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  1. #1
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    Default Dadant Push In Cell Protectors

    Anyone had any experience with these cell protectors and what did you think?

    http://www.dadant.com/catalog/produc...roducts_id=887
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Dadant Push In Cell Protectors

    I used the type that hangs between the frames for awhile. It was early in my queen rearing and I wanted to be sure the queens were able to emerge. Well, when I used cell protectors my % acceptance was very low...40-60%. I asked Dr Rick Fell, who told me he believes that cell protectors interfere with pheromone transfer from the pupa, through the cell wall, and to the bees. I stopped using them and the % acceptance went up significantly. I no longer use them.

    If I want to re-queen queen-right colonies with queen cells placed up in the supers, I would still use them.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Dadant Push In Cell Protectors

    Interesting observation Michael.

    I've never used them for cells into nucs before, but this season have had a heckuva lot of cells getting torn down, one nuc yard of the nucs I checked around 50%. Other yard using the same batch of cells around 100% acceptance though so I think it has to do with the particular bees not the cells, anyhow I've ordered 500 of these protectors just to try them out. But thought I'd get others opinions also so thanks for the insight, never considered pheromone transfer. I have heard it said that if you protect the cell they kill the virgin when she emerges so in the end there is no difference, maybe the pheromone thing is why.

    Keen to hear insights from others also.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Dadant Push In Cell Protectors

    Interesting, I have never heard the pheromome transfer theory. It makes me wonder if my gut feeling to leave capped cells in a builder rather than an incubator as long as is safely possible dosent have some merit. I have never used cell protectors and our outfit average always seems to run in the 80 to 85% range with 3 comb nucs in 10 frame deeps, slightly higher in a 4 comb nuc box. We leave them queenless for about 36 hours before installing the cells. It seems to me that when we have a bad yard that we can almost always trace it to temperature related cell handling conditions. In discussing the issue of cell protectors with another beekeeper that is doing most things quite similar to me,with the notable exception that he does use cell protectors, I found his percentage runs real close to mine.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Dadant Push In Cell Protectors

    Another interesting post Jim.

    Don't normally check cell hatch but did it because I've started using the incubator & wanted to know, first yard I checked was the bad one, my heart sank. But the second yard was same cell batch also from the incubator and no worries.

    But you comment about cell transfer temperatures might be on the money, the yard with the poor hatch was planted after the first yard with good hatch, and I discovered that the (commercially bought) cigarette lighter powered cell transfer box had dropped as low as 80 degrees, in the incubator they are held at 95.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  6. #6
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    May 2010
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    Spokane, Washington, USA
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    Default Re: Dadant Push In Cell Protectors

    Made 104 3 frames nucs in August. That same afternoon placed 10 day old cells from finisher hive. Took me about half hour to place all cells and didn't use any incubators for transfer. When I was placing cells temp was very cold and I was worried about cells not hatching. Fortunately had 83% mating success with very few cells that did not hatch. No cells chewed down. No protectors. I give my nucs a second chance but not 3rd. When placing 2nd cells I wrap cell with masking tape. Works very well for me.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Dadant Push In Cell Protectors

    Quote Originally Posted by RAK View Post
    Made 104 3 frames nucs in August. That same afternoon placed 10 day old cells from finisher hive. Took me about half hour to place all cells and didn't use any incubators for transfer. When I was placing cells temp was very cold and I was worried about cells not hatching. Fortunately had 83% mating success with very few cells that did not hatch. No cells chewed down. No protectors. I give my nucs a second chance but not 3rd. When placing 2nd cells I wrap cell with masking tape. Works very well for me.
    At the risk of getting OT's thread too far off topic, yes, I would agree that a 10 day old cell can take some cool temps without damage, matter of fact I have seen such "ripe cells" hatch after a night in an unheated incubator wnen my thermometer showed lows (in the incubator) dropped to the 60's but it dosent stop me from being really finicky about holding temps until the minute they are installed. My primary reason for leaving cells in builders until ripe has always been that I feel the bees know best when the cells are healthy and will "chew out" anything not developing properly. The larger point, though, is that incubation temperatures, whether it be in a hive or a bee free artificial incubator, is critical to proper development of a cell particularly in days 5 through 9 (after grafting). The question, then, of why not always incubate cells immediately after capping gets us back to this point of pheromone transfer and whether there is still something going on between nurse bees and pupating queen cells and if a cell protector might, in fact, do more harm than good.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Dadant Push In Cell Protectors

    The cell protectors look pretty open - what would be the means of pheremone transfer that they would interfere with?
    Since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Dadant Push In Cell Protectors

    Yeah they are David but there is still the missing element of the nurse bees being able to physically "embrace" (as I have heard it referred to) the cell when the nurse bees aren't in actual contact with it. One must remember that bees are able to tell the health of a pupae long before they actually hatch and will readily "chew out" any that they feel are dying. Of course this conversation, I believe, is for the most part theoretical.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Dadant Push In Cell Protectors

    So if a cell contains a dead queen will the cell protector keep the mating nuc from tearing it down? I've never used them, and I have only rarely (if ever) found intact but dead cells in mating nucs.

    Perhaps using cell protectors on every other cell for a season would shed some light on the subject.
    Since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Dadant Push In Cell Protectors

    Quote Originally Posted by David LaFerney View Post
    So if a cell contains a dead queen will the cell protector keep the mating nuc from tearing it down? I've never used them, and I have only rarely (if ever) found intact but dead cells in mating nucs.
    No doubt they wouldn't be able to tear it down but tearing out the occassional dying cell isn't the issue here it's will they harm a healthy cell. There has been an occassion or two in the past where I have put in cells that I felt had had some chilling issues in our handling after removal from builders. I remember one time in particular where we recelled a few days later when we had some extra cells and found a few that were unhatched and dead in the cells and others that appeared to have been torn out.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Dadant Push In Cell Protectors

    Those are actually JZsBZs Cell Protectors, being resold through Dadant. Many of the beekeeping supply companies carry them. They are also available directly from JZsBZs. I keep some available, and use them when I think they'll improve my queen rearing success.

    Sometimes, even with the cell protectors, some cells will be torn down -- usually just by having their tips torn away, and the contents removed. Perhaps, if pheromones are involved with interactions between cells and nurse bees, the protectors might interfere with that process, but the cells are not much occluded by the protectors, so it is difficult to imagine much, if any, interference with pheromones. In my experience the nurse bees, continue attending the cells, as if the protectors weren't there.

    I've had seasons where I never needed to resort to protectors, and others where I think I might not have any success without them. Hence, I keep them available, but only use them if it seems necessary. I have always wondered how they work to reduce queen cells being torn down.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Dadant Push In Cell Protectors

    isn't cell protectors purpose to en-cage the queen when she hatches.so multiple queens can be in one hive at a time then remove the queens and place them in a queen-less mating nuc in a queen cage.until they chew her out by that time she will be ready for her mating flight.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Dadant Push In Cell Protectors

    Not these ones, they don't have a means to block the queen from getting out.

    The ones I purchased have arrived, nice design but too small, most queen cells cannot fit in them so bit of a waste of time. However for whatever reason I'm now back to pretty much 100% acceptance of cells, as the problem happened with the first few batches of cells to go through my new incubator I'm wondering if it really was the incubator. New incubator smell or some such thing.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Dadant Push In Cell Protectors

    I bought some and have tried the they are a handy way to plug cells in where you want them to go. I don't use them much anymore and don't have the experience to comment one wether they are effective or not.

    The battery boxes and queen cages from JZBZ seem to have a smell/pheromone added. Do the cell protectors? Maybe that is a factor? I'll have to go dig them out to see if I can tell.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Dadant Push In Cell Protectors

    These ones didn't seem to have a smell added best I could tell anyway.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Dadant Push In Cell Protectors

    JZsBZs also offer a slightly larger size, designed to hold and protect cells during shipping. The ones I received are a bright yellow color. Their tip ends snap/lock into their orange shipping bars and cells built on JZsBZs cell cups drop into the top of these cell shipping protectors. They also function the same as the smaller cell protectors, but there's room in the tip end for a queen to emerge into, while the protectors are fastened into the shipping bars.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Dadant Push In Cell Protectors

    Thanks Joseph, I have some of the yellow ones and have been wondering where I can purchase more. They are larger than the Dadants orange ones and seem to fit the cells better.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Dadant Push In Cell Protectors

    I did notice that the JZsBZs website doesn't seem to list them, but I do believe that if you call them, those are available.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

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