Queens climbs back into cell and dies, why?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Utah,Utah,USA
    Posts
    130

    Default Queens climbs back into cell and dies, why?

    So rather than using a cell finisher I transfer my capped queen cells after grafting and put them into an incubator to hold until they are ready for mating nucs. I also hatch some of the queens in the incubator and then sell them or transfer them into problem hives or mating nucs. I try and keep up with the hatching and get them placed ASAP but not always. I find that every now and again a queen will climb back into the cell head first. Most of the time they are still alive and I break away the cell, being very careful not to harm the queen. For some reason the ones that do this end up dying right after I get them free, Why?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Murray County, Georgia
    Posts
    346

    Default Re: Queens climbs back into cell and dies, why?

    They go back into the cell for something to eat and then get lodged in the cell. You need to remove the hatched cell asap and put candy in the cage. Powder sugar in a blender (do not use confectionary sugar) and mix it with honey until you get a dough consistency. Keep it on the dry side.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Murray County, Georgia
    Posts
    346

    Default Re: Queens climbs back into cell and dies, why?

    Sometimes if the queen is just mostly dead she can be revived with a drop of syrup, honey or even water. She is dying because she is starved and dehydrated.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    4,208

    Default Re: Queens climbs back into cell and dies, why?

    Sounds like the queens are starving. Queens need food almost immediately upon emerging. In a hive setting the nurse bees would be feeding her during emergence, so your incubator suffers in this respect. Also, the temps needed for an emerged queen are lower than a cell. I would not keep virgins at 92-94 degrees. Also, make sure they have proper moisture in addition to a food source.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Utah,Utah,USA
    Posts
    130

    Default Re: Queens climbs back into cell and dies, why?

    I don't think its starvation. They are moving and look fine until I set them free so they can get back out. They die as soon and you get them free. It's quick and its happened a few times now. I would think that if it was starvation the others that have been out just as long and not gone back in head first would die as well but they don't. If they don't climb back in I have no problem keeping them over night until I can get them to a mating nuc. Often, since I've seen this if its to late to get out to a mating yard I pinch the cell shut so they can't climb back in and I don't lose them.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Palm Bay, FL, USA
    Posts
    2,274

    Default Re: Queens climbs back into cell and dies, why?

    Suicide bombers!

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,613

    Default Re: Queens climbs back into cell and dies, why?

    Another option for incubating queen cells...
    http://www.myoldtools.com/Bees/incubator/

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