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· Banned
1,897 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Occasionally I'll screw up and inspect a frame without noticing a capped queen cell hidden in an unusual location.

Yesterday, I turned the frame upside down, and noticed one. I didn't shake the frame, nor did I turn it upside down violently, but it was upside down at one point.

Sometimes I'll "damage" the outside of a capped queen cell, when removing an adjacent frame.


1. How much abuse can a capped queen cell take - esp in regards to the 2 above mentioned accidents?

2. Will a hive be less likely to produce a secondary swarm if I remove most of the honey that the original hive stored?

Thanks for your help.

· Registered
3,117 Posts
Upside-down shouldn't be a problem if the frame was handled gently. Damage to the outside of a q/cell probably signs it's death warrant - I've done this a few times and none of them ever survived.

FWIW - this is from my working 'notebook' - forget now where I copied it from.

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.

Sorry - no idea about the honey removal viz-a-viz swarming.

· Registered
306 Posts
If moving queen cell, best between days 11 and 13 inclusive.
I agree. A friend of mine told me he worked for a guy that would actually put the capped QCs in a big bowl as he was collecting them with no problems.

I dropped a frame with several capped queen cells earlier this year. It dropped and banged against a metal pipe. The queens emerged fine.
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