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I have been in hives this summer that had capped queen cells which I knew were not viable because they had been in the colony for longer than 16 days but they appeared to be intact. Does a new queen sting thru the wax without an obvious hole. Why do the workers not tear them down? If you see a capped queen cell in a hive, is there any way to know whether it is viable if it appears to be intact? If workers seem to be covering it, does that indicate a living queen?
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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If the workers are on it, it is most likely viable. If has been capped for more than 9 days, it is not. If it is not surrounded by capped brood, it is probably not a good cell. I err on the side of caution. Found an intact qc this past Sunday surrounded by empty comb. Cut it out and put it in the incubator. Candled it today and saw the shriveled up larva. Tossed it out.
 

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If the workers are on it, it is most likely viable. If has been capped for more than 9 days, it is not. If it is not surrounded by capped brood, it is probably not a good cell. I err on the side of caution. Found an intact qc this past Sunday surrounded by empty comb. Cut it out and put it in the incubator. Candled it today and saw the shriveled up larva. Tossed it out.
My queen cups capped early then they expected. Do queen emerge on 8th day after pupa state or it come earlier because it capped early.for more details watch my discussion about it.
 

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Along the same line...if you find a QC that has the flap attached a queen has emerged, what are the chances that a really nice QC 4 frames over will be "not stung" and still viable?
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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The chances get better the faster you get the other cell outta there! If the other cell is a day or two younger, there is also a better chance, but a newly emerged virgin is fast and hellbent on murder.
 

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I pulled that frame to a nuc with bees and I'll wait a week to check if it hatched and went to get mated. Strange season so far, two hives treated exactly the same, side-by-side, queens same age within a month. Double deeps & 2 supers, Gray hive swarms...no room for the queen...all 4 boxes 100% nectar, no brood and they kicked out drones in mass. Next door is Green hive (mean queen) very little nectar, nothing in the 2 supers, lots of brood. 180 degrees different. I pulled out that mean queen, squashed, re-queen. ON to the next hive that seems normal... LOTS of bees in both colonies so I'll have nucs to combine after I pull honey... beekeeping never gets old but I do.
 
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