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Discussion Starter #1
Today was the day to move queen cells from my last round of grafting. When I had checked on day 1, there was a decent amount that seemed to have been accepted. Today when I opened it up...nothing, nada, zip. This would be the 3rd round that failed! Fortunately I wanted to check to see how many breeder boxes I needed before I got them ready.

Digging around a bit more, I found larvae. Not big ones ready to be capped and not drone larvae, probably halfway to being capped size. Unless my math is bad, that tells me there is a queen in my 5 frame cell builder somewhere and that is why my grafting isn't working at all. Even my 1st time I had 25% accepted.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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You just won a consolation prize! One mated queen. Exact same thing happened to me. Found an emerged qc on closer inspection. First round was 25% (4/12). Second round was 4/38 and they never made it to capping stage. Plan to check for eggs this weekend. Raising queens is harder than the pros make it look.
 

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:applause: Doesn't feel like much of a win. I'm already up against the end of the season and am going away next week. I will graft Friday, cross my fingers this doesn't happen again, and hope I have a good amount ready when I get home . I think this would be the latest I can go and I need to have overwintered nucs next spring ready to sell.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Feeling your pain. My plan was to have 20 overwintered nucs for early April delivery. So far I have five, and they are not confirmed Q+. I have about another five weeks before I have to go with what I have.
 

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Made 2 cell builders in one week,Went into the donor hives and found the marked queens, moved them each to a nuc. I waited a day and then grafted. went back in the starter hives 2 days later to check to see how many took. There were no takes in either starter hive. I went to looking in to both starter and found queens in both starter hive. The chances of that happening is unreal but it does happen.
 

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Don't know if this caused your problem but keep in mind that your cell builders have to be constructed like Fort Knox. You can't allow any opportunity for a just-mated virgin to enter your box. When raising queens, there's lots of just-mated virgins returning home and they can sense a queenless hive and will happily set up shop there instead of returning 'home'. You have to have queen excluders blocking any entrance to the cell builder. I have them both above and below the cell builder box. Also, when looking for rogue queen cells in the cell builder, shake the bees off the frames and have a real good look along the edges of the frame and destroy anything remotely looking like the beginning of a queen cell.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Bob, thanks for that tip. One of my mating nucs is strangely queenless. Hmmm.
 
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