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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Hughson, CA
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    153

    Default 9, 10 or 11 days

    I am getting conflicting information on the best day to remove a queen cell from the finisher or inlcubator. Is it 9, 10 or 11 days from the graft? Is it better to wait longer so you don't damage the queen forming in the cell? Is it true that the wings are the last thing to form? Does it really matter?

  2. #2
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    Dec 2006
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    Amador County, Calif
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Beekman View Post
    I am getting conflicting information on the best day to remove a queen cell from the finisher or inlcubator. Is it 9, 10 or 11 days from the graft? Is it better to wait longer so you don't damage the queen forming in the cell? Is it true that the wings are the last thing to form? Does it really matter?
    Matt, wait as long as you can, Yes the wings are last stage, and yes it matters.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
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    6,973

    Default

    very little matters.
    and nothing (0) matters very much.

    you will likely have the greatest success with 11 day old cells although you are taking an increased risk that some will hatch before you get them in a box. when you get them at that age, you just got to hope and pray one or two will not hatch on the bar before removal.... for then you will have a large mess.

    9 day old cells are better if you need time to install or are working with limited labor input.

    10 days is a pretty good compromise... and if I have a choice this usually my preference.

    if you treat the cells in a reasonable fashion there should be limited difference as long as the cell is at least 9 days old.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    lewisberry, Pa, usa
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    Default

    Most traditional books suggest pulling the cells at day 14. Which would be day 10 if grafting a 4 day old egg(1 day larvae) No matter how young the larvae I always seem to have an early queen pop out (day 15), or I get backed up with to many things going on. To give me some flexibility, I pull my queens 9 days after the graft (Day 13). Of course, I use very soft hands, and I don't collect them in a bucket and travel around different yards with the cells bouncing around.

    The queens by day 13 or 14 (Day 9 or 10 after graft) are fine to move and install. In doing larger numbers of cells, and being a one-man show, I could not see delaying pulling all the cells on day 15 (11 days after graft) and having unforeseen problems.

    I do think that placement in the nuc is important. Some mating nucs are made with just a frame or two of bees. And placement is crucial in spring when night-time temps still cause the bees to somewhat cluster. I have seen them pull away from a recently placed queen cell, and then the cells suffer or die. But if they keep them warm over the last couple days, then all is fine.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Amador County, Calif
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    Big Grin

    Quote Originally Posted by tecumseh View Post
    very little matters.
    and nothing (0) matters very much..
    You gotta love this board, LOL.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Medford, Oregon, USA
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    54

    Default

    as long as possible, i even have virgins hatch on me sometimes we have a special racks that hold the cells and contain the Virgin if she hatches before she is placed, i have had great success with installing hatched Virgins into Mating nucs as long as the queens was harvested well before. it just takes longer

  7. #7
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    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucus76 View Post
    as long as possible, i even have virgins hatch on me sometimes we have a special racks that hold the cells and contain the Virgin if she hatches before she is placed, i have had great success with installing hatched Virgins into Mating nucs as long as the queens was harvested well before. it just takes longer
    So what does that mean? What special racks? Are you or are you not moving cells out of the cell builder/finisher, prior to the queens hatching? Or are these "racks' part of your grafting frames somehow?

    The question was when or what day do people pull the queen cells. Whether thats for putting in a nuc or hive, or placing in an incubator, (or rack?) its still pulling a queen cell from one place to another. Or are you not removing cells at all after grafting and this is somehow (the racks) part of your grafting bar?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Amador County, Calif
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    Big Grin

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucus76 View Post
    as long as possible, (
    BB, thats seems clear to me.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    lewisberry, Pa, usa
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Jarrett View Post
    BB, thats seems clear to me.
    Thats good for you. Unfortunately, you are not the one asking the question. If it was clear to everyone, including myself, I would not of asked the question.

    I have also introduced a good number of virgin queens. I find the acceptance rate lower than a placed cell into a queen-less nuc or hive. I also find it more time consuming and a bit harder from a management point to let all my queens hatch out in cages, and then introduce them after they emerge. And so I'm not so sure that such opinion or suggestions that this is somehow normal or common is helpful to those rearing queens for the first time.

    I find answers to straight forward questions and replies such as "As long as possible" incomplete, confusing for a beginner, and what I would consider a lousy reply without much thought or value.

    But hey, thats just me....

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Davis,South Dakota,USA
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    401

    Default

    Fsp

  11. #11
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    Dec 2006
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    Amador County, Calif
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    Big Grin

    Quote Originally Posted by high rate of speed View Post
    Fsp
    Ya Lou, I agree.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Manitoba, Canada, North of the 50th Parallel
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    218

    Default

    Just to continue from Matt's original post:

    What's the latest that a cell can be introduced to a queenless mating nuc for optimum success? Can I make up the mating nucs and insert a cell and have it hatch a few hours later without the bees killing the virgin?

    Thanks
    Happiness comes from within

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Nevada County, CA
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    Default

    I have read of an outfit in New Zealand that takes three day old cells directly from the starter and put them into hives for re-queening. I didn't get the impression that they used small nuc however. They claim a very high percentage of acceptance and a good overall success rate. I believe this is used in conjunction with the management practice of removing the queen about two weeks before the main honey flow to reduce the amount of brood that has to be fed and increase the honey crop, not necessissarily in a queen rearing operation. This does increase the range of possabilities to 3, 9, 10, or 11 days.
    doug

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Nevada County, CA
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    Default

    <What's the latest that a cell can be introduced to a queenless mating nuc for optimum success? Can I make up the mating nucs and insert a cell and have it hatch a few hours later without the bees killing the virgin?>

    I don't think the bees pay much attention to a virgin queen until she is old enough to start her mating flights. She probably isn't producing much queen pherimone when she hatches out. I have had queen cells hatch out in my hand and put them on the top bars of boxes full of bees. The bees acted like she wasn't even there.
    doug

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    VENTURA, California, USA
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    Smile Matt. This may help to answer your question.

    Glenn Apiaries:
    They have a diagram to help you too.
    http://members.aol.com/queenb95/queenrear.html

    Day 1 - Give breeder hive an empty dark brood comb to lay eggs in.

    Day 4 - Transfer (graft) larva into artificial queen cell cups, from the breeder comb. Place the frame into a strong colony (cell builder) made queenless the day before.

    Day 14 - Remove completed cells from cell builder. Leave one cell behind to replace the queen. Keep queen cells warm (80-94 F) until they are placed in queenless hives (mating nucs).

    Day 22 - Virgin queens are ready to mate. They require nice weather (69 F), and an abundance of drones to mate with. A few colonies within a mile are adequate for providing drones for mating.

    Day 27 - If queens mate without weather delay, they should now be laying eggs.

    Weather delays in mating will add days to the process, after 3 weeks delay, virgin queens may start to lay unfertilized eggs.
    Time your activities so that warm temperatures and drones are available when the queens are ready to mate.

    Regards,
    Ernie Lucas Apiaries
    Ernie
    My websitehttp://bees4u.com/

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    VENTURA, California, USA
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    3,604

    Smile What's the latest that a cell can be introduced to a queenless mating nuc for optimum

    For the fun of it:
    Try holding the ripe cell near the bees and watch them march over to it.
    Bees that are queen less are happy to have a cell offered to them!
    The bees need to be queen less at least over night.
    I cage out the mated queens 12-24 hours prior to re-celling the nuc and the nucs have a high acceptance rate. (80% & higher mated queen rate.)

    Regards,
    Ernie Lucas Apiaries.
    Ernie
    My websitehttp://bees4u.com/

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Amador County, Calif
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    3,212
    When we get behind, we order cells from Koehnen. We pick them up at 6:00 AM and the queens will start hatching at 12:00 noon. That'a what we call timing.

  18. #18
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    Jan 2008
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    Davis,South Dakota,USA
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    401
    I second that motion.

  19. #19
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    Dec 2006
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    Amador County, Calif
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan Hofer View Post
    Just to continue from Matt's original post:

    What's the latest that a cell can be introduced to a queenless mating nuc for optimum success? Can I make up the mating nucs and insert a cell and have it hatch a few hours later without the bees killing the virgin?

    Thanks
    Jonathan, the trick is let the nuc go qeenless for two day's then go with your cell.

    P.S I have to ask, "north of the 50th Parallel " you wouldn't happen to know Golden would you?

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Southern Oregon
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    1,162

    Default

    Around here, if the weather is very cold and the nuc is small we will hold the cells in the incubator until 6 to 12 hours (sometimes less)before hatching to prevent chilling upon introduction to the nuclei. Cold temps and developing wing buds=trouble. Once the weather is stable we introduce cells from days 10 to 12. Mating nucs usually figure out they they are queenless within hours and usually will readily accept ripe cells. I would ad that the more populous the nuc the longer it will take for the queenless "word" to get around to all the individual members of the colony.
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

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