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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Accord, NY
    Posts
    333

    Default Bees changed their mind. Queen cells destroyed.

    I made the hive queenless on 7/23. I grafted thirteen cups on 7/24 and broke some cell walls on the comb under day-old larvae. They accepted and fed 6 new q-cells. Cells were drawn out but not capped yet on 7/26. That day I reintroduced the old queen. I have not raised queens in three years now. Reintroducing was a big mistake, I guess. Today 8/4 I went to transfer the cells to q-castle (I know, dangerously late, some queens were due to hatch tomorrow.) To my surprise, all q-cells were destroyed. The bees chewed them up and built comb around the cups. There was no trace of the cells they had built on the bottom of natural comb.
    Should I have waited to reintroduce the queen till the q-cells were capped?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,842

    Default Re: Bees changed their mind. Queen cells destroyed.

    Yes or maybe someone hatched early

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Palm Beach County, FL
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Bees changed their mind. Queen cells destroyed.

    Yeahhh... you shouldn't reintroduce the old queen if there are queen cells present at all. If the hive hasn't decided to re-queen, then the queen won't be giving up her throne for the fun of it. She will go through and hold open season on all queen cells. You're better off taking a nuc box, putting two frames of bees in it, and grafting the cells in there, while leaving the original hive queenright.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Accord, NY
    Posts
    333

    Default Re: Bees changed their mind. Queen cells destroyed.

    Quote Originally Posted by JRG13 View Post
    Yes or maybe someone hatched early
    Maybe but I doubt it as the q-cells looked long gone. Some looked started and never finished others were completely chewed and replaced with comb.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Accord, NY
    Posts
    333

    Default Re: Bees changed their mind. Queen cells destroyed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zeekeeper View Post
    Yeahhh... you shouldn't reintroduce the old queen if there are queen cells present at all. If the hive hasn't decided to re-queen, then the queen won't be giving up her throne for the fun of it. She will go through and hold open season on all queen cells...
    Hmmm.. so the queen did it? I assumed it was the work of the bees themselves. I didn't think queens would stoop to that dirty job. After all, when the bees build supercedure cell she has no choice but is made to lay in it and then she gets replaced.
    I used to raise queens by way of Cloake board. I believe I used to remove the steel sheet as soon as 24 hours after grafting (it may be 48, I don't remember for sure.) I never saw the bees go back on their decision to raise queens. I thought by removing the queen and then reintroducing (aprox. 54 hrs later) I would copy the cloake board method. With the actual cloake board there is a queen excluder between the queen and the new q-cells. So maybe the queen did do it after all...
    We have tens of thousands angry venomous workers working in the dark, a missing then returning Royal, the murders, the motives, the alibis... who done it? Can you taste the suspense?
    Seriously, thank you both for responses. And if anyone has had the same experience or a clue to the mystery, please share.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Palm Beach County, FL
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Bees changed their mind. Queen cells destroyed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aram View Post
    Hmmm.. so the queen did it? I assumed it was the work of the bees themselves. I didn't think queens would stoop to that dirty job. After all, when the bees build supercedure cell she has no choice but is made to lay in it and then she gets replaced.
    I used to raise queens by way of Cloake board. I believe I used to remove the steel sheet as soon as 24 hours after grafting (it may be 48, I don't remember for sure.) I never saw the bees go back on their decision to raise queens. I thought by removing the queen and then reintroducing (aprox. 54 hrs later) I would copy the cloake board method. With the actual cloake board there is a queen excluder between the queen and the new q-cells. So maybe the queen did do it after all...
    Yup the queen will sting through the sides of the cells to kill the developing queens who are threatening her rule, if the hive isn't overcrowded and in preparation to swarm, or they've decided that she isn't viable anymore (they'll starve her in that case and the new queen will off her). That would be the reason for the queen excluder restricting the old queen from accessing the new queens. Once the new ones are stung to death through the cell walls, the workers will then chew through the walls to remove the dead larvae. Bee life can be as brutal as it is cooperative

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