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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    hemphill, texas, USA
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    Default making queen cells

    I have an established hive and see eggs, grubs and capped cells. What is getting me is that they are making what I think is 7 emergency queen cells and just capped them. They are not crowded because there is plenty brood comb in the top and bottom supers but there working mostley in the middle three frames. They have got a good amount of stores and still bringing in pollen.

    What might be going on?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
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    5,254

    Default Re: making queen cells

    You're sure they are emergency cells? Why would a colony with eggs have capped emergency cells?

    But, yes I've seen it in nucs...this summer for instance. I made the 4 frame nuc, gave them a caged queen and checked for eggs a week to 10 days later. Second comb in had E cells at the edge of the brood pattern. Shoot, they rejected my queen..I thought...until I looked at the far side of comb 3, and comb 4. Eggs. White dot queen. So it happens. Perhaps my queen hadn't gotten over there yet, and discovered the cells.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    hemphill, texas, USA
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    Default Re: making queen cells

    Thanks for the quick responce.

    Also, was given a hive and it did not seem to have a queen. They are still bringing in pollen and the stores are good but no brood that I can see. No capped cells. Plenty of clean cells just waiting for an egg. Can I introduce a frame of eggs from the hive that has eggs and they make a queen?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    3,917

    Default Re: making queen cells

    That is often a sign that they have queen who will soon start laying, but it won't hurt to give them a frame of eggs and brood.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    hemphill, texas, USA
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    Default Re: making queen cells

    I'll set back and see what is going to happen. I gave them a frame of brood and eggs.

    Thanks for the info.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lincolnton, NC
    Posts
    1,099

    Default Re: making queen cells

    If you have spare hives, you can get make nucs and put a cut out queen cell in each.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Collinsville, VA
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    440

    Default Re: making queen cells

    "That is often a sign that they have queen who will soon start laying"

    David - which is a sign? That they are bringing in pollen or that they have cleaned cells or are both signs?

    Heaflaw - how do you attach the queen cell to the frame and does the cell need to be a certain age when you do that?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    Default Re: making queen cells

    They will clean out a spot for her to lay - they will move out any honey or pollen from the lower middle of the frame that they pick. You've seen those frames with brood in the middle and stores along the top and in the upper corners? Like this:



    Imagine that but with the brood area all cleaned out and ready to lay in. It's pretty distinctive once you know what it looks like.

    Isn't that pretty? The cappings are always snowy white when the black locust is in bloom.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Collinsville, VA
    Posts
    440

    Default Re: making queen cells

    I didn't know that.

    I was looking at a hive yesterday that has been queenless for a while (supersedure). I saw the new queen and looked for eggs but didn't find any. Now that you say this, the brood area was cleaner from the last time that I looked. Two weeks ago the brood area was full of nectar but the cells were empty yesterday. Now, I know why. Thanks for the education.

    By the way - that is indeed a nice looking frame. The brood pattern looks good too.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lincolnton, NC
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    1,099

    Default Re: making queen cells

    Quote Originally Posted by Hokie Bee Daddy View Post

    Heaflaw - how do you attach the queen cell to the frame and does the cell need to be a certain age when you do that?
    Check out Michael Bush's website for timing-he explains it well. Basically, move them just before the queen is to emerge.
    Carefully cut out the QC with some surrounding comb. Then cut out a section of comb on the new frame to gently push it into. Don't jostle, shake or tilt the QC or you will kill her. I try to not even touch the actual QC at all-just the surrounding comb. I cut them out and transfer them 10 or so times a year with about 80% success.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    hemphill, texas, USA
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    Default Re: making queen cells

    Thanks for the tips and the lessons.

    David, that frame does look nice.

    Leaflaw- lI will check in a couple of days and see if I need to try to move a queen. not sure the age of the QC, just found them today. it has been about 10 days that I have looked in the hive, but they are capped.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    3,917

    Default Re: making queen cells

    Quote Originally Posted by Hokie Bee Daddy View Post
    I didn't know that.
    I didn't know it either until I started raising a few queens - always looking for signs of success in the mating nucs.

    You should know that a cleaned brood area isn't a Sure sign that you have a laying queen. Sometimes something happens. It is a sign of hope though.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    hemphill, texas, USA
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    Default Re: making queen cells

    I went out today and looked hard for a queen in my two troubled hives and found eggs, eggs and more eggs except there were 3 or four in a cell. talked to my mentor and he says that I have some workers laying eggs which as you know is useless. Guess that I have waited to long to try to get a queen in the hives.

    I went ahead and cut out a couple of the QC from the good hive and put them in the hives that are in trouble. Will see what happens.

  14. #14
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    Jan 2009
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    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    Default Re: making queen cells

    You could have a laying worker, but you also might have a queen that just started laying too. Multiple eggs isn't uncommon with a brand new queen. How long has it been since there was brood in the hive? What does the pattern look like?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    hemphill, texas, USA
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    10

    Question Re: making queen cells

    there has not been any QC in the one hive for nearly 3 weeks and none in the other ever. No capped brood in either hive, ever. I tried to put in a frame of eggs and grubs but they did not make any QCs. I have looked as careful as I can to try to see a queen in both hives, but have not see her. there were a couple of places that they were bunched up and waited for them to move around but no joy seeing a queen.

    I had a small swarm on the bottom for one hive, about 2 weeks ago, caught it and put it in a starter hive. I do not know where the queen came from and I know that there was a queen because I saw her after I put them in the starter hive. If she came out of the queenless hive she should have stayed, I would think. When I tried to feed it with some sugar water, one of the other hives killed the small swarm and queen and robbed the sugar water. GRRRRR

    HUMMM I can't figure these girls out.

    both hives are working, bringing in pollen in the morning.

    as far as the pattern of the eggs, I can say that they are in one large area on one frame. If it is laying workers and they except the new queens that I have cut in, will all of the drones that are going to be made matter? I know that I should have taken the frames out and froze them but I didn't know when the queens would hatch out on the cut in QC

    so many questions. Let me know what you think. thanks for the response and help.

  16. #16
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    Jul 2011
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    hemphill, texas, USA
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    Default Re: making queen cells

    A quick note, I was given these two hives and do not really know there history.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Kingsville, OH
    Posts
    959

    Default Re: making queen cells

    Quote Originally Posted by Hokie Bee Daddy View Post
    I didn't know that.

    I was looking at a hive yesterday that has been queenless for a while (supersedure). I saw the new queen and looked for eggs but didn't find any. Now that you say this, the brood area was cleaner from the last time that I looked. Two weeks ago the brood area was full of nectar but the cells were empty yesterday. Now, I know why. Thanks for the education.

    By the way - that is indeed a nice looking frame. The brood pattern looks good too.
    My one nuc was queen right but she was not laying. I gave up after awhile and ordered another queen.

    Well a week or so latter when I went to introduce the queen, guess who has larva and capped larva cells.

    Good thing I had an extra nuc with out a queen.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    3,917

    Default Re: making queen cells

    Generally when you give a queenless hive a frame of larva, and they don't make any queen cells, it's because it isn't queenless.

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