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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've heard, and let me know if I am mistaken because I hear a lot of things, that one should not disturb the hive when a colony is rearing a new queen. I've got three queen cells that are about 10 days old. I would like to make sure that the bees have what they need (brood, food and space) but I don't want to upset the delicate balance of nature.
Any advice for what and what not to do during the next three weeks?
 

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And how did you discover the cells without disturbing them? Bees are very adaptable critters; if they need a queen you're not going to stop their quest by looking in the hive. When I'm raising queen cells I check them daily or at least every other day, the bees just keep right on doing their thing. This disturbance "lore" is just that; backwoods, over-the fence, gossip. If disturbance bothers them, how come my bees stick around after a Bee Go treatment and tearing their house apart pulling honey?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Point taken.
I guess I'm a little more gun shy about when the queen first emerges. It's my first year and I've already seen two queens getting balled (in a bad way). I've heard, again maybe folklore, that sometimes the bees can blame the disturbance of the hive opening on the new queen and snuff her.
Experience is the best teacher, and because of my experiences I asked the question. I don't want to lose yet another queen.
 

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The "Do Not Disturb" meme is based in queen bee biology. There is a point in the pupa stage where the wings are developing. If the cell is disturbed at this time, it can affect how well she'll be able to fly, i.e. get out to mate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Aha! I knew I heard something to that effect. I'd love to know when that actually is. I suppose I could look it up instead of sitting in front of the computer.
I imagine that "disturbing" could be anything from chilling to physically damaging the cell. I don't plan on doing either of those things! :)
 

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Exactly! Don't mess with the cells and you'll be fine. The pupa is easily damaged by handling until the last couple days before emerging. Just be careful moving frames around. When handling queen cells we try to handle them by the top of the cell where the royal jelly reservoir is located. Once we place them in cell protectors they're pretty safe.
 
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