First time using an incubator for queens.. I had one emerge a day early and found her last night head first in the queen cup dead.. my guess is starvation..is that an accurate guess? Starvation plus couldn’t get back out of the cell?
I know zero about raising queens,but know that you are always striving for better genetics. To this end, anyone have thoughts about the various interventions to allow the queen to hatch successfully? Here I do not mean feeding, rather cutting and flaring the cell as well as other things that may be done.
Are you encouraging production of " weak" queens? I am not saying you are, but wonder if there could be unknown negative consequences down the line. After all, you are tilting the scale in favor of survival and that has an effect. J
BTW - the reason I've started cutting and flaring the vacated queen-cell is because I want to keep that q/cell attached to the cell-cup & holder (which act as a roller-cage bung), but remove the risk of the virgin getting stuck if she goes back into it.
So why do I want keep the queen-cell attached ? So I can include that queen-cell when I come to introduce the virgin (aka "Lauri's method").
Normally a recently emerged virgin is pretty-much ignored during introduction because she doesn't smell of anything, and I've often wondered what happens to her under such circumstances. But - if the q/cell is included with her at the same time during intro, then the bees behave totally differently: they start paying her LOTS of attention - and all in a positive way - licking, fussing etc, just as they would (I assume) if she'd emerged from a q/cell on one of their combs.
For me, including the q/cell during virgin intro has been a real game-changer - and must be "tip of the decade".
Just installed two virgins into colonies this evening utilizing Lauri's advice to include the now smushed closed queen cell. One colony was a nuc that is now down to two frames and maybe 500 or 600 bees. The other is a reasonably packed double deep 10 frame that failed to requeen after a split. In both cases, I shoved the empty qc between two frames and let the just eclosed queen walk into the hive. Fingers crossed.
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