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Discussion Starter #1
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?
 

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Sounds right. What are you feeding them ? I place a little 'stiff' honey in the indentations of the roller cage lid - that appears to be enough for at least a few hours.

I've also recently started slashing the side of the q/cell and flaring it out a little (https://www.beesource.com/forums/sh...roducing-emerged-virgin-queens-in-mating-nucs - post 17) to prevent the virgins getting stuck. I've also been adding a little honey to the remaining RJ - which seems to be doing the trick. :) Haven't lost one yet - well, not in the incubator, anyway ...
LJ
 

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yep sounds right
you need to tear out/crush the cell after they emerge to stop this, I am trying LJ's cut and flare right on this mornings batch

I use a dropper and put a few drops of 1.5-1 in the roller cage indent. After an EFB out break a few years ago I don't feed honey to anything, especially if its for sale
 

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close look at the PIC shows not much abdomen past the wings, Not sure that is a Viable Queen
And if there is RJ left in the bottom of the cup , they may have a snack if hungry.

GG
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you guys for the replies! I’m gonna try that out tomorrow when the rest of the batch is supposed to hatch.
 

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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
 

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The cutting and flaring or crushing the cell is to stop the queen form going back in the cell and getting stuck and is done after she has emerged and has no effect on her emerging

Most people emerge queens in a incubator with out attendants in the cage, so its harder for the queen to emerge not easer as there arn't bees to thin down the tip of the cell
 

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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". :)
LJ
 

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tryed one yesterday, so far so good
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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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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