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  1. #1
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    Dec 2012
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    Default How to cut, almost sealed queen cell w/?

    About 4 days ago, I did a split on 3/9, last Saturday. Did a hive check today. It is now half way successful with 7 queen cells about to be cap. I think they will cap these cells in 6-8 days since 4 days gone by already. And majority of these cells are half way done with one small hole for the bees to get inside to take care. They are smart to built the drone cells as well by the side of the frames at the top.
    One plastic frame has 4 cells (3 from the ones I did a notch on, one they make their own on the first day--3/10.) On the next plastic frame 3 cells are made by themselves. Some are small and some are just a bit bigger cells. But nowhere the same size as the big queen cell at pics I seen on this site or youtube videos.
    My question is how many cells can I keep and which ones? Is there a way I can help to make these queen cells bigger? How do I get them out off the plastic frames, cut them or scoop them out? Which tool to use to cut or scoop them out better?
    And at what date should I be doing the cutting to transfer them into a nuc box?
    Next time I am using the real combs but this is my first time to make this mistakes.

  2. #2
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    May 2012
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    Default Re: How to cut, almost sealed queen cell w/?

    They usually cap around day 9, nothing u can do now to make them bigger. You can try to scrape them off but you will always puncture the cell a little bit from what I've heard but usually not a big deal. The only thing to do is cull ones you think are too small but you really never know what's going to come out. I wouldn't move them til a day or two before they're scheduled to hatch out. You can keep them all, they'll sort it out or you can try to push in cage around them to let more than one hatch out if you want to make more than two splits.

  3. #3
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    Jul 2012
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    El Cerrito, CA, USA
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    50

    Default Re: How to cut, almost sealed queen cell w/?

    I have no useful information, except to say that I split my hive on Saturday too, and have nice queen cells today (number unknown, as I just peeped in the hive) as well. Wish me luck! First split ever.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: How to cut, almost sealed queen cell w/?

    Ohh, I see that's how it is done. Got it. Thanks for the tips. now.
    Do we always pick the biggest queen after it hatched? The long body one is better or the short chubby body one
    is better?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: How to cut, almost sealed queen cell w/?

    Honestly, I wouldn't judge too much based on virgin size, let them get mated and evaluate them then. They will get bigger as they start to lay.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Earlysville, Virginia USA
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    Default Re: How to cut, almost sealed queen cell w/?

    If I have multiple queen cells I like to give myself an insurance policy and split them up between nucs. You can make a queenless nuc up and wait a few hours to a day and move one of the frames with cells into it. I like to move cells just after they have been caped or just before they are due to be hatched to reduce the chance of damaging the developing queen's wings. You could make a nuc for each cell if they were not on plastic foundation as then you could cut them out. The first virgin to emerge will normally eat a bunch and then head off to kill the other queens....I got to watch it happen one time! By moving cells into other nucs you get several virgin queens rather than just one. Queens don't always make it back from mating flights so you might end up with just one in the end or several. If they are all successful you can pick the one with the best laying pattern and kill the rest or keep several in nucs as backup or let them start full sized hives. Just watch out I went from 15 hives to 65 last summer as I could not stand killing good queens!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: How to cut, almost sealed queen cell w/?

    I'd keep them all and wait six more days to put them in nucs or hives that they will emerge in...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
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    Default Re: How to cut, almost sealed queen cell w/?

    O.k. I understand the process now. Put the queen in separate individual nuc box before they hatch.
    Since 7 of them are on the plastic frames, how can I put them in nuc without them killing each others after they hatched?
    Is there a better tool to cut the plastic frame out along with the queen bee on the 10th day (6+4)?
    Or maybe to scoop the queen cell off the plastic foundation to put in a nuc box. Then what is the best tool to use for that?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: How to cut, almost sealed queen cell w/?

    >Since 7 of them are on the plastic frames, how can I put them in nuc without them killing each others after they hatched?

    I just use the frame and get one queen. If it was foundationless with no wires, then I would cut them all out separately 10 days after they were made queenless.

    >Is there a better tool to cut the plastic frame out along with the queen bee on the 10th day (6+4)?

    Not that I've ever found.

    >Or maybe to scoop the queen cell off the plastic foundation to put in a nuc box. Then what is the best tool to use for that?

    I've never had any luck at that.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Earlysville, Virginia USA
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    Default Re: How to cut, almost sealed queen cell w/?

    Cutting cells out on plastic would be tough and seems too risky to me. There was recently a thread on that topic that you can probably find. I think that one person had luck cutting between the plastic and the cells and others proposed cutting through the plastic. Cutting through the plastic seems like a great way to vibrate the frame too much and possibly damage a young queen.

    I think the simplest options would be to:
    1. Give each frame with cells its own nuc and let the queens that hatch on that frame duke it out so you would just end up with one queen per frame. I think that would give you a total of two queens.
    2. Give each frame with cells its own nuc. Pick the best looking cell to be left alone and then put a push in cage around each of the remaining cells on the frame (might not be possible if they are hanging from the bottom of a frame). That way one will hatch out and have the freedom to move through her new home and the rest would be protected in their cages. You would naturally have to have enough bees to quickly make up a nuc to for each caged virgin. If all goes well then you would have seven queens

  11. #11
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    Mar 2011
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    Utica, NY
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    Default Re: How to cut, almost sealed queen cell w/?

    The instincts of the honey bee is to have the first out queen kill off her rivalries. In some instances the hive protects those other cells otherwise multiple swarms would never happen. If you are not an experience queen breeder wouldn't it make sense to let nature take it course or at least see if the hive protects the other cells after the first has come out?
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  12. #12
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    Default Re: How to cut, almost sealed queen cell w/?

    I would like to be an experienced queen breeder some day. So nothing beats your own experiences at first
    hand in doing splits and requeen a nuc hive. I do not ask for 7 queen cells all at once. My experiences told
    me not to notch too many areas the next time around. Every notch they will create one or 2 queen cells in that
    area. So I learn from my own mistakes. But since they are here already I have to make the best of them. Actually 2 more empty peanut cells are created at the 3rd frame but no larvae in them.
    My plan is to put nuc box at equal distant all spaced out in a circle. This way the field bees have to choose a nuc to
    go inside to equally distribute the foragers. My question is in a nuc box with 2 frames of bees is a 4 frames enough for the bee space to grow on? Here is the pic of my configuration using sponges to fill inside to conserve the heat at the night time.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  13. #13
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    Nov 2009
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    Jacksonville, Florida
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    Default Re: How to cut, almost sealed queen cell w/?

    I have never been able to remove the cells from plastic foundation. It would be safer to do as Mr. Bush said and just use each frame with cells as one cell and give it its own nuc. You won't get as many queens but, I think you will find it very difficult to remove the cells without damaging them. Next time if you want to make more cells without grafting use a piece of plain wax foundation. Put it in the middle of the brood nest, let the queen lay eggs in it, once the eggs start to hatch make up your queenless starter nuc and put that frame in it. You will be able to cut the cells out easy to separate into their own nuc box.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: How to cut, almost sealed queen cell w/?

    Thanks, John for the good advice. I'm so new that never even thought of the plastic foundation until it was too late.
    A good lesson to learn here. We will see when that time comes to make the split again.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: How to cut, almost sealed queen cell w/?

    Update: Did a hive inspection today. Found too many queen cells so will see how many of them
    will hatch later on. One queen cell already sealed up on the 6th day. The others are 80% complete
    with royal jelly in them.
    I want to keep this hive going until the queens emerged. My question is can I put another frame of
    eggs and young larvae into this hive without them making more queen bees? Are they going to
    make more queen bees out of the new egg frame?
    I certainly not want anymore queens now.

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