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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    Cartersville, Gerogia, USA
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    60

    Default Queen cells not hatching

    Thoughts about cells not hatching. 30 years ago I worked for a large migratory bee operation. I was trained and raised 5,000 cells annually. Grafting percent was 95% or better. Cells hatching and mating in nucs was around 90%. That was then. The last few years I am trying to raise some cells for myself in my part time bee business raising 500 cells each spring. Grafting is the same other than I need bifocals and Wal-Mart reading glasses!! My grafting acceptance is 95% or better. I put the graft into a 5 frame queenless starter box for 24 hours. Then I transfer the cells to a finish hive, queen rite and above an excluder. My cells look great. But I have two problems now, anywhere from 10% to 20% are cut by the bees before the 10th day. I put what look like good cells in my nucs on the 8 to 10 day and am only getting about 50% hatch and acceptance. Many of the cells are not hatching in the nucs. I cut open some of the cells and the queen larvae are brown or the pupa is brown and curled. Anyone having the same problems? Any ideas?

    Thanks, Victor

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,377

    Default Re: Queen cells not hatching

    Black cell queen virus anyone?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Harrisonburg Va
    Posts
    172

    Default Re: Queen cells not hatching

    With Black queen cell virus, the cell itself is usually black and the pupae is pale yellow.... If it's black queen cell virus, you also have nosema.....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    syracuse n.y.
    Posts
    1,976

    Default Re: Queen cells not hatching

    from randy olivers article last month in ABJ pristine and dying q cells. his description seems the same although it's not really pristine that is causing the problem.

    producers
    reported were poor “take” of grafts, or
    that the queens would develop through the
    pupal stage, and then die as they were in the
    process of changing into adults. When the
    producers uncapped the cells of the dead
    queens, they would find white or colored
    pupae, or deformed adults. Pay attention, because
    this is where it gets really interesting!
    Dimilin is a “chitin synthesis inhibitor,”
    meaning that it arrests the formation
    of an insect’s exoskeleton, a process that
    is critical as a pupa metamorphoses into
    an adult. This is what makes it more environmentally
    safe—it only kills developing
    insects, not the adults, or other forms of life
    (although it is extremely toxic to aquatic
    invertebrates).

    only a WAG, but I was interested as I had the same problem last year in one hive with one queen, and they all failed. but no one sprayed anything in the area.
    mike syracuse ny
    I went to bed mean, and woke up meaner. Marshal Dillon

  5. #5

    Default Re: Queen cells not hatching

    This is what we got when poisoned with neonicotinoids back in 2008:





    The systemic insecticide clothianidin killed those hives and queens.



    Toxic waste...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,446

    Default Re: Queen cells not hatching

    If you are in an agricultural area then there are a whole host of suspects. The concentrated nature of royal jelly makes raising queen cells the proverbial "canary in the coal mine". We occassionally see issues like this and we raise them in an area with nothing more than an occassional small garden. First concentrate on the things you have control over. Check very closely for any signs of brood disease, even the tiniest indication of an irregularity might be a clue and you might consider a tm treatment. A good quality pollen supplement also may help if the problem is toxic pollen either from pesticide residue or a source such as Yellow Jasmine. If you have any other hives you can use as builders from a different area I would definitely consider that as well. Best of luck, cell problems can be discouraging. It's a big reason I don't like to install anything younger than a 10 to 11 day old cell. I figure the bees are doing you a favor by spotting and "chewing out" anything that isn't healthy.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Cartersville, Gerogia, USA
    Posts
    60

    Default Re: Queen cells not hatching

    Thanks Jim, I was checking my nucs I made in south GA yesterday and many of them are raising their own queen because my cell was dead. My 5 hour trip home last night I was to say the least discouraged. I do appreciate your ideas in your post. It give me hope. I am in a very low ag area in north GA and where I raise my cells but there is some Jasmine. Also I seem to struggle with PMS brood in some hives during the summer which could be showing now in a differant way. Do you have any thoughts on PMS brood? I will be trying your ideas this week in my next batch of cells.

    Victor

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,446

    Default Re: Queen cells not hatching

    I would also consider giving your builders a partial feed ( more if they are light of course) of pretty thin sugar syrup. Good luck. Been there done that more than once.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Earlysville, Virginia USA
    Posts
    99

    Default Re: Queen cells not hatching

    Perhaps there is a lurking brood issue your hives?
    I had sacbrood hit a cell builder last year. Big and beautiful cells and all 30 or so ended up being duds. It is hard to admit but it happened. I gave them a new hygienic queen and they ended up doing great but I never gambled with using them as a cell builder after that.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Peace River, AB Canada
    Posts
    456

    Default Re: Queen cells not hatching

    I had this same thing happen in spring 2010 after a poor winter with heavy losses. I assumed BQCV also but there was definitely nosema and possibly other viruses also. Did not see this in 2011 or 2012 with healthier hives.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    collbran, co
    Posts
    546

    Default Re: Queen cells not hatching

    even if there not spraying the seeds they plant are treated with pesticides "systemic insecticide clothianidin" which the plant absorbs and transfers it to the nectar and pollen.remember its a big controversy the billion dollar companies will deny that it effects the honey bees. so we lose our hives and money while they profit this will probably get deleted

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Monte Vista, CO 81144
    Posts
    244

    Default Re: Queen cells not hatching

    Makin,
    Have you looked into your finishers? I went back to using swarm box after same problem seems to help. Set up a second story with piles of "clean" sealed brood a week or 10 days prior to graft, yank this for your swarm box. Make sure there's 2 frames of feed and pollen. Put a feeder on it after you introduce your graft.
    Sometime the finisher colonies look good when you choose them but go down hill fast, many beeks will conure that this " virus" cycles. Best bees look crappy two weeks later, while the dinks heal up

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Belfast, Ireland
    Posts
    403

    Default Re: Queen cells not hatching

    Queens which get chilled in the cell often fail to emerge or have a problem with shrivelled wings.
    I have found that if cells are transferred to a mini nuc at day nine after grafting quite a lot will fail to emerge as the queens are not fully formed at day nine and they get chilled.
    Day eleven is better but the risk is that a queen could emerge early before transfer so best to individually cage the cells.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
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    4,446

    Default Re: Queen cells not hatching

    Quote Originally Posted by jonathan View Post
    Queens which get chilled in the cell often fail to emerge or have a problem with shrivelled wings.
    I have found that if cells are transferred to a mini nuc at day nine after grafting quite a lot will fail to emerge as the queens are not fully formed at day nine and they get chilled.
    Day eleven is better but the risk is that a queen could emerge early before transfer so best to individually cage the cells.
    Good advice Jonathan. It's easy to overestimate the ability of a builder to cover cells on a cold night. I always look at cells on the outermost edges of the holders with the most suspicion particularly when the nights have been cold. We had 3 consecutive nights in the low 30's and a few casualties are showing up as a result.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default Re: Queen cells not hatching

    Are you sure you have enough bees in the nucs to keep them warm? sounds like as mentioned above they are getting chilled.

    Your on the right track looking for answers, I find it amazing all the blame on pesticides..... your in an area and state that produces around a million queens that get shipped nation wide.......

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Cartersville, Gerogia, USA
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    60

    Default Re: Queen cells not hatching

    Ok question…Jim and Jonathan put your cells in on the 11th day with chance of hatching virgins….do you use or introduce the virgin queens? And if so what is a successful way to introduce them? It is possible the cells chilled in the nuc, it has been a cooler spring in GA so I made my nucs this year with an extra shake of bees to compensate. I lean more to the idea that something either than chilling is happening because this has happened the last three springs and it happens in my hive re-queening as well as my nuc making. I will try the 11th day idea I will just need to move my grafting date up……so I would like to know about the hatched virgin questions above.
    Thanks, Victor

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Herrick, SD USA
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    Default Re: Queen cells not hatching

    If you choose to use 11 day cells be sure and pull them out of your finishers and incubate them the night of the 10th day after grafting. You may well have an occasional one hatch. They arent too much of a threat to neighboring cells though if they are incubated.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Belfast, Ireland
    Posts
    403

    Default Re: Queen cells not hatching

    I usually raise cells in a queenright colony with the cell raiser part above a queen excluder - the system described by Wilkinson and Brown.
    I graft larvae about 12 hours old.
    On day 9 after grafting or day 10 if I am feeling lucky I put a roller cage over each cell in the cell bar.
    On day 11 I transfer cells to Apideas which have been pre loaded with bees.
    I open these at the mating site 2 days later by which point the queen will have emerged from the cell.

    If I have a virgin queen which has emerged early, I spray it with a little water and put it in the apidea. I then add a scoop of wet bees on top.
    The apidea is opened 24 hours later.

    Some people just 'run in' virgins but I have never had a lot of success with that.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Monte Vista, CO 81144
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    244

    Default Re: Queen cells not hatching

    Alright, not to sound like redneck yokel ( which I might be) but I have seen many instances when queen on finisher shrinks in response to pheromone that cells are emmitting at day 9ish . Said queen slips through excluder and wreaks havoc on you cells. I was brought up under the school that if you use finisher you remove cells as soon as sealed and incubate.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
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    4,446

    Default Re: Queen cells not hatching

    Quote Originally Posted by simplyhoney View Post
    Alright, not to sound like redneck yokel ( which I might be) but I have seen many instances when queen on finisher shrinks in response to pheromone that cells are emmitting at day 9ish . Said queen slips through excluder and wreaks havoc on you cells. I was brought up under the school that if you use finisher you remove cells as soon as sealed and incubate.
    We use queen right builder/finishers, usually leaving grafts in until they are either 9 or 10 days old. We rotate brood up every two weeks and typically don't see queens that are shrinking or slowing down on egg laying though given the size of the builders you must maintain it isn't isn't surprising to have a small percentage "shut down" as if preparing to swarm.
    We are, however, drifting from the original question posed and that is what could be causing some cells to die and end end up with just a shriveled, dark pupae?
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

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