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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    Jefferson Co, TX
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    708

    Default Queen rearing - cell punch question

    Ok on November 20, 2013 I attempted to make 3 queen cells for a queen less hive. There are still some older brood that are still emerging (added from another hive) so there are some nurse bees.

    I placed the 3 cell punched comb onto BZ queen cell cups, had added some wax to help them adhere to the cup. But did not make the cell cup of wax and push it in the BZ like some of the videos show. Did the punch on spots where larvae were little bitty things, not much larger than the eggs in my mind. My cell punch cuts a plug that gets 7 cells if I do it perfect, then gently smashed the outer larvae and broke the outer cell walls open. Inserted the plug gently into the cup with warm wax on the cup, then dripped some wax on outside of the cup.

    I was thinking the cells would emerge on Monday or Tuesday, especially since we had weather that was below freezing for a night or two and close to that for several nights, a few days in the 40s. I thought that would slow development down and I would be ok to open hive for a check today.

    Opened box today with crossed fingers, they had built one cell really nice, and had partly completed the second or it was a runt cell. The third apparently either came out or was torn down, but was not in the EZ cap.

    But both of the were open, similar to what happens when queen emerges. So I assumed they died, rearrange box some, then it hits me. Maybe those are not 1 day larvae, but two day, and if they can keep the temperatures up did both these cells emerge and are looking for each other. So closed up the hive, and drank some homemade apple wine.

    So I am asking for advice from experienced folks (or anyone that has raised more than one queen makes them more experienced than me.)

    So it the pupae fails to develop, what does a torn open queen cell look like.

    If these cells didn't make I was going to order Florida Queens tomorrow. Would have split the hive into two and introduced the queens. Had it all planned out really nice.

    SO is there any way to tell if I have a virgin queen in there? Or do I just wait.

    Of course this is my largest hive.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
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    3,804

    Default Re: Queen rearing - cell punch question

    If the cell tip has a perfect round small hole then the queen emerged. If the side of the cell is torn open, then she was removed and eaten or destroyed. If both cells have a nice perfect round hole for the tip then they both emerged.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Jefferson Co, TX
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    708

    Default Re: Queen rearing - cell punch question

    Ray - Many Thanks, didn't have the experience yet to know that. I had holes on the end, so I am imagining there are/were two queens in the hive. So I have 5 good days of warm about 70 to 72 degree weather, she might mature enough to get a mating flight at the end of the week. Then we go into the 50s for next week.

    One more question from you experienced queen raisers. About how long can a queen go before she can no longer mate. I am curious is she misses this window and it is 2 or 3 weeks of 50 degree temperatures, is she shot or can she go 60 or 90 days before mating?

    Hindsight, guess I should have just purchased the queens.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO United States
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    389

    Default Re: Queen rearing - cell punch question

    Quote Originally Posted by marshmasterpat View Post
    Ray - Many Thanks, didn't have the experience yet to know that. I had holes on the end, so I am imagining there are/were two queens in the hive. So I have 5 good days of warm about 70 to 72 degree weather, she might mature enough to get a mating flight at the end of the week. Then we go into the 50s for next week.

    One more question from you experienced queen raisers. About how long can a queen go before she can no longer mate. I am curious is she misses this window and it is 2 or 3 weeks of 50 degree temperatures, is she shot or can she go 60 or 90 days before mating?

    Hindsight, guess I should have just purchased the queens.
    I have heard that if she hasn't mated in 30 days, she is destined to be a drone layer? Always better to raise your own queens, no hindsight

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Tipton, TN, USA
    Posts
    784

    Default Re: Queen rearing - cell punch question

    Why were trying to raise queens at this time of year? Haven't lived in TX for several years, but I remember the weather being very iffy at this point.
    Solo for the last 4 Years, ~60 Hives, TF + Oils.
    http://tradingwebsites4bees.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
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    3,804

    Default Re: Queen rearing - cell punch question

    They mate well if it's done in 10 to 14 days. Sometimes they take longer. At 21 days I pinch them if they are not mated and laying. If I was in your shoes, I'd just wait it out with some apple wine and see how they look in the spring.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Ft. Collins, Colorado
    Posts
    564

    Default Re: Queen rearing - cell punch question

    You didn't say if you still have any drones in the hive? I'd be curious if you've been below freezing if there's anyone left in the area to mate with...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,677

    Default Re: Queen rearing - cell punch question

    1202131534.jpg

    Successfully hatch queen cell.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
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    1,103

    Thumbs Up Re: Queen rearing - cell punch question

    So if the pupae fails to develop, what does a torn open queen cell look like.
    A torn down queen cell is easy to recognize. It would be my guess that a failure to develop would likely be during the larval phase of growth and would never be capped. So, if you have capped cells, there is a good chance of success in a populous hive, at this time of year, along the gulf coast of Texas.

    SO is there any way to tell if I have a virgin queen in there? Or do I just wait.
    The only way is to see her and recognize her as a virgin queen by her manner on the comb. I still have drones 300 miles north of you, so you will likely have some too.

    Be in contact with your queen supplier to be sure queens are available after 12/20 when your queens could be mated and laying (using the queen calendar here and a date of 20 NOV). 12/20 is when I would give up on your queens working out and order the mated queens. Your results may vary. HTH
    Last edited by Lburou; 12-03-2013 at 02:34 PM.
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Jefferson Co, TX
    Posts
    708

    Default Re: Queen rearing - cell punch question

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinR View Post
    Why were trying to raise queens at this time of year? Haven't lived in TX for several years, but I remember the weather being very iffy at this point.
    Cause I have 3 hives with no queens and as a brand new bee keeper, I rather be dumping limited cash into hive bodies than queens. Clusters of bees are not hard to find so far. Wish I would have starting keeping hives sooner.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Jefferson Co, TX
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    708

    Default Re: Queen rearing - cell punch question

    Quote Originally Posted by RayMarler View Post
    They mate well if it's done in 10 to 14 days. Sometimes they take longer. At 21 days I pinch them if they are not mated and laying. If I was in your shoes, I'd just wait it out with some apple wine and see how they look in the spring.
    That is the information I was looking for.

    Guess if I wait and they don't make it, I will have excess drawn comb for the spring. And that is something else I none of.

    Brandy - There are still some around, but numbers are dropping. We might have dropped to freezing but they are saying it might hit 80 on Wednesday. And goldenrod in September mowed pastures is 1 foot tall and blooming like crazy with bees bringing in pollen like crazy on Sunday with temperatures in the 50s. Maybe these messed up temperatures make bees that don't follow the normal rules.

    Mr. Beeman and LBurou - Thanks for the information.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    975

    Default Re: Queen rearing - cell punch question

    Doing queen rearing in November in the northern hemisphere, I would suggest sending any virgin queens to Dr. Susan Cobey or Dr. Joe Latshaw for instrumental insemination, as drones are in likely in poor supply. I'm not saying natural mating won't happen, but a WELL-MATED queen is unlikely at this time.

    From experience, their usual reply is to increase your apiary first, using open mating, until you have enough colonies to pick from the best and cull the drones & queens of the poor traits/performers colonies.

    I'd also suggest beginning with excellent stock, and an indoor incubator.

    Incidentally, one needs to prepare for I.I. You'd need a vented shipping cage with separate (3-hole) chambers for the queens, and a large area for approximately 200 drones + 200 attendant workers. Adding drone foundation (or comb) to your drone-rearing colonies is advised. A calendar comes in handy. Getting to know one's bee shipping carrier and being on a first name basis with the personnel involved helps, even make a "dry run" with empty cages to learn the timing and getting to know the tracking software helps. E-mail either Sue or Joe for details.

    Worth all the effort? How does a hot, mated queen in time for pollination sound?

    Best of luck.
    Last edited by kilocharlie; 12-03-2013 at 12:36 PM.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Tipton, TN, USA
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    784

    Default Re: Queen rearing - cell punch question

    Quote Originally Posted by marshmasterpat View Post
    Cause I have 3 hives with no queens and as a brand new bee keeper, I rather be dumping limited cash into hive bodies than queens. Clusters of bees are not hard to find so far. Wish I would have starting keeping hives sooner.
    You might want to see if you can get one sent from Hawaii, but I'm not sure if they would get cold in route..
    Solo for the last 4 Years, ~60 Hives, TF + Oils.
    http://tradingwebsites4bees.com

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,103

    Default Re: Queen rearing - cell punch question

    Quote Originally Posted by kilocharlie View Post
    .......I would suggest sending any virgin queens to Dr. Susan Cobey or Dr. Joe Latshaw for instrumental insemination......Best of luck.
    An option I had not considered, thanks for your input.
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    975

    Default Re: Queen rearing - cell punch question

    I guess that I should have mentioned to add queen candy for each queen, and a good-sized gob (like about 6 to 8 holes worth) for the drones and the escort service girls (attendant worker bees).

    If you are using the I.I. service's stored drone semen, this is unnecessary. Call and ask if they have any, and if so, which of theirs have traits you are trying to promote - use the closest match, but it is far preferable to send in your own drones that you know you want in the mix (if not the only choice). The semen lasts in refrigeration for up to about a year, about 2 weeks at room temperature. Collecting it is the time consuming part of I.I. ...that's one reason it is expensive.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Cass County, Texas USA
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Queen rearing - cell punch question

    I'll probably smack my forehead with the palm of my hand..... I get A.I., but what is I.I. ? I. would "I." guess be "instrumental". But that's artificial also.
    Last edited by BeeKeith; 12-07-2013 at 01:55 PM. Reason: addition to question

  17. #17
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    Apr 2010
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    Tipton, TN, USA
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    784

    Default Re: Queen rearing - cell punch question

    Same same... Artificial/instrument..

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Cass County, Texas USA
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Queen rearing - cell punch question

    Thanks Kevin. My getting into bees is without mentor due to my work schedule. So much info out there. Lots of it useful. Not enough lifetimes to apply all. But queen rearing seems to be a necessity even for small operators.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Tipton, TN, USA
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    784

    Default Re: Queen rearing - cell punch question

    No worries, you can PM me any questions or post them on the forums. You'll usually get a wide range of answers, but I agree that all beekeepers should be able to make their own queens. Even if it's just to keep a spare on hand for when you accidentally smash her.
    Solo for the last 4 Years, ~60 Hives, TF + Oils.
    http://tradingwebsites4bees.com

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
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    975

    Default Re: Queen rearing - cell punch question

    I agree about "spare queens" - especially in the form of over-wintering nucleus colonies. Accidentally smash a queen and just newspaper combine the colonies. If it is freezing outdoors, close them up and bring them indoors VERY CAREFULLY (garage or basement is recommended).

    Replace the top of the full-sized hive with a 16.25" x 19 7/8" piece of 3/4" thick plywood that has a cutout an inch and a half smaller than your nuc. Cover the plywood with a single sheet newspaper that has been perforated with a toothpick - 15 holes is enough. Tape it down to the plywood with masking tape. Remove the bottom of the nuc and place the nuc on top of the queenless, full-sized colony. Give them 2 or 3 days to combine. You can use a fume board to get the bees to go down into the big box before returning them outside.

    Before you replace them outside, put a fondant board in place of the plywood where the inner cover usually goes, and a 2 " foam block on top. You should be all winterized and queenright.

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