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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Orinda, California, USA
    Posts
    99

    Default How early can you transfer queen cells to Mating Nucs?

    Hi folks,
    I have been trying my hand at grafting and raising some queens. This was my second batch. I tried finding the smallest larvae that were only slightly larger than the unhatched egg. I grafted on Monday. Say this is day 4. By friday (Day 8 ) the cells had been built out and capped. I was concerned that the first queen out would kill the others so I checked on Monday again (day 11) and noticed the end of one cell had been opened.
    I am not sure the queen that had been inside had actually hatched but I was worried I would loose the lot (16 out of 32 had been capped) so I went ahead and put the 12 best into 6 mating nucs (2 cells in each). This was the most bees I could spare to make mating nucs.
    My question is was this too early to move them to mating nucs? They say to move them in on day 14. What is the disadvantage of moving them this early? I opened up one cell and the baby queen was still small and white.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,584

    Default Re: How early can you transfer queen cells to Mating Nucs?

    The problem with too early is the queen larvae are very fragile if they are younger then 14 days (from the egg or 10 days from grafting) and they are susceptible to not being kept warm enough which a mating nuc may fail to do very well.

    You covered the problem with too late, which is that the first one out may kill them all.

    If you set up the mating nucs on day 13 and move them on day 14 that is the best as hot weather can push them as early as day 15 for emergence and cold weather can push them as far as day 18 sometimes.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,565

    Default Re: How early can you transfer queen cells to Mating Nucs?

    Bees will have fully capped cells about 5 days after grafting. It is possible to do it that early but I would advise against it. Cells are best handled as little as necessary before day 10 after grafting (5 days after being fully capped) At this time they are around 24 to 48 hours from hatching. At this stage the cell has a tough fibrous cover and the royal jelly should be fully consumed. Any cells that still have rj at this stage are probably not healthy and any cells that are "open" would be a result of the bees recognition of this and they have simply cleaned it out. Best of luck
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Orinda, California, USA
    Posts
    99

    Default Re: How early can you transfer queen cells to Mating Nucs?

    Michael - Thanks so much, fingers crossed that they stayed warm! I'll keep you posted!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,808

    Default Re: How early can you transfer queen cells to Mating Nucs?

    I've used this schedule http://www.thebeeyard.org/queencalen...ay=1&year=2011

    It's an easy way to look ahead, make sure the days you need are open, and you can put it down on your calendar in advance (very helpful for someone who works a different 40-60 hr a week job).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Posts
    1,721

    Default Re: How early can you transfer queen cells to Mating Nucs?

    Thanks Specialk that is a very good site.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Orinda, California, USA
    Posts
    99

    Default Re: How early can you transfer queen cells to Mating Nucs?

    Yeah, great resource that interactive calendar. I take to heart the admonitions against disturbing the hive during that period before you place the cells in mating nucs. Next time I will work strictly by calendar. It will be instructive to see if the queens I moved too early amount to anything or if they succumb to some horrible insect version of shaken baby syndrome!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    collbran, co
    Posts
    550

    Default Re: How early can you transfer queen cells to Mating Nucs?

    thank you for the calendar it's a big help......

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