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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I grafted on Sunday afternoon. According to the queen rearing schedule the cells should cap on Friday. But more than half of the cells were capped as of 6:00 pm on Wednesday and the others were almost capped. The cells are nice and plump. But that seems to be very early to be capped.
 

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Unless you put in the the hive an empty frame and counted the hours from when your queen started to lay, it begins to look like the some of the larvea that you grafted were older than 84 hours from egg being laid
Only you will know the answer but from where I am that is my explanation.
 

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I've been using capping - rightly or wrongly - as a fairly reliable indicator of 'Day 8 (+/- 1 day) development', as when working with natural q/cells it's about the only guide available to calculate emergence. So it looks like you've been lifting larvae that are just a tad older than you intended - but that needn't be an issue.

If you assume Day 4 (say) larvae on Sunday - Wednesday would then be Day 7, which could well be Capping-Day if it's been hot. A more likely scenario would be if you used Day Four-and-a-Half larvae - but which are still viable.
LJ
 

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I've been using capping - rightly or wrongly - as a fairly reliable indicator of 'Day 8 (+/- 1 day) development', as when working with natural q/cells it's about the only guide available to calculate emergence. So it looks like you've been lifting larvae that are just a tad older than you intended - but that needn't be an issue.

If you assume Day 4 (say) larvae on Sunday - Wednesday would then be Day 7, which could well be Capping-Day if it's been hot. A more likely scenario would be if you used Day Four-and-a-Half larvae - but which are still viable.
LJ
So if it is hot they cap earlier? I didnt know that. Is there a guide that would indicate at around that temps would make capping a day earlier ?
I ask as it is good info to know for the future
 

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So if it is hot they cap earlier? I didnt know that. Is there a guide that would indicate at around that temps would make capping a day earlier ?
I ask as it is good info to know for the future
Hi Linda - to be honest I was a bit casual with that remark - but in essence yes - if the internal hive temperature is raised by even a fraction of a degree, then all metabolic processes with be slightly accelerated. But I'm sure there are other factors involved, too.

The numbers often quoted for timing are not absolutes of course, but a range of values. This is a clip from my 'important data' file, as my memory is now shocking:

Code:
Caste    Hatch      Cell Capped     Emergence	                                    
Queen    Day 3-4    Day  8 +/-1     Day 16 +/-1     Laying: Day 28 +/-5     
Worker   Day 3-4    Day  9 +/-1     Day 20 +/-1     Foraging Day 42 +/-7     
Drone    Day 3-4    Day 10 +/-1     Day 24 +/-1     Flying to DCA Day 38 +/-5  

Queen development stages:
------------------------- 
Day 0-3         Egg  
Day 4-8     	Open larvae (5 days) 
Day 8 +/-1  	Q/Cell capped 
Day 10 		Larva pupates  
Day 14 		Wings develop  
Day 15 		Final moult to adult  
Day 15-16       Emerges from cell 

Critical times are first 3 days of larval feeding which determines the queen
quality; at 8-10 days the larva must not be dislodged from food or will die;
days 14-16 if chilled or shaken wings may be damaged. 

If moving queen cell, best between days 11 and 13 inclusive.
Hope it's of use to somebody.
LJ
 

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So if it is hot they cap earlier? I didnt know that. Is there a guide that would indicate at around that temps would make capping a day earlier ?
I ask as it is good info to know for the future
A well populated hive may not be affected much by external temps as they can do a better job of temperature control in the brood nest. More likely to be a factor with smaller population in marginal conditions.

Over the course of the whole egg to emergence scenario it could make several days extreme spread; egg laid, to capping time I dont know what temperature variable influence could be.

I hope to check my grafts this morning which would have been 4 days since grafting as of suppertime last night.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The area that I was grafting from had eggs and just hatched larvae, they were still comma shaped, not C shaped, and I needed a magnifier to see them well so I don't think they were much past 3-1/2 days.
 

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Over the course of the whole egg to emergence scenario it could make several days extreme spread; egg laid, to capping time I dont know what temperature variable influence could be.
Well, I'd hoped that a simplistic explanation would suffice. If you want the fuller version, you'd need to take the Normal Distribution into account.

For anyone who's not familiar with this, it's often seen as a bell-shaped curve when discussing human IQ - most folks being somewhere near the middle, with geniuses and idiots at either end. But this Normal Distribution occurs just about everywhere in Biology - your red and white blood cell counts, haemoglobin level and so on - these are never Absolute values, but a range of values. Likewise body temperature - often cited as 98.4 F - but that's an average value: there will be people who are not sick with normal (for them) temperatures slightly higher and lower than that.

Why should a honeybee be any different ? The temperature of a brood nest will vary slightly from one colony to another - not by much, but enough to generate a spread of larval development times.

Normal Distribution - it's why we're all different heights and weights, and wear different size shoes. :)
LJ
 

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Sorry LJ; I wasnt trying to contradict what you said. Although temperature of the brood makes a difference in duration my thoughts were that in normal conditions of queen rearing the brood area temperatures would not likely have near as big affect on capping day, as would the age of larvae selected.

Extreme weather or hive upset could take the brood temperature outside the range the bees usually maintain.

My grafts were capped by the time I checked them at 4 days and about 16 hours. Dont know exactly when they did get capped. Several more that I had counted as accepted obviously were not.
 

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All my life, I believed that bee larvae had to be grafted as soon as possible after emergence from the egg, because larvae destined to be queens are fed a different type of royal jelly, so larvae should be left in worker cells for as little time as possible, because older larvae will result in inferior queens.
I never investigated this myself or saw a study proving it, but it was the "common wisdom", held by everybody, and I just accepted it.

And i was a commercial queen breeder. So our system was we changed the comb daily in the breeder hives that we took eggs from, so we new exactly how old those larvae were, from zero through to 12 hours max.

Then I discovered this

https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rspb.2020.0614

And it appears that queen bee larvae are fed the exact same royal jelly as worker larvae, just, the quantity is more for queens.

So grafting of older larvae, say, 24 to 48 hours old, may be OK, IF they have been well fed and are swimming in royal jelly. Which can be found in a vigorous, well provisioned hive.
 

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Could only guess if it will be allowed to emerge, but your photo does show something else interesting, the value of clear cell cups. That cell cup can be seen to be full of royal jelly, so we know immediately we have a well fed queen pupa in there.

Nice work Crofter. :)
 

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I dipped a bunch from molten beeswax and fastened to a 1/4" long button of wood. Splashed them with honey and water and put everything in the colony for them to"condition" The natural wax ones they closed the mouth down to the shape of queen practice cups we find on combs. I had to open them up a bit to graft into and the bees subsequently tore them down. The plastic ones got good acceptance. They are quick to attach and remove from the graft bar and the sharp rim of the base presses into comb surface nicely. The homemade bees wax ones probably dont need conditioning.
 

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I grafted on Sunday afternoon. According to the queen rearing schedule the cells should cap on Friday. But more than half of the cells were capped as of 6:00 pm on Wednesday and the others were almost capped. The cells are nice and plump. But that seems to be very early to be capped.
Hey do queen emerged from that cell is good... capable of laying?
 

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Hey do queen emerged from that cell is good... capable of laying?
Capable of laying but may not be as prolific or long lasting as queens produced by grafting younger aged larvae. Being grafted Sunday and capped on Wednesday under normal hive conditions would indicate that the larvae when grafted were close to 48 hours elapsed from hatching: 12 to 24 hours old is considered preferable.
 

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All my life, I believed that bee larvae had to be grafted as soon as possible after emergence from the egg, because larvae destined to be queens are fed a different type of royal jelly, so larvae should be left in worker cells for as little time as possible, because older larvae will result in inferior queens.
I never investigated this myself or saw a study proving it, but it was the "common wisdom", held by everybody, and I just accepted it.

And i was a commercial queen breeder. So our system was we changed the comb daily in the breeder hives that we took eggs from, so we new exactly how old those larvae were, from zero through to 12 hours max.

Then I discovered this

https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rspb.2020.0614

And it appears that queen bee larvae are fed the exact same royal jelly as worker larvae, just, the quantity is more for queens.

So grafting of older larvae, say, 24 to 48 hours old, may be OK, IF they have been well fed and are swimming in royal jelly. Which can be found in a vigorous, well provisioned hive.
Sooooooo, according to Oldtimers article, there is a new facet to Queen rearing? As in now the beek collects royal jelly, grafts larvae or eggs??? And fills the cell to the brim with royal jelly?
Can you say royal jelly farmers? Wonder what you can get for that? Hmmmmm.
 
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