I had to have missed one! Please check my math.
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Williamsport, PA
    Posts
    470

    Default I had to have missed one! Please check my math.

    Today was the day to move queen cells from my last round of grafting. When I had checked on day 1, there was a decent amount that seemed to have been accepted. Today when I opened it up...nothing, nada, zip. This would be the 3rd round that failed! Fortunately I wanted to check to see how many breeder boxes I needed before I got them ready.

    Digging around a bit more, I found larvae. Not big ones ready to be capped and not drone larvae, probably halfway to being capped size. Unless my math is bad, that tells me there is a queen in my 5 frame cell builder somewhere and that is why my grafting isn't working at all. Even my 1st time I had 25% accepted.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,746

    Default Re: I had to have missed one! Please check my math.

    You just won a consolation prize! One mated queen. Exact same thing happened to me. Found an emerged qc on closer inspection. First round was 25% (4/12). Second round was 4/38 and they never made it to capping stage. Plan to check for eggs this weekend. Raising queens is harder than the pros make it look.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Williamsport, PA
    Posts
    470

    Default Re: I had to have missed one! Please check my math.

    Doesn't feel like much of a win. I'm already up against the end of the season and am going away next week. I will graft Friday, cross my fingers this doesn't happen again, and hope I have a good amount ready when I get home . I think this would be the latest I can go and I need to have overwintered nucs next spring ready to sell.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,746

    Default Re: I had to have missed one! Please check my math.

    Feeling your pain. My plan was to have 20 overwintered nucs for early April delivery. So far I have five, and they are not confirmed Q+. I have about another five weeks before I have to go with what I have.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Hampton Arkansas
    Posts
    136

    Default Re: I had to have missed one! Please check my math.

    Made 2 cell builders in one week,Went into the donor hives and found the marked queens, moved them each to a nuc. I waited a day and then grafted. went back in the starter hives 2 days later to check to see how many took. There were no takes in either starter hive. I went to looking in to both starter and found queens in both starter hive. The chances of that happening is unreal but it does happen.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Boone County, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    156

    Default Re: I had to have missed one! Please check my math.

    Don't know if this caused your problem but keep in mind that your cell builders have to be constructed like Fort Knox. You can't allow any opportunity for a just-mated virgin to enter your box. When raising queens, there's lots of just-mated virgins returning home and they can sense a queenless hive and will happily set up shop there instead of returning 'home'. You have to have queen excluders blocking any entrance to the cell builder. I have them both above and below the cell builder box. Also, when looking for rogue queen cells in the cell builder, shake the bees off the frames and have a real good look along the edges of the frame and destroy anything remotely looking like the beginning of a queen cell.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,746

    Default Re: I had to have missed one! Please check my math.

    Bob, thanks for that tip. One of my mating nucs is strangely queenless. Hmmm.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

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