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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    bridgewater , nova scotia
    Posts
    666

    Exclamation do i need to use cell protectors ?

    Hi i am making an order as i write this and i wanted to know if i needed to buy the plastic cups and protectors for my queen cells? i made my Q cups from a dowl and melted the to a queen building frame. but i don't know because i am new if i should be getting the protectors for when the cells are ripe?

    let me know what you think please

    Ben

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,693

    Default Re: do i need to use cell protectors ?

    They are good for if it should happen that a virgin hatches early, and they keep her from destroying the other cells. I most often don't use them.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,256

    Default Re: do i need to use cell protectors ?

    I started out using them when I began queen rearing. Wanted to cover all the bases and prevent any issues before they surface. I had trouble getting more than 50% acceptance of cells in the mating nucs. Many raised their own virgins and slaughtered mine.

    I talked to Rick Fell from VA Tech. He thought the problem might be with pheromones. The protectors were interfering with proper transfer of pheromones through the unhatched queen cell, and the bees weren't recognizing they had a cell already. Since I stopped using cell protectors, my cell acceptance has gone way up.

    I think if I were requeening queen-right production colonies by adding a queen cells in the supers, I would still use protectors.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,246

    Default Re: do i need to use cell protectors ?

    Interesting observation Mike. We have never used them in any of our nucing but always wonder aloud that at a penny or so apiece perhaps I should. Because our acceptance is typically in the 80 to 85% range I have trouble believing that there could realistically be much more upside. Now after reading this I am wondering if there isn't, in fact, a downside. Another large producer that I furnish cells to has always used them and always kind of grumbled about how effective they really are. I think his take percentage is pretty comparable to mine.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Posts
    1,620

    Default Re: do i need to use cell protectors ?

    I don't use them. But, I always make sure to check the hive for natural queen cells three of four days before my grafts are due to hatch. I did have a batch of cells get ruined by forgetting this step one time.

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