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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,347

    Default Cells emerge early

    I recently grew a batch of cells for a customer. Planning to deliver them to him on day 14, post graft.

    Since late April, almost every day has been 100F or higher, with cooler days still being in the 90'sF.

    Anyway, on the morning of day 13, I was working to prepare another cell builder colony, adjacent to the one containing this batch of cells. When, lo and behold, I heard piping coming from the cell builder in question. I suddenly developed "butterflies in my stomach". I quickly prepared some queen cages, then opened the cell builder with the emerging cells. The first bar I removed, had one emerged cell, and two virgin-killed cells. The remaining cells were all emerging, almost simultaneously. I struggled to catch and cage each virgin, all the time thinking of the other two bars, still in the cell builder. Once I dealt with the other two bars, some of those virgins had merged into the mass of nurse bees in the cell builder. I had to repeatedly search through the bees in order to, eventually locate and cage, all the loose virgins. Finally, all were accounted for.

    I'm thinking I should put a temperature sensor in with my next batch of cultured cells, to see what temperatures they are growing at.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Philadelphia, MS, USA
    Posts
    632

    Default Re: Cells emerge early

    Thats why I love my incubator. I move all cells to incubator on day 11 and they emerge pretty consistantly on day 15.

    Johnny
    "Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." - Mark Twain

  3. #3

    Default Re: Cells emerge early

    I've been noting queens emerging 10.5 days after grafting which would be day 14, I thought that was early.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,992

    Default Re: Cells emerge early

    Exactly why I have an incubator also. Haven't had my incubator long but soo pleased with it should have built one years ago.

    However a few things to think about. Brood nest temperature according to my testing plus some research, mostly varies between 94 and 97. At the warmer end of this the queen cells can develop faster. And your hive would have been at the warmer end in the out door temperatures you describe.

    Secondly it is said that from when the egg is laid, the cells hatch on day 16 + or - a day. Which best I can tell is pretty accurate. However for me, before I had an incubator, In mid and late summer when temperatures were high I used to plant the cells a day early cos there were just too many incidents of at least one of them hatching early. And I do know how old they are because the eggs I use for queen raising come from a comb that is only in the breeder queen compartment for 24 hours. I can say as a fact that in hot weather there is a risk some of them will hatch on day 14.

    Only other thing, if you grafted from comb in the brood nest, it is possible some of the larvae were a little older than you thought, add that to all the other factors & you could seemingly have queens hatching on day 13.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,366

    Default Re: Cells emerge early

    Good points all. It should also be noted that the occassional "early hatcher" is able to do far less damage in an incubator than in a cell builder which gives them lots more destructive power.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,992

    Default Re: Cells emerge early

    Yes I deliberately let a batch of around 60 cells hatch in my incubator to see what would happen. Ended up with queens fighting all over the bottom of the incubator, but only two queen cells were killed by virgins.

    If this had happened in a cell finisher it would have been a nightmare to clean up.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Hässleholm, Sweden
    Posts
    53

    Default Re: Cells emerge early

    I have noted 36 hours difference in the same batch. Is there any difference in quality of queens that develop fast or slow?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,992

    Default Re: Cells emerge early

    Somebody might be able to answer that although I can't. I can say that queens that develop excessively slowly do that because the hive they were raised in wasn't up to it, ie didn't feed them well and didn't keep them warm enough, they will tend to be smaller cells and smaller queens, and likely not as productive although I know of no study on it.
    Situations where this will happen are for example a small mating nuc that killed the new queen cell given it, and raised one of their own, but were unable to feed it well or keep correct temperature. They are often ratty little queens that could not be sold.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

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