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Discussion Starter #1
I introduced a cell grid and cups into my strongest hive and placed the queen inside. The next day the temperature dropped so I waited one more day to retrieve the cell grid. The queen had filled all 100 cell cups with eggs. The temperature outside was 60 degrees F, so I brought the eggs inside to transfer to my bar. My question is could the eggs have died in the short time I had them out of the hive? It has been 3 days and the bees have done nothing with the cell cups and the eggs have not hatched.
 

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Did you put the cell bar in a queen less cell starter packed with tons of nurse bees or in a normal queen right hive?
 

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I think he probably used the Nicot system. The queen lays in a cell cup that can be transferred to a cell bar so no grafting is actually done. Not that that matters in whether you have to wait until the egg hatches.
 

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Clayton, Will bees ignore eggs transferred to cell builder?
They will destroy them - because - those eggs will have traces of the original queens pheromone on them. That pheromone - which is present on the egg membrane - will disappear as the membrane dissolves during 'hatching'. Only transfer Larvae.
LJ
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yes, I used the nicot system. I put the cell bar in a queen less hive with nurse bees. In the nicot system you transfer eggs not larvae. Also the queen less hive was made with the bees from the hive I took the eggs from. I did everything the way I was supposed to using the nicot system. I believe the 60 degree temps may have killed the eggs before I got them back in the hive. I was simply wondering if anyone else has tried making queens at lower temps. The problem is if I wait for warmer temperatures, I won't have Nucs made until July.
 

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Just release the queen, take off the front cover, leave the eggs for an other 2 days then tranfer cell complete with larvea.

Then you will get your queens, the bees mantain the correct temprature
 

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I never could get a nicot to work. tried everything
I tried the Nicot laying cage evey season for around 10 years - did something different every year - never got even the one larva to raise to a Queen Cell.

Then I went back to the method used in the original Patent - which specifies a plain shield (which neither Nicotplas nor Jenter supply - so I made my own) which covers the eggs so that the donor-colony bees can no longer access and destroy the eggs, which sometimes happens if they want those cells to store nectar in.

Then, after a couple of days, just prior to hatching, I placed the laying cage - without the protective shield - into a hopelessly queenless colony. By "hopelessly queenless" I mean a colony which had been queenless for well over a week, and so had probably forgotten what it's queen had smelt like, and so would hopefully not destroy the eggs which still smelt of another queen.

BINGO - by late in Day 3 I was pulling cup after cup with ideally-sized larvae. After all those years of complete failure I would have settled for half a dozen, but instead got near enough the full 110. To tell the truth, I became somewhat bored with pulling successful larvae one after another, as there was no longer any surprises in store.

So - it may be worth trying a protective shield, and a hopelessly queenless colony. :)
LJ
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you Radar and little john for the info. This weekend looks like good weather. I will go back to the drawing board and try again. I have always created new queens with splits and that has always worked well for my needs. I decided to try something different this year to try and control the genetics of my apiary a little better. I was hoping to get a bunch of queens from my strongest colony. Instead, so far I have only managed to weaken my strongest colony. I will try waiting until the eggs are larvae this time and then transfer to the now hopelessly queenless colony.
 

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Hi Jeremy,
re: your earlier attempt - using the same colony's bees as both donor and recipient - eggs should have worked ok. The problem with eggs usually only occurs when different colonies are being used - which is what most people do - then the eggs are flagged-up as being of a foreign queen, and eaten.

However, give it another try - this time with newly hatched larvae. If you're able to make the recipient colony queenless for a good few days, that always helps. Just make sure there are no q/cells present.

FWIW - lots of people report problems using the laying cage, so you're not alone - far from it. Many of them abandon the cage and resort to grafting directly into the cell-cups. But - if the laying cage method can be made to work, it makes life so much easier - especially for those of us with rubbish eyesight. :)
'best,
LJ
 

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They will destroy them - because - those eggs will have traces of the original queens pheromone on them. That pheromone - which is present on the egg membrane - will disappear as the membrane dissolves during 'hatching'. Only transfer Larvae.
LJ
That doesn't add up because when I put frames of eggs into queen right or queen less hives they don't destroy them. They raise them just like all the other eggs in the hive.

Yep that's why no one grafts eggs.
I thought no one grafted eggs because it's dang near impossible to move them without damage.
 

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They will raise the foreign eggs for workers but will they use them for queens? The presentation of the egg (vertical or horizontal makes a difference in perception by the workers so what holds true in one situation might not dictate truth in the other.

I have seen quite a few statements that eggs in cups do not get accepted except rarely.
 

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It has been a long time since I read Steve Tabors's book on raising queens, but he described moving eggs. He developed a tool to move the egg without damaging it. If I remember correctly the acceptance rate was not good and the quality of the queens was no better than that of young larvae less than 24 hours old.
 

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That doesn't add up because when I put frames of eggs into queen right or queen less hives they don't destroy them. They raise them just like all the other eggs in the hive.
Are you sure it's not the hatched larvae in those frames they're raising ? If a colony is Queen-right, a) why give that colony eggs ?, and b) what's to stop that Queen from immediately replacing those eggs ? If the colony has been Queen-less for a while, then yes - they will raise them, as they have no other choice for survival.

I thought no one grafted eggs because it's dang near impossible to move them without damage.
Not if they're laid in cell-cups - because then it's the cell-cup itself that's moved, the individual egg or larva inside it doesn't need to be touched. You'd have a tough time trying to graft eggs without damaging them.
LJ
 
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