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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got my first two queen cells on the way using the Nicot System and have a couple of questions regarding the use of hair roller cages:

1/ is there any downside to putting the hair roller cages onto the capped queen cells?

2/ I was planning on putting them on about when my most advanced cell is about 6 days from being capped (roughly 14 days from egg laying) - is this right and is there any reason to put them on earlier or later?

3/ I believe that the cages just provide some added insurance in case a queen emerges earlier than expected but this means that the nurse bees can no longer get to the cell itself - does this cause any problems?

4/ a capped queen cells can be inserted into a mating nuc without the hair roller cage or enclosed within the hair roller cage (with the bottom end open) - are there any advantages / diadvantages to inserting the caped queen cell within a hair roller cage?

thanks,

-fafrd
 

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we never put cells in the "hair roller cell protectors" while they were still in process, we always put them in the protectors as we harvested the cells. Both cell producers I have been buying from (miksa and jester bee) also place the cells in the protectors AFTER harvest. just my 2 cents there might be another method involving adding the protectors while the cells are in process that Im not aware of.
 

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Thanks. When do you usually 'harvest'? Day 14? And once harvested into the cages, what do you usually do with the cages - install the cells within the cages into mating nucs or use the cages only for transfer? Do you allow the virgins to emerge into the cages before installing into mating nucs?

I've got two cells that may be as much as 48 hours apart, so day 14 for the more mature cell may only be day 12 for the less mature cell. I don't want to harvest that day because I've understood that is a very bad idea to disturb cells before day 14. If it is safe to put the hiar roller cages onto the cells in the top bar starting on day 12, I was thinking to do that on day 14 for the mature cell (day 12 for the less mature cell), and then wait 48 hours before harvesting and installing the cells into mating nucs. The early call may emerge over that 48 hour period but the virgin will not be able to destroy the other cell and so the only impact is that one of my mating nucs will be having a virgin installed instead of a 14 day-old queen cell.

Does this sound like a good idea or a bad idea?

My other alternative is to harvest both cells on day 14 for the more mature cell (which means installing the less mature cell on day 12 rather than day 14) - which idea do you think is better?

-fafrd

p.s. I know that the two cells were capped 24 hours apart but I did not think to mark which cell was more mature and so have lost track... (lesson for next time :))
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
^^BUMP^^

Can anyone help me with this? Is placing hair roller cages on queen cells on day 12 a bad idea for any reason?

PROS: The hair roller cages are insurance that in case a queen emerges prematurely she cannot destroy the other cells

CONS: the nurse bees can not get to the queen cell during the last 4 days before emergence

is there anything else I am missing? the pros would seem to outweigh the cons unless there is a reason the nurse bees must have access to the queen cell during the last few days

help greatly appreciated as I have to decide by Saturday morning...

-fafrd
 

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Just make you a divide up and after several hours (12hr) place your queen cell in it


^^BUMP^^

Can anyone help me with this? Is placing hair roller cages on queen cells on day 12 a bad idea for any reason? It's ok put it on

PROS: The hair roller cages are insurance that in case a queen emerges prematurely she cannot destroy the other cells yes

CONS: the nurse bees can not get to the queen cell during the last 4 days before emergence make you some candy from powdersugar and corn syrup and put a little ball of it in the bottom of the cage and as yo put the roller onto the cell scoop up 3-4 bees an get them into the cage with the queen cell. IF NO NURSE BEES IN CAGE WITH CELL HAVE SEEN A FEW QUEENS BEING HUNGURY WILL GO BACK UP INTO THE QUEEN CELL AND DYE

is there anything else I am missing? the pros would seem to outweigh the cons unless there is a reason the nurse bees must have access to the queen cell during the last few days They will help her get out also they can feed her as she attempts to chew out also have had some to die in the cell and never finished chewing out

help greatly appreciated as I have to decide by Saturday morning...

-fafrd
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Velbert,

thank you for the detailed response - this is axactly th kind of advise I was looking for

make you some candy from powdersugar and corn syrup and put a little ball of it in the bottom of the cage and as yo put the roller onto the cell scoop up 3-4 bees an get them into the cage with the queen cell. IF NO NURSE BEES IN CAGE WITH CELL HAVE SEEN A FEW QUEENS BEING HUNGURY WILL GO BACK UP INTO THE QUEEN CELL AND DYE
I guess I had assumed that the nurse beec could feed the virgin queen though the cage but the idea of including a few nurse bees in the cage and adding a candy plug is good insurance.

When you had virgin queens die on you in the cages, were they in the cages still in the hive, or had you removed the cages?


They will help her get out also they can feed her as she attempts to chew out also have had some to die in the cell and never finished chewing out
I understand. Without a few nurse bees in the cage with her, the virgin my die in 'bee-birth' - very helpful, thanks. And also, I understand that even if the bees in the hive are able to feed the queen through he cage, they cannot reach her while she is in the process of emerging.

Just make you a divide up and after several hours (12hr) place your queen cell in it
I was going to form queenless nucs at the same time that I place the cages on the queen cells and then I was going to place the queen cells (without the cages) into the nucs 24 hours later. One cell will be at day 15 (and is the one most likely to hatch before transfer) and the other cell will be at day 13. Assuming neither cell has emerged, I was going to remove the cages before transfer (and if I have a virgin emerge before transfer I would leave the cage on for three days or s until she has been accepted). Does this sound like it would work?

-fafrd
 

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You don't need to go through all this bother! On the day you harvest the cells, place them in a JZ BZ cell protector. Then place them in the nuc. The virgins don't eat while they're emerging and nobody tries to kill them, at least, it's a very, very rare occurrence. At this rate it's going to cost you $300.00 in time and materials to get two cells installed!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Fish-stix,

thanks for the reply.

You don't need to go through all this bother! On the day you harvest the cells, place them in a JZ BZ cell protector. Then place them in the nuc. The virgins don't eat while they're emerging and nobody tries to kill them, at least, it's a very, very rare occurrence.
Aren't the JZ BZ cell protector's and the hair roller cages essentially the same thing (except hair roller cages are designed for the Nicot System)??

I could install into mating nucs a day early to avoid any possibility of a cell hatching early, but I will only be creating the mating nucs that same day. Am I better off installing the cells into brand-new nucs (which have not had any queenless time beforehand), or leaving the cells alone for another day in the finisher (and inside the hair roller cages) and installing into the mating nucs after the nucs have been queenless for a day?

If the virgins don't eat while emerging, then it seems like I could skip the need for candy and nurse bees in the cage and just slip on a hair-roller cage to insure against the possibility that one cell hatches early and destroys the other...

At this rate it's going to cost you $300.00 in time and materials to get two cells installed!!!
The materias came with the kit and I believe that installing the hairroller cages onto the cell bar is probably easier than placing the cell into a JZ BZ protector (at least if I skip all the bother surrounding candy and nurse bees). Since these are my first cells, I don't mind putting in some extra effort to assure that there are no negative suprises, especially if I learn something in the process...

I'd appreciate it if you could further help me with a couple specific questions:

1/ is there any importance in having the mating nucs queenless for a day before the cells/virgins are installed? (cells not in cages, virgins in cages)

2/ do you seeany downside to protecting the cells in the finisher hive for the final 24 hours before harvesting? (meaning that the nurse bees can no longer have access to the cell)

thanks again,

-fafrd
 

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fafrd, sorry I did not get back and answer questions sooner, been busy with wrok glad other jumped in and helped that what the forum is all about in regards to your final 2 questions;

1. No, we have installed cells with success same day as making nuc after being queenless for a few hours. We prefer to make the nuc the day before placement of the cell leaving them queenless overnight.

2. No, I dont think there is a need to protect them during the final stretch in the finisher.

Good luck
 

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With the JZ BZ cell protector you just take the cell off the cell bar and insert into the cell protector. The tip of the cell is exposed so the virgin can exit when she emerges. You really don't need any protection for them, except from other virgins; the old way before plastic was to just make a small indentation in a brood frame with your finger and attach a cell by squeezing some wax around it. The cell protector makes installation simple because you can just open the lid, spread a couple frames, and drop in the cell protector and close the hive. It has ears on it that rest on the frames on each side. As my son said above, the bees know they're queenless within a short time; make up your nucs, let them sweat it out for an hour or two, and put in a cell. BTW, we don't protect the cells in the cell finisher; why would the bees tear them down on the last day?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
thanks for the response peacekeepingapiaries.

1. No, we have installed cells with success same day as making nuc after being queenless for a few hours. We prefer to make the nuc the day before placement of the cell leaving them queenless overnight.
So I can safely form queenless nucs on Saturday morning and transfer cells Saturday afternoon/evening which is day 14+ and so te virgin queen should safely not be able to emerge beforehand and destroy other cells - great.


2. No, I don't think there is a need to protect them during the final stretch in the finisher.
No need, but can it cause any harm? For various logstical reasons, I a not able to form my mating nucs until day 14, so which of the following do you think would be best:

a/ form mating nucs on day 14 and protect cells with hair roller cages until day 15 when cells are transferred to mating nucs

b/ form mating nus on morning of day 14 and transfer cells to mating nucs in afternoon of day 14 (your suggestion from 1. above)

c/ form mating nucs on day 14, plan to transfer cells into mating nucs on day 15, without worrying about it, relax an have a beer :D

I'm only stressed out about this because of all the warnigs that cells can hatch on day 15 and wanting to avoid any possibility of ending up with only one queen instead of two!

-fafrd
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
thanks for the further response fish_stix

With the JZ BZ cell protector you just take the cell off the cell bar and insert into the cell protector. The tip of the cell is exposed so the virgin can exit when she emerges. You really don't need any protection for them, except from other virgins; The cell protector makes installation simple because you can just open the lid, spread a couple frames, and drop in the cell protector and close the hive. It has ears on it that rest on the frames on each side.
The hair roller cages are designed to attach either to a cell or to a candy cap, so when they are attached to a cell and have the bottom end open, I believe they function exactly like the JZ BZ cell protectors - the cell cup itself has similar ears and you can install a cell in a hair-roller cage with the bottom open in a nuc in exactly the same way you describe above.

BTW, we don't protect the cells in the cell finisher; why would the bees tear them down on the last day?
Reason I was considering to intall the hair roller cages (with the bottom end closed) during the final 24 hours in the finisher was to protect against a queen cell emerging early (day 15) and destroying other queen cells, not to protect the cells from the nurse bees.

-fafrd
 

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Greetings to all,
Does anyone know where I can purchase hair roller cages? I found a breeder that uses them but can't find a place to purchase them.
Thanks,
Don
 

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Thanks,
I should have looked in the catalogs first. I seems everyone has them. A bit pricey at first to set up.
I'm presently using the push in cups.
Thanks Again,
Don
 

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So I read through this thread and am hoping to take it into a little different direction. I not only want to protect the queen during the instalation, but in addition I want to take my queen cells and let them hatch into a cage from which they cannot leave and go hunting for their unborn sisters. If there is a site that describes the procees, or maybe a thread, I would appreciate a redirect to save you time and typing.

Why do I want to do that? Well, I have an affinity for large queens of black colors, but apparently black queen will breed many more orange daughters than black. So I basically want to choose which daughter I want to keep and which ones are expendable.
 

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AramF,
I get the hair roller cages from Mann Lake Ltd. I have to admit they work wonderfully. The last batch of queens I grafted hatched and the colony took care of them until I was able to get to them. Considering I was grafting from 3 different queens and was able to view the color and size of the queens as well health. I did have to build the bases on the opposite side of the grafting bars I was using with the plastic grafting cups with the pin on them.
Hope this helps you out.
Don
 

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Thanks Don. SO what you are saying is that you inserted the cell into the top of the hair roller cage and then you blocked the other end with your own contraption. Did you put any attendants inside the cage or virgins were the only occupants when they hatched?
 
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