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  1. #1
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    Jun 2002
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    Ridgeway, VA , USA
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    What is the reason for going in and cutting out all capped queen cells 4 days after installing a rack of eggs/larve into queenless colony. Could someone explain the procedure. Thanks, Duane.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
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    Birmingham, West Midlands, UK
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    If they're capped so soon it means they were started from larvae which were too old to make good queens. A queen larva takes 5 days from hatching to sealing, so if its still open on the 4th day then it was started either from a larva less than one day old, or possibly from an egg. This is what you want; larvae which are 'converted' to queens after more than 24 hours have smaller ovaries, if I remember right.

  3. #3
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    I think Robert has covered the why. If you're not clear on the how, just poke a hole in the cell with anything from a nail to a pencil, or cut it down the side with a hive tool.

  4. #4
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    Jun 2002
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    Ridgeway, VA , USA
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    So what you are saying is, that I can take a rack of eggs and young larve from a donor hive and place this rack in a queenless hive and 4 days later pull this rack back out and cut out any capped queen cells and reinstall.
    Then I will stand a chance of them raising a good quality queen. Thanks, Duane.

  5. #5
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    Aug 2002
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    Basiclly, yes.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, United States
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    Duane wrote:
    What is the reason for going in and cutting out all capped queen cells 4 days after installing a rack of eggs/larve into queenless colony. Could someone explain the procedure.

    Reply:
    There is another important reason for cutting out all capped queen cells 4 days after installing a rack. I am assuming they are not on the rack though (for I look for the faster capped queen cells and so do other breeders for speeded up genetics, but that is another topic).

    Cells capped over by the bees in the brood and not on the rack can have a faster emergence time then those grafted and many a beekeeper grafting has had a virgin queen emerge with faster timing that comes out and then tears down his grafting work, thus making him start over. So any freely formed queen cells are normally torn down by the beekeeper in the first 3-4 days or so to avoid this problem.

    Regards,

    Dee A. Lusby

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Drums, PA, USA
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    Dee said >> Cells capped over by the bees in the brood and not on the rack can have a faster emergence time then those grafted and many a beekeeper grafting has had a virgin queen emerge with faster timing that comes out and then tears down his grafting work, thus making him start over. So any freely formed queen cells are normally torn down by the beekeeper in the first 3-4 days or so to avoid this problem.

    Reply >> That is true. And make sure you find all of them. I had a virgin emerge, out of nowhere, it seemed, only to destroy my grafts. I did find the supercefure empty cell later, but you go thru all the work grafting, counting your days, being patient, and planning where these queens will go ect, to find chewed out empty grafts, and one queen, probably not as good as what you wanted running around. Down the drain goes 12 days of waiting, and somewhere you are still queenless! Anyway, I considered it a "rookie" mistake when it happened to me.

    ------------------
    Dale Richards
    Dal-Col Apiaries
    Drums, PA

    [This message has been edited by Hook (edited May 11, 2003).]

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
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    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
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    Question

    When I come across supercedure cells in a healthy, thriving hive I leave them alone. Usually they are empty and I consider them for emergency use only for the bees.

    I hived a swarm one week ago. Put them in a deep box that had three mostly drawn out frames and the rest just foundation.

    Today I inspected the colony, four frames of bees very busy bringing in pollen and honey. I found the queen, very pretty, young black queen.

    What seemed unusual to me is that I found about twenty supercedure queen cups with eggs. I opened up about five of them to make sure there were eggs present. There were from three to six cells per side on each frame.

    Why would a newly hived swarm want to superceed it's queen so quickly? Should I re-queen the hive? Should I just keep tearing down the cells? Or should I just let them do what they want?

    Is it possible that she was not laying soon enough according to the colony, and that they were going to replace her before she started laying? Now I am grasping at straws.

    I am holding a queen that I replaced from another captured swarm from about two weeks ago. I could use her if you think that there is something wrong with the black queen in the newly hived swarm.

    Bill

  9. #9
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    How much value do you place on this particular queen? Does she have genetics that you wish to preserve? If so, you can pull her and a couple of frames of brood and start a nuc and let them supercede her. Otherwise, I would just let them do what they want. I hived a package in my observation hive and the promptly started two supercedure cells with eggs. Five days later they tore them down. I think sometimes they are "just in case" cells. They aren't sure about the queen yet, so they are preparing a successor, but then the queen proves herself so they tear them down.

  10. #10
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    Oct 2002
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    I really need to keep better records

    With all the re-queening that I have been doing I am not sure, but I think that this might be a NWC queen I installed. I bought an extra one and this is the only place she could have gone. Good grief, I catch a swarm every week and now I'm getting so many I am getting confused which is which.

    At any rate, to the best of my recolection, this hive is only one week old, and has what appears to be an NWC queen, the rest of the bees appear to be the color of Buckfasts. Yes I would value her.

    As I stated above, I have seen many queen cells in other hives but not with eggs like this one, and so many in just a week.

    I take it by what you are saying, if I want to keep the queen, keep taking off the cups until she really gets going? I would pull a couple of frames of brood, but there isn't any in that hive yet, just fresh eggs, and not many of those yet. And as far as creating another nuc from another hive and using this queen, I think that I'd rather work with what I got. Pretty soon I'll have to think of alternatives for all the swarms I'm picking up.
    Thanks Mike.
    Bill

  11. #11
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    Aug 2002
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    Well, if it's not strong enough to split off, you could pull some emerging brood from some other hive to make a nuc and introduce the queen you wish to keep to the nuc.

    Or you can keep tearing out cells for another week or two and see if they change their mind. Like I said, I tend to let them do their thing (in other words I don't tear up the queen cells) but if I wanted to keep the queen I'd put her in a nuc with some emerging brood and stores and let her stay there and let them raise a new queen.

    But if you keep tearing them up they may change their mind and they may not. As long as the hive still has a good queen it won't hurt to tear them up.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
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    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
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    I think that I will try tearing out the cells for awhile and see how it goes. I'm with you I'd rather let them do what they want, but this time I will just have to fight them.

    On another note, I'm starting a diary. I just got back from retrieving two more swarms. Got a call and when I got there, there were two in the same tree! This might be a good candidate for a two queen hive?

    That's three swarms in two days, and the day is not over yet.

    Bill

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, United States
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    Bill wrote:
    I take it by what you are saying, if I want to keep the queen, keep taking off the cups until she really gets going? I would pull a couple of frames of brood, but there isn't any in that hive yet, just fresh eggs, and not many of those yet. And as far as creating another nuc from another hive and using this queen, I think that I'd rather work with what I got. Pretty soon I'll have to think of alternatives for all the swarms I'm picking up.

    Reply:
    REading all of this you wrote with good laying queen and so many eggs layed up. Thinking!

    You got combs 'Housel Positioned" to avoid spontaneous swarm cells?

    Just a thought.

    Regards,

    Dee A. Lusby

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