now, I'm going to see if I can overwinter a couple of queens this winter in them, just for curiousity if little else.
 

Finman 

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A cup full of bees will successfully manage to get a queen mated when using a polystyrene mini mating nuc :). this technique is used all over europe.:(.
Yes, we all know that, BUT here is pal, who has 1 hive and no experience.

And bees tend to come out from the nuc if they do not feel it home.
That is my long experience too. To do mating nuc is not simple at all.

I have only poly mating nucs. That is the easiest point.
 
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Roy S 

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Yep, but if he doesnt try it, he never will have any experience :)

If it was a cell that was going to be removed anyway what is there to lose?....except a cupful of bees?
 

victor meldrew 

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Hi Finman,
Apidea have marketed their mini nucs ,complete with instructions for years now, 1 Cup of young bees from the supers sprayed with a weak sugar solution is surely within the capabilities of a newbie?.
The instructions are complete, the nuc has a queen excluder to stop her absconding after she starts laying .
One cup of bees plus one queen cell (that would be discarded anyway, hardly a loss if project fails !!)
The fun plus the experience, is bound to outway any disadvantage :).

John Wilkinson
 

victor meldrew 

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Yep, but if he doesnt try it, he never will have any experience :)

If it was a cell that was going to be removed anyway what is there to lose?....except a cupful of bees?
Sorry Roy, our posts crossed :svengo:
John
 

Finman 

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You do if you do!I just tried to help manage better than European standard way.

When the cell has been capped? Does it has a tip, where wax is away and the larva silk to be seen?
 

MrTrueman 

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When the cell has been capped? Does it has a tip, where wax is away and the larva silk to be seen?
Finman, can you please try to explain this a little further?

Thanks everyone for the replies...wow so many :cheers2:
 

Poly Hive 

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He is asking you what condition the cell is in as the best one for what you propose is as old as poss.

Further to the making up of a mini unit I feel a cup is perhaps too small, I use a mug. However my units are a tad bigger than Apidea units.

There is a high risk of absconding especially if the unit is make up in the same apiary.

They are best made up from bees which have been kept broodless and queenless for 24 hours. They put into the unit and the cell added the next morning.

PH
 

Finman 

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Workers cap the queen cell with wax but couople days before emerging bees scrab the wax away from tip to make emerging easier.

In this picture you see that cell has like cleaned tip = darker.
The tip is a bit hairy because it is larva's silk.
In next picture the tip is evenly covered with wax.

It is better that the cell is old and near to emerge.



 
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MrTrueman 

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grizzly, your jam jar post was my inspiration to get a mini nuc going with a spare cell. :D
 

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