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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've read repeatedly that you pull your queen cells at 10 days. I assume that really means at least 10 days and am guessing that 10-14 days is really the window that you can pull capped queen cells out of a hive? I intend to move whole frames, I don’t intend to cut cells out. I ask because 14 days gets me thru the next weekend. 10 days means I have to do it in the middle of the week. This is my first attempt so I thought I’d ask BEFORE I wait 13 or 14 days.
Thanks
 

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I've read repeatedly that you pull your queen cells at 10 days. I assume that really means at least 10 days and am guessing that 10-14 days is really the window that you can pull capped queen cells out of a hive? I intend to move whole frames, I don’t intend to cut cells out. I ask because 14 days gets me thru the next weekend. 10 days means I have to do it in the middle of the week. This is my first attempt so I thought I’d ask BEFORE I wait 13 or 14 days.
Thanks
"Pull your queen cells at 10 days" ?

If you mean that the queen cell are ready to be used, that is correct. The counting starts from grafting. If you wait 11 days, there is a good chance that some queens have hatched at least in the afternoon.

And then the new queens have to be taken care of, so I prefer using cells. They are easily excepted in all kinds of beehives, just remember to take away the old queen and look for queen cells the bees might have made themselves.
 

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I haven't heard 10 days before. According to MB's page, queens hatch 8 days after being capped. (In cold weather, that might be +2 days, but you won't find too many references to that because most don't try to raise queens when it's cold). I've got 2 queen cells being reared by their colony right now. They just got capped yesterday, so I figure I have 7 days to get them moved to their new quarters. I don't have a lot of brood bars to move over, so I'm still trying to decide what to do. Maybe 3 separate colonies in the same hive for a month until numbers get built up. But I will wait until the very last minute so that I can get as many fresh eggs laid in those combs as possible before I separate.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesmath.htm
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I haven't heard 10 days before. According to MB's page, queens hatch 8 days after being capped. (In cold weather, that might be +2 days, but you won't find too many references to that because most don't try to raise queens when it's cold). I've got 2 queen cells being reared by their colony right now. They just got capped yesterday, so I figure I have 7 days to get them moved to their new quarters. I don't have a lot of brood bars to move over, so I'm still trying to decide what to do. Maybe 3 separate colonies in the same hive for a month until numbers get built up. But I will wait until the very last minute so that I can get as many fresh eggs laid in those combs as possible before I separate.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesmath.htm
Yea, according to MB web site, you collect the cells 10 days after making the queenless. At 10 days they should be capped. At 16 days they will emerge. I was thinking the same thing you are, thou 7 days is too long if they emerge on the 16th day. I'm wondering if I can move them from 10 to 14 days? Having read that 10 day statement enough times, I'm wondering if it's a hard and fast rule, or just the first day you can be sure they are capped and I have until they emerge to move them? So shooting for the 14th day would be perfectly safe?
 

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16 days is from a fresh egg to emergence. Cells are counted from the grafted larvae which is day 5-6. Day ten from larvae is the latest you want to move the cell.
 

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16 days is from a fresh egg to emergence. Cells are counted from the grafted larvae which is day 5-6. Day ten from larvae is the latest you want to move the cell.
Exactly what I just realized, that Robbin and I were talking about 2 separate starting points. I was using the egg, and she was using the larvae to do the counting. That's how we differ by the 3 days.

My understanding is that the capped queen cell can be moved anytime after it is capped, and that the receiving group of bees should be queenless for at least 12-24 hours before the cell is introduced.

I have a slightly different problem, in that my colony already has a queen who is laying tons of eggs still, and I'm a bit short on worker brood. I don't feel like mine are swarm cells due to their small number and I'd like to have 3 queens out of this, if possible, so I'm willing to gamble just a bit on mine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
16 days is from a fresh egg to emergence. Cells are counted from the grafted larvae which is day 5-6. Day ten from larvae is the latest you want to move the cell.
Okay, I don't graft, I make them queenless, let them raise their own queen cells. According to MB "making a few good queens" paper, you make them queenless and 10 days later move the cells.
So, can I move them 10 to 14 days, or is 10 days the only way to be sure because we don't know how old the egg or larvae are when they started the queen cell?

I think I'm going to take off tomorrow just to be sure....
 

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>I've read repeatedly that you pull your queen cells at 10 days. I assume that really means at least 10 days and am guessing that 10-14 days is really the window that you can pull capped queen cells out of a hive?

It all depends on what you are measuring from what the answer is. If you make them queenless today, then you need to come back in 10 days and transfer them. If you wait 14 days they will have emerged (and the first one killed the rest) two days before.

It goes like this. You make them queenless. They start with a 4 day old larvae (laid four days ago and hatched less than 24 hours ago) and start making a queen. So 10 days later this is now a 14 day old and will emerge two days later IF the weather is moderate. If it's really hot out it could emerge up to two days earlier. I have had them emerging as I was transfering them when the weather was really hot... The reason for 10 days is that in 9 days the cell is still pretty fragile. In 11 days the odds of hot weather causing early emergence and therefore losing all your queen cells is too high.

This same math applies for grafting ASSUMING you started with the right age larvae. If you start with one that is too old, it will emerge sooner...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
>I've read repeatedly that you pull your queen cells at 10 days. I assume that really means at least 10 days and am guessing that 10-14 days is really the window that you can pull capped queen cells out of a hive?

It all depends on what you are measuring from what the answer is. If you make them queenless today, then you need to come back in 10 days and transfer them. If you wait 14 days they will have emerged (and the first one killed the rest) two days before.

It goes like this. You make them queenless. They start with a 4 day old larvae (laid four days ago and hatched less than 24 hours ago) and start making a queen. So 10 days later this is now a 14 day old and will emerge two days later IF the weather is moderate. If it's really hot out it could emerge up to two days earlier. I have had them emerging as I was transfering them when the weather was really hot... The reason for 10 days is that in 9 days the cell is still pretty fragile. In 11 days the odds of hot weather causing early emergence and therefore losing all your queen cells is too high.

This same math applies for grafting ASSUMING you started with the right age larvae. If you start with one that is too old, it will emerge sooner...
Thanks Mr. Bush, That is what I needed to know. :) I didn't understand that they always start with Larvae...
 

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I've got 2 queen cells being reared by their colony right now.
Very early for queens in our neighborhood - particularly this season. Pretty unlikely that these are swarm cells, particularly since you said you have very little capped brood. This all suggests a supercedure. You might want to start a dedicated thread to draw more attention to this issue. Without more information, if it were me, I'd leave them untouched. Let the bees sort this out as I don't believe that this is a swarm prep.
 

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You might want to start a dedicated thread to draw more attention to this issue. Without more information, if it were me, I'd leave them untouched. Let the bees sort this out as I don't believe that this is a swarm prep.
Thanks, AstroBee. I already did, but I guess I titled it wrong. http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?293817-egg-in-queen-cup-and-fully-built-(empty)-queen-cell.

Just as an update, looked Sat, queen cells were not capped. Checked Sunday, they were capped, so my countdown has begun. I also was able to mark what I think is my original queen (only 8 mo old), and I think I spotted the other virgin queen that hatched out about Feb 20. Since both queen cells are on one bar, here in the next day or two (weather dependant), I will cut out one cell and stick it on another frame of brood and put that in a nuc. Then IF I can find the original queen, I will move her and some brood to another nuc, and leave one queen cell in the original hive. There were still tons of new eggs on Sunday and by now, I should be able to tell if they are drone or worker brood. There were quite a few drone capped cells (20) when I looked Sun. Other beekeepers in my area report drones as well, so I hope both new queens get mated as I'm hoping to expand.
 

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Yeah, I missed your other thread. I've seen a few drones, but this is well before what I would consider good mating season. These queens will likely not get mated well and may under perform or fail. Its seem very unusual that you have a laying queen, a newly emerged virgin, and cells actively being capped. This colony seems confused (for a lack of a better explanation). Have you been feeding heavily? Have you given them plenty of room to expand? I don't have any TBHs so I can only guess that potentially they ran out of space and went into swarm prep and the terrible weather has kept them from swarming.
 

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This colony seems confused (for a lack of a better explanation). Have you been feeding heavily? Have you given them plenty of room to expand?
I'll say they are confused! What with this crazy weather we are having, I'm confused. In Nov/Dec they were out all over my mahonia and camellias. Then the winter weather in Jan one week, and the next week 70 degrees. It was 35 out this morning, and when I peaked in their window they were all over the combs, making new comb. So they think spring is here!. Strange thing is they only filled out the bars 2/3's of the way to the bottom of the hive. They have only expanded one comb (with the queen cells) to the floor of the hive. And they have other comb, with brood, that isn't fully drawn to the walls or the floor.

I do know they backfilled all the brood comb with sugar syrup last fall, so I've uncapped that and rinsed it out, and they now have that full of brood again. I only started feeding a thin syrup around the 20th of Feb, (other queen had already hatched by then) and limiting it to 8oz per day. They are bringing in tons of pollen all the time, so they are well fed and on their way. Game on. (this is the hive I was planning to put in my supered TBH (post #5 of http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?293816-Hybrid-KTBH-Warre-Lang-Nuc) I think I need to get them moved so they can build until they are happy.
 
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