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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I will be harvesting my two queencells tomorrow and peeked at them today. Over the past 5 days, the nurse bees have built a lot of comb all around the cells. There are only two cells on the bar and each cell is not almost the diameter of a paper towel roll (over 1" diameter) and also has at least another 1/2" of comb below the cell.

Is this additional comb a problem and should I do something about it? I think it is vey unlikely that the virgin queen can free hersulf without the nurse bees removing at least 1 half inch of comb for her so that the sidewalls of her cell are exposed.

I will be harvesting tomorrow and can try to take a piture then, but in the meantime I would appreciate to know if anyone else has experienced this and what they have done about it?

-fafrd
 

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Trim from the tip and go toward the base do it in 2-3 passes do the tip last if wax is over the tip and be gentle
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Here is a picture of how the queen cells looked this evening:



They are storing nectar in the cells surrounding the queen cells. They even formed a queen cup in the comb below the queen cell.

I will be harvesting tomorrow and would appreciate further opinions :scratch: on whether I can leave these cells as is or should trip back from the bottom until the bottom of the cell is on the surface...

Thanks!

-fafrd

p.s. for comparison, here is how the cells looked 6 days ago (just as they were getting capped)

 

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I'm harvesting 3 queencells on Monday and have one that's entombed in comb as well. I'll have a better look at it then & decide what to do...or just leave & see if she can emerge ok. I wonder if this could have been prevented if the bees in the cell builder had some foundation to draw rather than trying to build comb within the cell bar frame? :scratch:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm harvesting 3 queencells on Monday and have one that's entombed in comb as well. I'll have a better look at it then & decide what to do...or just leave & see if she can emerge ok. I wonder if this could have been prevented if the bees in the cell builder had some foundation to draw rather than trying to build comb within the cell bar frame? :scratch:
I had an empty foundationless frame in there, but they decided to draw on the queencells instead. I continued feeding 1:1 sugar syrup after the cells were capped and I think next time I will stop the feeding after the cells have been capped.

Let me know what you decide to do - I'm leaning towards triming back a bit of the comb on the bottom unless a few more folks pipe up and tell me to leave things alone. It seems like a great deal of comb and nectar for the queen to chew through on her own unless the house bees pave the way in advance...

-fafrd
 

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would cut off just a little on the tip of the one

would make up both of your nuc to accomadate the early hatching queen cell a few hours differance wont matter in the later hatching queen cell.

would not put them in the hair curler or even in the cell protector just make up your nuc several hours ahead of placing queen cell in 2-6 hours i like over night best

I have put them in about 2 -4 hours after pulling out laying queen most will turn out but I have noticed i get about 15% better ture out if waiting over night
 

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Let me know what you decide to do - I'm leaning towards triming back a bit of the comb on the bottom unless a few more folks pipe up and tell me to leave things alone. It seems like a great deal of comb and nectar for the queen to chew through on her own unless the house bees pave the way in advance...

-fafrd
I just checked them again today, and it looks like the bees are leaving the cap exposed on two of the three cells and not building comb over it,...just building comb along the sides. So I'll just leave them alone. The third I will probably trim, as it has the most comb, which they've added to each day. I'll try & get some pictures.
 

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Leave them alone until you are ready to distribute to the nucs.

The bees know what they are doing.

The bees are controlling when the queens hatch out. The one with the most build-up can't hatch first and destroy the others. And the others can't get to her easily if they hatch first.

If the first queens don't come back from the mating flight or are unacceptable for some reason they will have one in reserve.

When you put the queen cell in the nuc and it is their only chance for a queen the workers will clean it up and help her get out.

Goodluck
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Leave them alone until you are ready to distribute to the nucs.

The bees know what they are doing.

The bees are controlling when the queens hatch out. The one with the most build-up can't hatch first and destroy the others. And the others can't get to her easily if they hatch first.

If the first queens don't come back from the mating flight or are unacceptable for some reason they will have one in reserve.

When you put the queen cell in the nuc and it is their only chance for a queen the workers will clean it up and help her get out.

Goodluck
Interesting way of interpreting the excess comb build-up, WPG - thanks for the reply. Assuming your read is correct, it means that the bees on their own are attempting to do what I was thinking about doing with hiar-roller-cages (prevent the possibility that one queen emerges early and destroys the other cells).

I ended up more or less following your advice and harvested my two cells without trimming into mating nucs on Sunday. Would you advise to check after a certain amount of time whether the virgins have emerged or just wait another 2-3 weeks before checking for open brood in the nucs?

-fafrd
 

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Fafrd, there are many cool queen rearing calendars out there that with a little data input will give you tons of information including the exact date as to when to check after introducing the cells to mating nucs. I usually go in 5-6 days later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Fafrd, there are many cool queen rearing calendars out there that with a little data input will give you tons of information including the exact date as to when to check after introducing the cells to mating nucs. I usually go in 5-6 days later.
habutti, thanks for the reply.

I know about the schedule - my cells should emerge tomorrow or latest on Wednesday. My question was more on whether it was a good idea to check in that the virgin emerged successfully or to just leave everything alone for 3 weeks or so until she should be laying...

Why do you usually go in to check after 5-6 days and is there any donwside to doing so?

-fafrd
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I go in a couple of days after the hatch date and remove the cells.
I guess that's a good idea to keep the queen cells from messing up the combs. It's probably better to go in before the virgin is getting close to first practice flights, right? My cells are supposed to emerge tomorrow, so I'll plan on peeking and removing the cells on Thursday.

thanks,

-fafrd
 

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The least amount of disturbance till brood check is best.

Gently removing empty cell and repositioning frames and careful closeup OK.

To really see what is happening during this process, satisfy curiosity, and learn; you need an observation hive(s).

Have fun
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The least amount of disturbance till brood check is best.

Gently removing empty cell and repositioning frames and careful closeup OK.

To really see what is happening during this process, satisfy curiosity, and learn; you need an observation hive(s).

Have fun
Already have an observation hive and have observed the entire process once, so curiosity is not my motivation.

I will gently remove the cells as you advise just to keep the comb from getting messed up from the cell between the frames. Was not planning on searching for the virgin in any case, but thanks for the reminder.

-fafrd
 

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Fafrd, I am sure you are taking notes from the lessons the bees have been sharing with you so far during this process. One that pops out is the fact that burr comb on queen cells is no big deal for the bees as much as it is for some beekeepers. Your queens emerged just fine despite your concerns regarding the burr comb. Like someone here said, and forgive me for not remembering who to give proper credit "Bees make better beekeepers, than beekeepers make bees" or something like that.
 
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