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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Syracuse, NY (upstate)
    Posts
    247

    Default Why 10 days? Why Not 7?

    Weekends are when I have time to work the bees. Most "experts" say to transfer queen cells to nucs 10 days after they were grafted. It would be much easier if I could do this 7 days after grafting (3 days after the cells are sealed) since I could do all the work on weekends (cell builder setup on Saturday, grafting on Sunday, nuc setup with almost ripe queen cell the following Sunday). Your thoughts?

    -ekrouse

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Hawke's Bay, New Zealand
    Posts
    189

    Default Re: Why 10 days? Why Not 7?

    Wings are extremely delicate at that age from memory. Even a jostle can damage the tissues. No wings, no mating, no queen.

    Hence the Day 9 transfer (we avoid day 10 transfers as sometimes the queen is already emerging if your timing is at all off).

    You can transfer very early - day 2 capped I think is safe (but double check that), or very late, but in between is dangerous.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Hawke's Bay, New Zealand
    Posts
    189

    Default Re: Why 10 days? Why Not 7?

    As a sideliner I run into the same timing issue, btw, since I have a 'day job' Monday to Friday.

    What I do is set up the hives on a weekend (ie, separate out my queen and give her fresh comb to lay in, then graft on a Wednesday/Thursday - it can be done late in the day if you have good light source, so I only need to take an hour or two off work, or have done it in the evenings too. Because the queen was given fresh comb four days before grafting, I have perfect aged larvae for grafting easily accessible - no hunting through the hive for the right age.

    Then I can do the time-intensive part and make up my nucs with cells or requeen, whatever the intended purpose, on the weekend following.

    handy queen calendar here: http://www.thebeeyard.org/queencalendar.pl

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,241

    Default Re: Why 10 days? Why Not 7?

    It can be done as a 7 day old cell, just bear in mind you are handling a much more delicate cell that can be easily damaged both by temperature variations and any type of rough handling particularly if they are not in a vertical position.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Heavener Oklahoma
    Posts
    928

    Default Re: Why 10 days? Why Not 7?

    If placing a Q cell in 7 days after Graft What will happen is that it is 4 days from hatch your divide will have started Em Queen cells on the frame and if the Queen cell hatches more than likely she will leave with a small swarm leaving you the EM Queens cells to hatch.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    3,911

    Default Re: Why 10 days? Why Not 7?

    Won't she kill all of those when she emerges?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Heavener Oklahoma
    Posts
    928

    Default Re: Why 10 days? Why Not 7?

    Some times they will but seen them swarm many times when i place queen cells in the mini nuc a few days early you need to go back and tare down the em Queen Cells

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,241

    Default Re: Why 10 days? Why Not 7?

    Quote Originally Posted by David LaFerney View Post
    Won't she kill all of those when she emerges?
    Yes, a virgin queen rarely misses the opportunity to destroy a ripe queen cell. Just miss a rogue cell in a builder and you will so how efficient and thorough they can be. You wont have swarming problems in mini-nucs as long as you are checking them back 2 to 3 weeks after the hatch date. For swarming to occur would require 2 matings to occur in the same nuc approximately 4 days apart and that one of the newly mated queens would choose to leave, sounds unusual to say the least but even assuming that unlikely scenario a check at 2 weeks post cell hatch would then reveal a mated queen (your cell) and a freshly mated but not yet laying queen (rogue cell). If that happens then you hit the jackpot, cage the larger mated queen and give the other one a few more days.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Syracuse, NY (upstate)
    Posts
    247

    Default Re: Why 10 days? Why Not 7?

    Velbert,

    Don't the bees know they have a queen cell? Why would they start more if they have a queen? At what point do the queens start piping prior to emerging?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,399

    Default Re: Why 10 days? Why Not 7?

    I also schedule mine so I graft after work and put in mating nucs on Saturday and Sunday. Grafting is the fast work. Mating nucs the slow work. 10 days after grafting is the best time to transfer for reasons already given above.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
    Posts
    3,543

    Default Re: Why 10 days? Why Not 7?

    for my first graft this year:

    Friday, caged a queen (so I could remove her easily later) from a newly installed package (installed on comb and honey).

    Sat AM: Picked up a 5 frame nuc (no queen, lots of nurse bees, fresh pollen, honey, larvae/eggs) from a strong overwintered hive and was out and about for the day (the nuc was treated nicely, and had screen top and bottom).

    Sat PM: Got home around 8pm...no light, no smoke, no veil, pulled the queen cage and a couple of frames for an observation hive, then did a newspaper combine with the 5 frame nuc (now in a 10 frame box)...frame to graft from in the middle and pollen frames on either side (I set them up this way when i collected the nuc).

    Sat Midnight: Pulled the frame to graft from and brushed off the bees...brought them in the kitchen, grafted, put the cell bar frame in the "cowboy cell builder", and 15 of 21 are capped (and look good).

    So, you can graft at night (it helps to be "set up"). The other thing you can do is get an incubator...that gives you a few days "slop" to place the virgin queens (instead of cells).

    deknow

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    1,933

    Default Re: Why 10 days? Why Not 7?

    "Why Not 7?"

    Its just one of those things. Over the last century the consensus is that waiting till day 10 will produce the best success, I think probably mostly because of incubation, but there's those other issues too. I think lots of splits people make from ripe 'swarm cells' often fail because they don't realize the need for incubation of those 'un-mature' cells being moved around.

    At this point, few deviations from the standard (yet still quite varied) queen rearing procedures are likely to be better.

    I put my cells in an incubator 5-6 days after grafting, during my weekly cell builder maintenance. I've found that when virgins do end up my cell builder, they wait till about the 9th day after grafting to tear down the other cells.

    Some books say 10-11 days before putting them in mating nucs. Early in the season, I left the cells caged in the incubator till day 11, so that they are really ready to emerge before putting them in mating nucs while the nights were still getting cool. A few would emerge in the cages, but most could then be put in the cluster of the mating nuc, ready to hatch. This seemed to work really well.

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