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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Casper, Wy, USA
    Posts
    803

    Default Re: 48 Hour Queen Cells

    Hi Jim

    Those cells were left setting in a cooler in my garage. It's been awhile so I don't remember exact figures. But it would have been mid 60's to mid 70's, considerably cooler than a broodnest or incubator.

    I've monitored attrition rates. Like everything bee wise, the rates vary between bees and seasons. But, through time, the normal losses fall into some broad ranges:

    - grafting to sealing. 3 to 15%
    - sealing to hatching. less than 1%
    - hatching to laying. 10 to 18%

    My queens weren't shipped and introduced, so I don't have any figures for that. But I suspect acceptance losses would be in that 15 to 18% range.

    If so, sealing to hatching losses could be traded off for shipping/introduction losses, if the open cells are as robust as my small tests indicate, and a beekeeper is buying them through the mail.

    If a beekeeper is producing them for himself, it's just so much easier and cheaper to produce 2 day old cells and use them to requeen a hive than it is introducing mated queens. To reduce risk, a beekeeper could insert 2 open cells instead of just one and still be way ahead.

    Jim, what do you think?

    Regards - Dennis
    I once wrangled bees. But now, knowing better, I just let them bee. It's only natural.
    http://talkingstick.me/bees/

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,044

    Default Re: 48 Hour Queen Cells

    Well, Dennis, I think it is a really useful and intriguing idea with a lot of applications. Your attrition numbers, which I don't question, are not what we normally see during our cell season in March and April in east Texas. We get mysterious bouts of "funkiness" (as I like to refer to it) that comes and goes. We graft, 600 to 800 per day for about a month and a half. This past season we had a bout with something that cost us around half of our cells grafted for two consecutive days that look beautiful and completely normal until about day 7 or 8. It dosent happen every year but I am never shocked when it does. We arent alone with these problems, in some areas south of us these problems went on for weeks. You never know for sure what causes it but Yellow Jasmine pollen is most likely the culprit and the problems will go away as quickly as they come. The bottom line for us is that the only way we can assure ourselves that the cells are healthy is to let them go full term and carefully inspect them as we are putting them in.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,273

    Default Re: 48 Hour Queen Cells


  4. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,032

    Default Re: 48 Hour Queen Cells

    This was a 48 hour old cell that was placed in a mating nuc (for finishing), right after the finished queen was harvested. It's now almost due to emerge -->


    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Glencoe, Okla USA
    Posts
    292

    Default Re: 48 Hour Queen Cells

    I was thinking this would be a good way to start a Nuc. Are there any updates to this thread? Have there been any problems? Is there a time in the spring that causes problems. I realise you have to have drones to have this succeed.

  6. #26

    Default Re: 48 Hour Queen Cells

    I start nucs this way sometimes. I just make sure that the nuc has a surplus of nurse bees, a frame of pollen, a syrup feeder, and very little open brood. This allows the queen cells (I usually give a nuc a few) to be fed very well.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    740

    Default Re: 48 Hour Queen Cells

    I especially like the part about distributing the feeding task over more bee resources, taking stress off the cell builder (and reducing the cycle time!)

    Thanks for bringing this matter up. It will really help in my current situation - having recently had most of my bees killed and having to stock up from only 2 strong colonies. I'll just isolate all my remaining queens and have them lay for 3 days in their "queen jails", graft from these and use cut-cell and cell-punch as well, start them for 24 hours above the Cloake Board, pull the board out, wait 24 hours, and distribute the QC-48's into package bee nucs (or better yet purchase a couple strong colonies and split them...)

    I can repeat the process every 4th day that way, and get back in the game this spring without having to wait until queens (that I did not order because I did not anticipate this) are available in the late spring. This saves me two or three months ! Again, thank you!

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Central Valley, CA, USA
    Posts
    82

    Default Re: 48 Hour Queen Cells

    So why is it 48h - wouldn't it be better to wait just before capping - like 72h?

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,044

    Default Re: 48 Hour Queen Cells

    The need for more careful handling becomes more critical as they mature. At 48 hours they are still just larvae floating in a nice pool of royal jelly. They will be capped over about 120 to 130 hours after grafting (between 5 and 6 days).
    Last edited by jim lyon; 02-22-2013 at 09:33 AM. Reason: Additional info
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    740

    Default Re: 48 Hour Queen Cells

    Ray Marler - Thank you for the link to the 2006 thread about the same topic! I assume that the New Zealander fellow named Bob Russell is a different chap than Dr. Robert Russell of Mississippi, but either way, his wisdom is helpful. I see it is a poor idea to use this method with package bees - he mentions it really only works well with stronger colonies and splits. I'll probably make up a few of the full 10-frame cell raiser boxes with ventilation screens, just for having this option available to my system. I'll probably make up Pine Ridge's foam-and-bucket system, too.

    Almondralf - Just to expand upon what Jim says - the QC's are most vulnerable in the late gorging / early pupal stages, still a bit vulnerable to jarring or shock as almost-mature queens about to emerge, than they they are as small, 48-hour-old grubs (larvae) floating in royal jelly. It is a good time to transport them, and has the additional advantages of 1) distributing the cell-raising "load" over many more bees, 2) more closely approximating supercedure response, and probably improving average queen quality, 3) reducing the cycle-time on your production setup (not overall time, though), and 4) adding the possibility of an additional brood-cycle break in which to reduce varroa destructor mite populations.

    One further suggestion is to not kill the resident queens, but put them in numbered cages and into the queen bank while the new ones are taking - just in case you end up with NO queens! After things are hunky-dory in the re-queened hives, you can do your evil deeds to the old queens. I sometimes take a shake from a strong hive with less-than-the-best genetics, let my 2-year-old queens unite with them, then let them swarm on their own from cardboard boxes back to nature if it is early enough in the year. At least they have a chance to make it.
    Last edited by kilocharlie; 02-23-2013 at 10:04 PM.

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,273

    Default Re: 48 Hour Queen Cells

    kilocharlie
    Good luck on rebuilding your numbers up this year. This sounds like a very good system to me, but I've not tried it yet. I have 2 good looking hives so far so after I get some honey, perhaps I'll try it out for summer splits. It may do better for varroa control than using ten day cells like I did last year.

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    centerville, IA, USA
    Posts
    107

    Default Re: 48 Hour Queen Cells

    Quote Originally Posted by BWrangler View Post
    Hi Guys

    You can read more about my tests at:

    http://beenaturalguy.com/legacy-quee...day-old-cells/

    Regards - Dennis
    Here is an updated link

    http://beenatural.talkingstick.me/two-day-old-cells/
    Rick Kumer

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Casper, Wy, USA
    Posts
    803

    Default Re: 48 Hour Queen Cells

    Hi Guys

    From my experience, they are very robust and readily accepted. I've said a little more about it here:

    http://talkingstick.me/bnatural/two-day-old-cells/

    Regards - Dennis
    I once wrangled bees. But now, knowing better, I just let them bee. It's only natural.
    http://talkingstick.me/bees/

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    FRASER VALLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA
    Posts
    1,277

    Default Re: 48 Hour Queen Cells

    So does anybody use these 2 day old queen cells in queenright colonies that have a one or two year old colony? If these cells were addedthen the bees behaved as if it were a supercedure cell, finished them and then the virgin killed off the old queen and went and got mated this would be a huge labour saving method to requeen. No need to find and kill the old queen. No need to introduce a new queen. Anybody know?

    Jean-Marc

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    740

    Default Re: 48 Hour Queen Cells

    Jean-marc - The problem with adding QC's to a queenright colony is that you are likely to lose a bunch of bees to swarming. as they may interpret the QC as a swarm queen rather than a supercedure queen. It is probably better to use the Cloake board in the starter/finisher then plant the QC's straight into nuc splits.

    If you wanted to supercede a queen, you could catch mama queen, hold her in a queenless "queen bank" colony, introduce the new queen with a Laidlaw cage, and killl the old queen after the new queen has been accepted.

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    FRASER VALLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA
    Posts
    1,277

    Default Re: 48 Hour Queen Cells

    Kilocharlie. Are you basing this on experience or assumptions? I don't think bees would swarm with one cell, but I have not tried this before. We requeen hives in august. The issue with catching the old queen is it is very labour intensive. It is hard to get a crew that can average much more than requeening 50 doubles per man day. When we do it the colonies are just jammed with bees which slows the process down. The same crew could probably do 70-80 a day in the spring. I thought if the bees could do it with a 2 day old cell, that could work for me.

    Jean-Marc

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    740

    Default Re: 48 Hour Queen Cells

    Well, try it on a few colonies and see what your numbers are. It may work for you. Again, focus on emulating supercedure, NOT SWARMING, so do this while adding an empty super.

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,492

    Default Re: 48 Hour Queen Cells

    I want my queens well fed. Mating nucs do not feed them well. I'll stick with 14 day old cells...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,140

    Default Re: 48 Hour Queen Cells

    I'm still curious about this method. As I understand it, most of the royal jelly is deposited in the cell in the first 48 hours after grafting and so the finishing of the cell should be a minimal stress on the mating nuc - particularly if the mating nuc consists of 2-3 frames of sealed brood in a 5 frame box. Is there anyone who is doing this regularly? It seems like a good way to change the genetics of your stock, and also allow a brood break.

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    740

    Default Re: 48 Hour Queen Cells

    Adrian -

    Please read carefully the link mentioned by Ray Marler in his post #23 of this thread. It is from 2006, and the real information is from a bloke named Bob Russell of New Zealand (please note: probably a different fellow than the Bob Russell of Mississippi!!!)

    There are several posts by Mr. Russell in the 2006 link - DO READ THE WHOLE LINK, but especially the "steak and potatoes" of the information is in post #19 dated 02-08-2006. The 2006 thread was started by Baybees on 01-26-2006, and is worth reading!

    Clearly this method is being used in New Zealand and has been so for upwards of 60 years (since ~ 1956?), and very likely developed from the need to re-queen out apiaries located long distances and many horiffic potholes, ruts, and corrugated metal patches away in ancient trucks....

    (Incidently, the post struck me as important enough that I hand-wrote the entire post, plus a few others, onto paper and am going to laminate it for use in the bee yard, as I, too, have some rough roads to cover occasionally.)

    From the information in the post, I would NOT use it on a 3-frame split, but on a much stronger one (like a full-box walk-away split).

    I'd further suggest not killing the existing queen, but either banking her or putting her into a weak split with a frame each of open and capped brood, and two or three 32-oz. drinking cups of shaken bees from her own colony. Why not put a queen to work if she's still up to it? If your 48-hour-old queen cell is not accepted, you can re-combine her with her original colony using the newspaper method and try to re-queen again later.

    Michael Bush's sentiment is addressed in that weak splits are not suited to this method - a strong colony must be intact to feed and finish the queen cell properly. I'd even donate a frame of capped brood when harvesting the honey and adding the queen excluder the week before, as mentioned in post #19 of the 2006 thread. As per Brother Adam's method, Michael Palmer primes his cell raiser colonies with 7 frames of capped brood (donated from over-wintered nucs) and calls them "bee bombs". He has psoted photos of his "bee bomb" cell starter/finisher colonies recently, and they are boiling over with nurse bees! His comment: "You should see the TONS of bees and the SIZE of the queen cells..." Bob Russell of New Zealand mentions adding bees shaken from 9 frames of brood donated from other hives in his cell raiser colony. Get the idea? => TONS of bees in the cell starter and in the finisher colonies, and feed them thin syrup.

    My own preference would be to transport a breeder queen colony to a home apiary a week before grafting to let it get oriented to the local nectar flow, and then to utilize another NZ method, the Cloake Board, as I want feeding to go on as uninterrupted as possible. Dr. Susan Cobey has published an excellent article on the Cloake Board Method, and she, too mentions adding up to 7 frames of capped brood. Studies have shown that worker bees get an average of 143 visits per day from nurse bees (presumably feedings) while queen cells get upwards of 1,600 visits from nurse bees, giving the hint that the feeding of royal jelly is indeed serious business when it comes to queen quality.

    To adapt this to the 48-hour-old queen cell method: 1) prime the starter/finisher with 7 to 9 frames of capped brood and add a Cloake Board, making sure the queen is below the excluder, MAKING ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN THERE ARE NO OTHER QUEEN CELLS, and feed it a pollen patty; 2) five days later, isolate the breeder queen behind a partition made of queen excluder so you don't have to search the entire hive for eggs and young larva (I make a wooden box with queen excluder sides called a "queen jail" to hold 3 frames of recently-drawn comb for this); 3) eight days after setting up the cell raiser colony (2 days after isolating the queen), put the queen cell frame with the empty cell cups into the starter/finisher colony for "polishing"; 4) the next day (about 72 hours after isolating the queen) in the morning, arrange all the open brood below the Cloake board and all the capped brood above the Cloake Board. In the afternoon, (about 80 hours after isolating the queen) graft the ~8-hour-old larva into the polished queen cell cups, adding them with a super-fresh frame of pollen above the Cloake Board, and again MAKE DAMNED SURE THERE ARE NO ROGUE QUEEN CELLS, and feed them thin syrup; 5) twenty-four hours after grafting, pull the metal sheet out of the Cloake Board; 6) forty-eight hours after grafting, transport the box with the "QC-48" cell bar frames to the out apiary where you are going to re-queen the colonies. Capture and bank the existing queens, bringing them back to start smaller nucs, as these are already laying queens; 7) plant the 48-hour-old queen cells in the target colonies; 8) 130 hours (5 or six days) later, check that the re-queened colonies have accepted and completed the queen cell. If they have not accepted the cell and are queenless, you can re-combine mama queen with her original colony and try to re-queen again later.
    Last edited by kilocharlie; 04-16-2014 at 12:56 PM.

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