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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,561

    Default Re: Introducting a Queen Cell - Do you have to wait?

    The answer to whether a hive will accept or reject a cell goes a bit deeper than simply how long they have been queenless. Other factors come into play as well. My experience is that a gentle honey flow is more conducive to cell acceptance and that nervous defensive bees are much more likely to reject a cell as well, particularly if there are some robbers sniffing around. The very worst cases of cell acceptance I have experienced are invariably in just such a hostile environment. If it were as simple as the length of time then one would have by far the most success placing cells in hopelessly queenless hives and anyone who has tried that knows it is rarely successful.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,570

    Default Re: Introducting a Queen Cell - Do you have to wait?

    >My experience is that a gentle honey flow is more conducive to cell acceptance

    I agree. That probably had more effect than queenlessness. You can feed just a little at dark so it's gone by morning and improve acceptance a lot without setting off robbing.

    >what would your approach be with any extra cells, i.e. double up on placing them vs. letting them hatch and banking the virgins?

    That depends on what I have time for. Doing double cells is an easy way to use them up and slightly improve odds. banking virgins requires more work and you can only bank them for a week or so anyway, so what will you do with them then?
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,799

    Default Re: Introducting a Queen Cell - Do you have to wait?

    A few things I didn't see mentioned here I have experienced.

    When you wait 24+ hours to introduce a cell or virgin, you obviously allow them time to make their own cells. Such as in my mating nucs that have been queenless for 24+ hours, when I install a virgin, I go through the nuc and remove any started cells.
    But there are times that marked virgin is successfully mated, has returned and is laying when she disappears and a new unmarked queen is found in the nuc. I can only explain it by assuming I missed a wild queen cell, it developed while the installed virgin was maturing and getting mated, When the cell hatched, the new virgin-being the killing machines they are- did in the young newly mated queen. This has happened several times to me and that is in a small mating nuc. With Larger nucs your chances of missing a started cell are greater.
    (All my virgins are marked when hatched out of the incubator. The only unmarked queens had to be hatched out from self made cells)

    So if you give the nuc enough time to possibly make their own cells, you run the risk of missing a cell and the same thing happening. A waste of a few weeks and you run the risk of letting the nuc dwindle. You'd be just as good making a walk away nuc. But if it is getting late in the summer, it may make the difference between success and failure for that nuc to build enough to overwinter.

    I guess my point is, there is a danger if you wait long enough for them to get their own queen cells started. Sometimes a newly started cell is no more than a cell only slightly enlarged with more royal jelly..not even elongated yet and covered with bees. It would certainly pay to go back a few days later and recheck for rouge cells again when they would be bigger and easier to spot. Depending on how many nucs you start, that would mean another full day of labor or more.

    Also, if a nuc is queenless for very long, the eggs will disappear. Whether they clean them out or cannibalize them, I am not sure. That's a loss as well if you let them do that.

    They know they are queenless pretty fast when you remove the queen. Personally I wouldn't give them more than a few hours before placing the cell, and wouldn't hesitate to put them in as you make up the nuc.
    It's how you handle the new nuc that determines it's mood as well. Make them up and close them in and they'll get heated and ticked off and could very well be hard an a queen cell. Make them up and let the foragers fly back to the old hive and they are receptive young bees left to accept your cell. Just gently brush in enough extra young bees from a frame of open brood to allow for the loss of the foragers.

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mille...56954971040510
    Last edited by Lauri; 06-27-2013 at 09:05 PM.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    longton, kansas USA
    Posts
    606

    Default Re: Introducting a Queen Cell - Do you have to wait?

    very interesting points on this thread and a huge thanks to all of you. i have a few nucs that had problems drawing queens a couple weeks back. they just wouldnt draw queens for some reason. frame after frame... they just hatched out the brood and backfilled the frames. last weekend we made a strong nuc from a hive that does incredible and are from our favorite feral bees. brought it home and kept the screened lid on for good ventilation. replaced the lid on day 3 and added feed. went out today and we have 9 capped cells. we cut and added the queen cells into the brood frames of the problem nucs today and hopefully all goes well. the hive they are from is a crazy colony. insane builders with a queen that lays picture perfect and tons. they store well also.tiny plump bees

    anyone seeing this emergency method we chose (last resort basically) going wrong ?
    one of the 4 problem nucs has been queenless for probably 10-12 days now !
    the others are heading towards a good week !

    we checked for signs of laying workers and didnt see any.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,752

    Default Re: Introducting a Queen Cell - Do you have to wait?

    many thanks to all who have contributed.

    i feel like i am a little late in the season to try grafting and making up nucs, but with the late spring here, getting busy with catching and hiving swarms, and now the honey extracting has pushed me later into the season than i wanted to be.

    our flow is trickling down as evidenced by not much foraging going on and more bees bearding on the fronts of the hives. also, i don't think i'm seeing as many drones as i did earlier in the season.

    but i wanted to get my hands wet with grafting and have plenty of extra bees with the caught swarms so i decided to give it a shot mostly for the experience and to see what happens. i have a back up plan for queens if needed.

    my other mistake was timing day 10 on a work day, so it will be day 11 (the 4th of july) when i pull the cells. i have some roller cages that i could put on on prior to that if ya'll think that would be a good idea.

    my plan is to look at the cell frame tomorrow (day 5) and see how many good cells are there, and look over the six remaining caught swarm hives and see how many frames of bees i have all together. i have 13 more empty nuc boxes ready which should be about right.

    what i was thinking about doing was pulling three frames of bees and the queen from each of the swarm hives and making nucs with them, and then dividing up the rest of the bees three or four frames to each of the seven remaining nuc boxes.

    this will use up seven of my queen cells, maybe leaving me probably seven more. i might use a couple of them to try and requeen weaker hives in my production yard.

    any remaining cells i thought i would let hatch out and bank them in the yard for a week, and check the mating nucs to see if they might need one of those virgins.

    i won't try another round this year, and any of the nucs that don't get a laying queen could get a purchased queen or get combined back to a queen right hive.

    i am open to suggestions on this plan and thanks again for the feedback.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    longton, kansas USA
    Posts
    606

    Default Re: Introducting a Queen Cell - Do you have to wait?

    today i was thinking of splitting a few hives 3 ways as well. right after this next brood cycle is done and hatched out.

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