Cull bad queen cells
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Charlestown, RI
    Posts
    24

    Default Cull bad queen cells

    I split a hive with lots of queen cells and I left all of them.
    Will the worker bee cull the inferion queen cells?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,581

    Default Re: Cull bad queen cells

    Most likely all the the viable cells will emerge and the queens will duke it out. From your post, I can't figure out exactly where you left the cells, what kind of cells they were, or how many splits you made. It is a little late in RI to be making new splits, but let us know how it goes.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Charlestown, RI
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: Cull bad queen cells

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    Most likely all the the viable cells will emerge and the queens will duke it out. From your post, I can't figure out exactly where you left the cells, what kind of cells they were, or how many splits you made. It is a little late in RI to be making new splits, but let us know how it goes.
    I started in July by removing the queen and 2 frames of brood to start a nuc. The original hive built queen cells on many frames. One month later I had no queen so I purchased one.
    Hive killed queen, next I added a frame of eggs and larva and the hive has built many queen cells. So again I am waiting a month to see what happens.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Denver Metro Area CO, USA
    Posts
    1,829

    Default Re: Cull bad queen cells

    yes they will
    Tarpy Et Al 2015 saw them tear down 57 of the E cells that were made, Hatch Et Al 1999 saw 53%

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,581

    Default Re: Cull bad queen cells

    Ok. Here is the safe way to do this. Make at least two small splits with the cells, in addition to the cells you leave in the hive. These splits can be just one frame of bees after the cells are capped. Use nurse bees from another hive as all the bees in your queenless hive are of foraging age and will not stay in the split. Move them to a different location if you can. The idea is to give you additional bites at the apple if the queen in the main hive fails to return like the last time. Once you have more than one mated queen, you can select the one with the best laying pattern and dispatch the others. Then combine the little splits back to the main hive. Or combine the splits and keep one of the extra queens and see if you can overwinter the split. Use additional resources from your other hives to make it strong enough, provided you do not weaken the donor hives.
    When I have seen e-cells torn down and others left to emerge, I just assumed the larvae in the torn down ones had died or had been made with too old larvae. Thanks msl for the reference.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Charlestown, RI
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: Cull bad queen cells

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    Ok. Here is the safe way to do this. Make at least two small splits with the cells, in addition to the cells you leave in the hive. These splits can be just one frame of bees after the cells are capped. Use nurse bees from another hive as all the bees in your queenless hive are of foraging age and will not stay in the split. Move them to a different location if you can. The idea is to give you additional bites at the apple if the queen in the main hive fails to return like the last time. Once you have more than one mated queen, you can select the one with the best laying pattern and dispatch the others. Then combine the little splits back to the main hive. Or combine the splits and keep one of the extra queens and see if you can overwinter the split. Use additional resources from your other hives to make it strong enough, provided you do not weaken the donor hives.
    When I have seen e-cells torn down and others left to emerge, I just assumed the larvae in the torn down ones had died or had been made with too old larvae. Thanks msl for the reference.
    Next time it will be the "safe way". I split 2 hives and only 1 was successfully at raising a new queen. So I am back where I started with 2 hives.

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