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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    lee county, fl, usa
    Posts
    917

    Default how do I save queens?

    On April 3rd I took 3 frames and a bundle of bees from an overcrowded hive, a very strong hive. I put them in a 10 frame deep because that's all I had with me and brought it to my backyard so I could keep an eye on it. 2 days later I put in another frame of empty comb because night temps were in the 50's and not that many bees in box, to help insulate on the side of the hive that was open, if that makes sense. The 3 frames had both open and sealed brood, nectar and pollen.

    I went in today and on one of the frames, one side has 3 emergency capped queen cells and the other side has 2. They are all very close to each other. I would like to save those queens as this came from such a strong hive, but not sure how I do this. I have one of those square, 2x2" or so (might be bigger) wire press in queen cages.

    That is the only thing I have as far as queen rearing goes. I have some extra 4 frame nuks, but is there a way I can somehow do a queen rearing and start some hives with so little equipment?
    Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Prvb 16:24
    March 2010; +/- 30 hives, TF

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,093

    Default Re: how do I save queens?

    Assuming you have 10 frames in each hive box now, I would recommend the following.

    10-3=7 7-2=5 3+2=5. With 5 virgin queens coming, you really do not have enough equipments at hand for this expansion. Are you considering to sell off some of your queens too? Something like this one http://stockton.craigslist.org/grd/3719505508.html

    According to the queen rearing calendar give or take a few days, your queens should emerge on Monday, 4/15. I am able to save all of my 4 queens emerging on different dates. I use the window screen mini cages that I made to cover these queen cells. This way they are not able
    to kill off each others. I made an aggressive split with only 4 frame of bees and my set up does not has as many bees like yours. Not sure if you want to take the risk to save them all like I did.
    You did not say how many 4 frame nuc boxes you have? Another way is to cut one cell out to put in your 4 frame nucs along with one frame of bees from your strong hive. If you have 2 frames of bees that is even better for the virgin queen after she emerged. 7-2=5
    Also, with so little equipment, you can divide the 10 frame box into half with a follower board. Make sure this board is tight enough that the worker bees cannot crawl over the other side. This box will house 2 queens separated by this board. One queen on each side of the box. I would imagine putting 3 existing frames with one virgin queen on one side of the box(does not matter on which side.) And on the other side add 2 more frame of bees from the strong hive with the frame of empty comb and the other virgin queen for a total of 6 frames in the same box. 3+3=6 Now you have a 2-queen system in the same hive box. This will allow you more time to gather more equipments for later expansion.

    1 virgin queen in a nuc, 2 virgin queens in a 2-queen system hive box, 1 virgin queen in another 2-queen system hive box. <<--Or continue to divide the 5 frame into 2 more hives. 3+2=5 This for a total of 5 queens(one old queen too.) What to do with 1 more virgin queen, huh? Goto CL is my answer. Or how to put them all in those nuc boxes?
    Anybody here has a better solution for this issue? Please take into consideration that all actions have their consequences as well. I don't want you to lose all of your bees. Let us know how you solve this one, o.k.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    3,063

    Default Re: how do I save queens?

    can u cut the cells out? I recommended a cage to a friend and it seemed to work, was able to cage the cells and the virgins hatched and didn't kill each other. If you can cut the cells out or a cell leave your self some room (i.e. cut extra above or below the cell) and you can use a toothpick or something and adhere it to a frame and put it into a queenless nuc. Leave 2 cells with the original 'nuc' which will increase your odds of getting a queen in there.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    lee county, fl, usa
    Posts
    917

    Default Re: how do I save queens?

    I think what I'm looking for is the cut out queen cell idea--I'm sure I need to be very careful. Then a toothpick onto another frame, yes that's what I'm looking for. I can leave the 2 cells in the original split like JRG13 suggests. The other 3 cells are pretty close together, within inches. The 2 cells are right next to each other in an upside down configuration so I will leave them alone.

    I guess the amount of 4 framers I use has to do with how careful I can cut out the queen cells. I have 2 4-framers, and one that needs repair which I can have done by Monday. I will use 2 frames of bees for each if possible.

    So, any more advice or pics/videos on how to properly cut out the queen cells and adhere them to a drawn frame will be greatly appreciated.

    Selling is a good idea beepro, but I still have the increase goal and I don't know how sucessful I will be this time around. My only other concern is that some of the brood died in the cold spell, one frame over. Not sure at this point if any of the queens will emerge either from cold or if I mess up in the cell transfer.
    Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Prvb 16:24
    March 2010; +/- 30 hives, TF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,157

    Default Re: how do I save queens?

    Just leave it Alone at this point. With a little luck, your weak split will make a laying queen that will be useful to you. But understand that the emergency cells produced by such a weak hive are probably not top notch. It is not worth trying to separate them. Cells are not at all hard to come by.
    Since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,093

    Default Re: how do I save queens?

    I see your idea here to make cut out of the queen cell into a nuc. So everything is under control now.
    If your concern is the cold spells to chill the broods then you have to add 3 frame of bees. What is the point if no broods to replace the older ones even when the queen got mated, right. Do a 3 frame or 4 frame nuc split is the better idea here because of the cold now. Also, don't forget to feed syrup and patty at the same time on all hive after the split. You don't want them to fly much in the cold. They will stay in to feed when you provide them with the foods.
    On you tube the fatbeeman has a vid on "queen cell cut out." Basically, find a frame with broods. At the top next to the broods maybe 1" or so down, cut a hole big enough to fit the queen cell into the combs. So a comb with a hole next to the broods to fit the queen cell will do. Make sure it is secure so not fall off the comb. And gently close the frame so the cell not get squish.
    Looks like I over analyze things again. Sorry....

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