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Yes I have. I scraped them off very carefully with a sharp hive tool. The top/back of it where it was attached to the mid-rib had a small pinhole in it with royal jelly behind it. I just carefully pinched it closed. Cut off a couple off that comb, and they both emerged with beautiful queens. I did this ten days after adding that comb to a queenless cell builder nuc. It was virgin comb, first brood ever laid in it so it was tender and easy to cut. I would imagine that the older the comb, the less success I would have had.
 

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You will definitely touch the RJ because it is part of the cell. On new wax these qcs are very soft so one false
move then it is all over. My idea is to use a handheld small electric grinder to cut the foundation off in a square shape.
Scrape off the excess comb of where you would like to make the cut will be easier for the rotatory blade to cut thru.
Try to cut out a wider piece before the virgin hatch after the critical development stage.
Then you can anchor the whole piece of plastic onto the frame with a screw and put inside the nuc hive. Try to make a
test cut first to see if you can handle it. Just go slow with the blade.
 

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Anyone ever have any luck cutting queen cells off of plastic comb?
I've done it once and it worked. Just be careful. I prefer to move a frame with only one or two cells. But I don't want to waste cells with three or more on a frame, so I remove them. I used a hive tool.
 

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An inexpensive cordless Dremel tool might be handy for cutting the plastic but the vibration might be harmful....
 

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You will definitely touch the RJ because it is part of the cell. On new wax these qcs are very soft so one false
move then it is all over. My idea is to use a handheld small electric grinder to cut the foundation off in a square shape.
Scrape off the excess comb of where you would like to make the cut will be easier for the rotatory blade to cut thru.
Try to cut out a wider piece before the virgin hatch after the critical development stage.
Then you can anchor the whole piece of plastic onto the frame with a screw and put inside the nuc hive. Try to make a
test cut first to see if you can handle it. Just go slow with the blade.
What type of blade would you be using. I have a 2 speed cordless Drexel but don't know what cutting bit would be best...circular disc or burr style.
 

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A sharpened, 1-inch diameter, metal tube works great, and damages less comb than the hive tool. A grafting spoon or a toothpick works to pry it off if it does not come off in the tube.

Same tool, only smaller diameter (1/2"), is used in the Cell-Punch Method of queen rearing for making the queen cells from 8- to 12-hour old larvae, but I don't use it on plastic comb.
 

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A sharpened, 1-inch diameter, metal tube works great, and damages less comb than the hive tool. A grafting spoon or a toothpick works to pry it off if it does not come off in the tube.

Same tool, only smaller diameter (1/2"), is used in the Cell-Punch Method of queen rearing for making the queen cells from 8- to 12-hour old larvae, but I don't use it on plastic comb.
Do you cut right through the plastic foundation with this? Do you heat the metal to assist going through the plastic? What did you use to sharpen it...I have a grinder but it wouldn't work for a small circle.
 

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No, Just down to the plastic. You could warm it up a bit with a candle, but don't kill the queen in the cell....
Oh..so you don't cut right through the plastic foundation? Just down to it and then scrape off the cell? I would have thought one would cut right through the foundation so as not risk opening the cell.
 

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Cutting through plastic foundation wouldn't be a bad idea, I hadn't thought of it. Accomplishing that without hurting a 10-day queen cell would be a bit of a difficult trick, I'd suppose. I'll give that a try.

Sometimes removing them away from the plastic foundation does open the cell in the back, but if you are very careful with your grafting spoon, a sharpened wooden tounge depressor, or a forged flat and bent nail, or whatever scraping tool you prefer, it does not hurt them. (At $25 per queen these days, don't worry too much about damaging the comb around the QC, but DON'T DAMAGE THE QUEEN CELL). Adhere a small piece of foundation onto the opening and very carefully cover it with a "hair roller"-type queen cell protector, or your incubator queen cell hatching jar or cage.

For my queen cell hatching cages, I modify the little 50 ml bottles of hard liquor that the drunks leave along the bike path near my bee yard. I rinse them to remove the alcohol smell. An 11/16" metal tube tool burns a hole in the side for #8 hardware cloth vent, and in the bottom for a tapered cork. Into these corks, I peg a sawed-off golf tee, to which my artificial queen cell cups are attached with hot wax. I use a #59 drill through the queen cell frame bar and into the middle of the golf tee shaft for a sewing pin to hold the golf tees onto the bar. The advantage is the screw-off cap offers a beekeeper-controlled release that she can walk out of, or I can remove the cork and golf tee-mounted cell, and get her out quickly, if need be. A very small mason jar should also work, and you should add a dab of queen candy for after she hatches.

5-hole queen cages also work for hatching QC's in an incubator, and they may be easier for a wood shop skilled guy to make. Realize that I'm setting up a fairly different operation for I.I. queens, so controlled hatching is critical for me. Most queen producers don't do this...they want the queen cells in the mating nucs.

I do this cell punching on 48-hour queen cells, which are much more rugged than white-eyes pupa through purple-eyes pupa stage, for re-queening out-yards. In this case, the cells are usually made up on the queen cell frame, and the whole cell finisher colony is taken to the out-apiary for re-queening. Just remove the pin, pull out the golf tee and queen cell, and mount the 2-day cell into the middle frame of the brood nest about an inch under the top of the cluster. 48-hour-old queen cells should not be used for weak colonies.

Cell-Punch Method is usually done in fresh comb in which the queen has been isolated under an excluder partion, so that I know I have 8- to 12 hour old larvae in fresh comb. The cell containing the young grub larva is attached onto a plain QC bar with just-barely-molten wax. It is a no-graft method otherwise similar to Jay Smith/Henry Alley Cut-Cell Method. Use your search box to look up Oldtimer's 5-star thread, and also search old threads regarding Cell Punch Method.

Oh, and the metal tube was sharpened on the lathe with an O.D. grinding attachment (3 kneeling "I am not worthy" 's to my buddies who allow me G-job time in their machine shops!). A careful hand and a LIGHT TOUCH could sharpen a steel tube on a bench grinder wheel, with a file and a stone to finish, but BEEEEE CAREFUL!!! Better yet, go the the hobby shop and buy one of those super-thin-walled brass tubes, but don't bother sharpening it. It should go through new honeycomb cold as is, you could heat it to go through old, black comb.
 

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Thanks..I think I would use a scalpel blade or dental scaler to scrape under the cell if I try that route. I have an abundance of 50 and 100 ml plastic amber bottles with screw tops...easy to make a screened vent in.i have a couple of lathes but they are designed for wood work not metal work. Lots of hobby shops close by.
 

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Sounds about right, and those pill bottles should make excellent hatching/incubator bottles. Good luck.
Thanks...my hives came through winter but keeping Queens in some has been an issue the past 2 months.
One hive was obviously Queenless on first inspection...no eggs or brood and no Queen seen. Purchased a Queen...they seemed thrilled and they released her. Would be expecting hatched brood but very little front porch activity. With break in the rain I will check today but expect they are again Queenless. I have not handled the hive since the purchased Queen was released so I know I did not squish her.
Other had came out of winter with and empty bottom box and bees and a bit of brood above. I reversed the boxes. Three weeks later decreased porch activity, no eggs, no brood and no Queen seen. Population not expanding. I gave them eggs and open brood.
New package, bees released Queen. Slow porch activity noted 2 weeks later. Checked no eggs, brood or Queen. Gave them eggs and open brood.

Is this unusual to have disappearing Queens in the spring?

Last year I had one purchased nuc that lost Queen, I replaced that and they carried as usual.

Is there something I should, should not, be doing to end this disappearing Queen scenario?
 

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...Is this unusual to have disappearing Queens in the spring?
Not that unusual up North. One key to it is using a scale to weigh your hives in the late fall. A 2-deep box colony should weigh no less than 130 lbs. If it weighs less, it must be fed. If your area freezes, don't feel liquid syrup - use a fondant board inner cover. The issue could be enough food - especially if pollen stores are low, there will not be much brood. One thing is sure: no pollen = no brood. Pollen substitute patties are recommended.

Another point is that no brood does not necessarily mean that a hive is queenless in the early spring (as in first inspection). She may be waiting for warmer weather. If all the bees are of the same race, and other hives have begun foraging hard, then you are right to suspect that they are queenless inspect thoroughly, and take measures as the evidence tells you.

Also, nowadays that the mites are here, re-queen in the fall with a fresh, hot, mated queen, and be ready to re-queen her as early as necessary in the spring. If using an IPM program, the harshest treatment of the year is in mid-August, when one would use a formic acid treatment to minimize varroa and acarine mite populations going into winter. I would treat first, then re-queen, as the acid is hard on the bees - especially the queen, so why whack the new queen?

As you get some bees with hygenic trait tendencies, you may not need the formic acid treatment, but use an IPM screened bottom board and dust them with powdered sugar every visit and check the sticky board the next morning. Keep records of the mite drops, even making a wall chart for the year. If they come up in the late summer, treat them, if not, smile! The bees have solved the problem themselves. You could let a queen like that go a few years, as long as she's up to the game.

I keep half my bees treated, half untreated. Even though I'm down here where winters are mild and there is eucalyptus in bloom, the untreated colonies seem to have a more difficult time than the IPM colonies. As I obtain more bees, better genetics, and some hygenic bees, I expect that will will change.
 

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You can cut cells of plastic foundation if you are very carefull and if the cell is positioned in way which allows it to be cut off. Not often but it can be done.
 
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