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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Huntsville, Alabama
    Posts
    675

    Default Small cell queens & NICOT

    I use the NICOT for queen production. I have also converted numerous hives to 4.9 small cell as part of my own little test to see if there's anything to the 4.9/varroa rumors. The verdict is still out with me.

    Here's my question. Will new queens from 5.4 queen mothers have troubles when placed in 4.9 small cell hives/nucs/splits? Every swarm I've ever caught and placed straight into 4.9 foundation has superseded the queen within weeks. I also know that the cell size in the NICOT has sometimes been said to be a little large.

    So, anyone have experience with this?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    965

    Default Re: Small cell queens & NICOT

    All my colonies are small cell.
    Queens from larger-celled colonies have no troubles attributable to cell size in SC hives in my observation.

    Any of the normal causes will provoke queen rejection/supercedure, so I'm not saying your queen won't get superceded...just that cell size is irrelevant.

    They have not trouble laying in SC comb either.
    Whether the rest of the comb is large or small cell, queen cells are started from scratch by the bees and in grafting cups cups by the beek.

    I haven't observed any difference in queen size btw bought-in queens and those native to sc hives.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,468

    Default Re: Small cell queens & NICOT

    >Here's my question. Will new queens from 5.4 queen mothers have troubles when placed in 4.9 small cell hives/nucs/splits?

    I've only seen one queen too fat to lay in small cell and she was quickly superseded. The rest all have always done fine. I don't think the size of the queen cell affects the size of the queen as, unlike a worker or a drone, the queen cell has lots of extra room in it and the queen grows as much as she likes, where a drone or worker cell is limited to just enough room for them.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,730

    Default Re: Small cell queens & NICOT

    When I've introduced large cell produced queens to small cell hives, most times, at first the brood is very patchy, despite that they had a good brood pattern when on the large cell. However they slowly adapt.

    That I can remember, I've never lost a queen, or had one prematurely superseded, solely because of the small cell. In other words, the incidence of this has been no greater than when introducing to large cell.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,730

    Default Re: Small cell queens & NICOT

    Just to add to that, here's a photo of the queen laying an egg in my first ever, newly set up small cell hive. The queen and bees came from a large cell hive, and looking at her, I was worried she would not be able to fit her abdomen into the small cells.

    But as can be seen here, she only puts the tip of her abdomen in, and extends it, which thins it down enough to do the job. This queen, as is typical, had a patchy brood pattern at first, but eventually came right and had nice full slabs of brood.

    Some of my queens are now raised in small cell hives, and there does not seem to be any problem going the other way, ie, introducing a small cell raised queen, to a large cell hive. Also, I have discovered, queen size is standard. Wether they are raised in small cell, or large cell hives.

    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM
    Posts
    618

    Default Re: Small cell queens & NICOT

    Thanks Oltimer for the info and pic...you have some black little bees there don't you.
    "Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay".....Krishnamurti

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,730

    Default Re: Small cell queens & NICOT

    Yes, that pic is a couple of years old, I've moved away from blacks they're mostly italian now.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

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