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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone ever tried removing queen cells from plastic foundation? Is it possible to use something very small and sharp to scrape under the cell without damaging the queen (single edge razor blade?)?
 

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Since queen cells on plastic foundation are intrinsic to the foundation, about the only way you could remove one, without damaging it, would be to carefully cut through the foundation, around the cell, so the cell remains completely intact. But, doing so, without disturbing the cell, and causing damage to the developing queen, could prove quite difficult.
 

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Could you just move the frame into a nuc? Or is there a bunch on a single frame that you want to get. If you had an idea of how far along they were it would be good. The closer to hatching the tougher the queen.
 

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I've never tried, but like joseph says the plastic foundation probably will need to be cut, perhaps with a hot knife or something that will melt the plastic as it cuts. If you tear away the cell and keep the caccoon intact perhaps you could mold over the unsealed area with something, but to that without squishing her will be hard. You may have better sucess waiting until the last minute or caging the cells and trying to catch the queen as she is emerging and put that into a week hopelessly queenless nuc. Longer the queen has been out the more difficult it is for them to accept. I've had mixed results. I've seen them kill virgins right away, harass them for a day or two and then totally except her, or except her right from the git go. All of these were weak mating nucs no more than 2 deep frames of brood and bees.
 

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I cut some off with a #11 scalpel blade and also with a very sharp knife with a thin bendy blade. They were swarm cells near the bottom of the frame. I thought it wouldn't work but it did...no holes in cells.
 

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Has anyone tried making small push in cages to go over the swarm cells on the comb and then collecting the new virgin after she hatches?

JC
 

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I know that some people use old school curlers for little queen cages. I was told you could use #5 hardware fabric for queen excluders, but I think that a virgin queen could possibly get through that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Could you just move the frame into a nuc? Or is there a bunch on a single frame that you want to get. If you had an idea of how far along they were it would be good. The closer to hatching the tougher the queen.
Yes there are 4 on a frame and I need one for a queenless split. I am guessing they are close to hatching.
 

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Has anyone ever tried removing queen cells from plastic foundation? Is it possible to use something very small and sharp to scrape under the cell without damaging the queen (single edge razor blade?)?
Yes, I've done it just using a sharp hive tool. There was a small pin hole where it was attached to the plastic, I just pinched it together and placed in mating nuc. It worked great. I will say, it was very new wax, and that older blacker wax with build up of pupa casings might make the process a little harder.
 

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Ray, are you saying that you scrapped the queen cell off the foundation with a sharp hive tool? I was wondering if that was possible with an exacto knife or razor blade that you could get as close to the plastic on the foundation.
 

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Has anyone tried making small push in cages to go over the swarm cells on the comb and then collecting the new virgin after she hatches?>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Yes I made a bunch of them and they work good. Make them like a Laidlaw intro cage but smaller. put a rubber band around the frame to hold it on, the bees will eat around it and it will fall off,,,,Pete
 

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Ray, are you saying that you scrapped the queen cell off the foundation with a sharp hive tool? I was wondering if that was possible with an exacto knife or razor blade that you could get as close to the plastic on the foundation.
Yep, all I used was a hive tool, I did it as a test to see if it could be done with just beekeeping tools at hand. I did 2 of them and they both worked great, gave me large virgin queens that mated and laid good patterns. I'd heard so many people say it could not be done, but didn't see why it couldn't be done so tried it out to see, and yes it worked out just fine. I suppose you could use a razor blade glass scraper, or whatever razor tool you'd like.
 

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Removed 3 queen cells from plastic frames this week. So far so good, waiting for them to hatch.

I've also made little push in cages to go over queen cells to protect them when there is more then 1 on a frame, they've worked fine.
 

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>Has anyone ever tried removing queen cells from plastic foundation?

Yes.

> Is it possible to use something very small and sharp to scrape under the cell without damaging the queen (single edge razor blade?)?

I never could.
 

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I just removed a queen cell off plastic foundation frame today. It was with older comb, looked like maybe 3 or 4 rounds of brood had been raised in it in the past. The older comb was actually easier to do than the fresh virgin comb I had done in the past. No holes or openings in the cell from my cutting it off at all. All I used was a J-Tool, the hive lifter tool. I just scooped it off. I took it to a nuc that was recently queenless and scraped off a section of comb and placed this cell there, kinda under and pushed into the wax space I'd cut back. The frame facing it, I scraped off a small section of comb that was then across from the cell, to make sure the cell had room from prodruding. That was about a couple of hours ago. I just came in from checking on it and the bees in the queenless nuc are all over that cell, giving it plenty of attention! As far as my experiences go, yes, you can cut queen cells off plastic foundation frames successfully, at least I can.
 
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