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Royal jelly left in the cup is an indication that the queen had all she can eat so (in theory) is well nourished. No royal jelly left is an indication she did not have enough.

There is no rule about how many cell cups to put in the finisher because it depends on the strength of the finisher and the season. Experimenting will teach you. Small cells or a low take indicate you have given too many cells for the particular finisher.
 

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I've been wondering if trapped pollen which is hand worked into an empty comb produces better fed queens than a comb taken from a colony which the bees packed with pollen?
The reason I am asking is last season I found nice combs of pollen in colonies and I put them in the freezer to use for queen rearing, They were very nice combs absolutely packed with pollen both sides. But I noticed by day 5 there was no royal jelly left in the cups, it was all gone.
I should note that I had good takes and I had really strong cell builders using the method Michael Palmer does. And the queen cells appeared to be good sized I definitely don't think they were runty.
In case it matters I was putting about 50 grafts per cell builder, and averaging about a 90% take.
 

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To the first question, freezing the pollen could have dried it, and dried pollen is incredibly hard. Might not have been available for the bees to use straight away.
 

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To the first question, freezing the pollen could have dried it, and dried pollen is incredibly hard. Might not have been available for the bees to use straight away.
Thank you so much Oldtimer I did not know this and it probably was the problem because they were more or less open in my freezer.
 

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I'm not sure Cloverdale. I have tried to restore some of that rock hard stuff you sometimes get in hives after long storage, by soaking the combs in a bucket of water. It works sometimes but other times the pollen resists the water.
If the pollen was very freshly stored in the comb at the time it went into the deep freeze my guess is it is probably restorable, but I don't really know, somebody else might.
 

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I look with suspicion at any cell cups that still contain royal jelly within 48 hours of the scheduled hatch day. All such cells aren't bad but almost all bad cells (whether it be from disease, chilling or something else) contain royal jelly. If the cells are in a cell builder (as opposed to an incubator) the bees will usually chew out the bad ones. If you are incubating them you can hold the cell up to a bright light and/or very gently squeeze on the cell. Bad cells are very soft to the touch while if they have properly pupated the cell has a toughness to it.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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hello, I have a question about how important is in the Quality of queens, the royal jelly leftover in queen cell cups after the queen emerges.
Go back and look at this thread from 2016.


Also, read the book "Better Queens" by Jay Smith, available from Michael Bush as a free download.
 

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Hmm i think we are talking at cross purposes here. I too agree that a larva that died of black queen cell virus or whatever, will sometimes leave a lot of royal jelly. Or, maybe not. But I would also expect when collecting queen cell cups from nucs after they have hatched, to see remnants of dried royal jelly on the bottom of the cup. In fact we used to have a tool made from an old hacksaw blade specifically for removing this dried jelly so the cup could be re used, cos pretty much every cell had it.

IE, if we chucked cells that had royal jelly, we would be chucking virtually all the cells.

Small cells that were not used because they appeared small, were also unlikely to have any royal jelly, they were underfed, hence small.

Candling, if the cell cups were clear I would expect to see royal jelly in pretty much all cells, but i would go by the larva not the royal jelly, and if in doubt see if it would rattle. And finally if still in doubt open the cell from the back for a look.

Would you agree with that Jim, or is it different for you?
 

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Hmm i think we are talking at cross purposes here. I too agree that a larva that died of black queen cell virus or whatever, will sometimes leave a lot of royal jelly. Or, maybe not. But I would also expect when collecting queen cell cups from nucs after they have hatched, to see remnants of dried royal jelly on the bottom of the cup. In fact we used to have a tool made from an old hacksaw blade specifically for removing this dried jelly so the cup could be re used, cos pretty much every cell had it.

IE, if we chucked cells that had royal jelly, we would be chucking virtually all the cells.

Small cells that were not used because they appeared small, were also unlikely to have any royal jelly, they were underfed, hence small.

Candling, if the cell cups were clear I would expect to see royal jelly in pretty much all cells, but i would go by the larva not the royal jelly, and if in doubt see if it would rattle. And finally if still in doubt open the cell from the back for a look.

Would you agree with that Jim, or is it different for you?
We're probably not too far apart here. Im talking about the cell cups when viewed from the side that still appear full of jelly. With the base mount cell cups we use in our operation its difficult to get a visual on the very bottom so, ya, there is probably some remnants but when viewed from the side that jelly should be pretty well consumed in my experience. I do a lot of critical looking at cells during the 6 week period when we are raising 800 to 1000 a day and I'm constantly tearing apart and analyzing anything that appears abnormal. Lots of late stage jelly is a warning to me. We do deal with some poison pollen courtesy of yellow jasmine that will screw up some cells and the occasional cold front with below freezing overnight temps will nip a few more on the outside of the cluster and those always have lots of unconsumed rj.
 

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Thanks, good info.

Didn't know you were doing that many cells Jim, I thought you just had a couple thousand hives or so. All the cells for your own use or are you also selling?
 

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Thanks, good info.

Didn't know you were doing that many cells Jim, I thought you just had a couple thousand hives or so. All the cells for your own use or are you also selling?
We (my son and I) started out raising cells just for our own bees to be assured of cell quality but it’s sort of gotten out of hand. LOL. Lots of stress when others are depending on you and every year I mutter “why am I putting myself through this” and every year when we put on the final graft we look at each other and say “that actually went pretty well don’t you think.“. 😁
 

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Thank you so much Oldtimer I did not know this and it probably was the problem because they were more or less open in my freezer.
can spray it with a mister, of diluted honey.
Or in very dry areas Soak it in water for an hour or 3.
the pellets from trapped sounds good, however it would have been dried and froze as well.

you could try to make patties from the froze pellet's, as well, they would soak up some of the nectar used to mix in..

I think oldtimer nailed it dried less usable

GG
 

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hello, I have a question about how important is in the Quality of queens, the royal jelly leftover in queen cell cups after the queen emerges.
A queen hatching normally in a Hive or Nuc when she crawls out will always look for a cell with honey to eat from. Now its a different story when you put queen cell in a cage to hatch and she can't get to a cell of honey she will get back into her cell and eat the remaining RJ (and some times dye there) its because she is needing something to eat.
 

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I think I am going to trap pollen this spring and use that just to be on the safe side.
When you trap pollen and want to make patties out of it ,collect daily then place in a freezer zip lock bag and put in the freezer it will be soft when need to use it for later, on cell builders i like just getting a empty comb and pouring in the pollen on one side and place next to the cell bar, you can recheck in a couple hours and you cant tell that you just put in the comb they will have packed it down nice and neat and if they don't you probably don't have enough bees in cell builder.
 
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