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Discussion Starter #1
Do queen cells shipped in the mail survive? I see some ads for them but can't imagine they will survive transportation.
 

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Do queen cells shipped in the mail survive? I see some ads for them but can't imagine they will survive transportation.
Hi
Some folks do it well. I hear the average survival rate is around 50%.
I wish it was more reliable. I'd ship cells if we could get the rate up to 90%.

However, maybe some folks get a better percentage then 50%?

Adam Finkelstein
www.vpqueenbees.com
 

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If they are shipped in the mail I can see why the percentage is 50%. They need to be sent overnight air and picked up immediately from the closest source(UPS) to the airport. If they are in transit for more than a day and haven't hatched yet when you pick them up they were not hardened enough before being shipped.
 

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I don't ship queen cells for the simple reason of survivability rate being so poor.

The sealed queen cell is a relatively fragile thing. Wings, being the last to form, are easily damaged. Damaged queens are more likely to be superseded and/or rejected, if she were even able to take a mating flight.

For queen cells to be mailed successfully, a number of things have to happen:
* Queen cells old enough to have a moderately developed queen (day 10, after grafting, perhaps).
* Gentle postal workers who'll not throw packages around.
* Good packaging (allowing for warmth, ventilation and the fragile nature of the package.)
* Warm shipping temperatures, or adequate bees to keep the cells warm.
* Be delivered before day 12 after grafting, or risk emergence.
* A fair amount of luck doesn't hurt.

And with that being said, in order for the cells to arrive in 2 days, it has to be a local shipment. And, I find that customers are happier with the product if it's hand-delivered by my own caring hands. If it's local enough to ship, it really is local enough for me to drive to, or meet someone halfway.

Anyone with more (successful) experience have something to add, or a technique to share??

DS
 

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If they are shipped in the mail I can see why the percentage is 50%. They need to be sent overnight air and picked up immediately from the closest source(UPS) to the airport. If they are in transit for more than a day and haven't hatched yet when you pick them up they were not hardened enough before being shipped.
The 50% rate I posted was for UPS Overnight.
They have to be shipped right before emergence--day 15+

Anything less and they'll be mush on arrival. Anything more and they start hatching out.

We ship newly hatched virgins as an alternative.
Adam Finkelstein
www.vpqueenbees.com
 

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Dave Miksa, from FL, ships them in a chick incubator. I'm not sure how far they get shipped though.
 

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Is this something new Miksa is trying? The previous 3 yrs they have been shipped to me in queen shipping boxes with bees for heat.
 

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Is this something new Miksa is trying? The previous 3 yrs they have been shipped to me in queen shipping boxes with bees for heat.
No, it was something that he did, or has done, for a while. Did you get your cells from Miksa? Maybe he isn't doing it any more.
 

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You should also factor in the fact that it is not optimal temperature for queen developement in the warehouse, shipping truck and everywhere else the package goes. A heat source should be added as well like a heat pack. That is how we ship live corals/fish to aquarists. But then there are concerns of O2 usage. Heatpacks, like hand warmers, use O2 in a chemical reaction with Feric Oxide. The corals/fish are in a bag with water and airspace. So, I dunno....
 

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On day 15, temperature isn't as huge a factor for the developing queen as it is earlier in her life.
I've seen and read that cooler developing queens tend to be darker. That's pretty neat.

The main concern with shipping cells is damaging the queen's wings/legs through rough handling.

It's tough for me to justify a potential 50% loss on something we work so hard on.
Ya know?

Adam Finkelstein
www.vpqueenbees.com
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I don't see any advantage of buying queen cells, its iffy on getting a good quality queen from cells that are shipped. If most of the cost are in shipping, what are the advantages? Am I missing something here?
 

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-480 cells shipped= $1920
-480 queens shipped=$7,200
______________________________________
-95% of mated queens shipped are good layers, don't get superceded, or don't become drone layers=456 now your $15.00 queen was $0.80 more
-80% survival rate of cells mated(480)=384 so your 384 queens costed $5.00 a piece. You loose brood rearing time but if you are getting them for requeening it is a no brainer when pinching pennies.
-Occasionally you get 90%+ with cells and sometimes you get 50% just like sometimes you can get 99% mated queens good and other times it may be 80% after a month goes by and they get superceded anyway.
-Shipping cells works for me otherwise I wouldn't being doing it for the 4th year.
 

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The one factor to consider with queen cells vs
mated queens is loss of productivity.

If you are a honey producer then a mated queen
makes more sense. Of course this depends on flow
timing.

If your putting together early Nucs for sale even
then it can be iffy. Last year due to winds and
rain I had a very high percentage of queens that
didn't make it back from their mating flight.

But if you have the time, and conditions, queen
cells are the bomb.
 

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I just visited the Miksa farm, they ship them in boxes with bees. The incubator is used when someone needs to transport the cells themselves, but it is returned. They do things very well and produce an enormous number of cells to ship. The rate is not 50%. It is much higher than that, especially when the person knows what they are doing. However, the cells do need to be put into hives immediately upon receiving them!
 

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The rate is not 50%. It is much higher than that, especially when the person knows what they are doing.
Hi,
David, Linda and Ted Miksa all know what they're doing indeed!
They ship cells well. Other folks ship cells too. Overall, the cell shipping rate is 50% as quoted to me by beekeepers
that have bought and received 1000s and 1000s of cells over the years.
If you want to influence that to be a higher percentage, keep records for a few years and then report on your experience.

The Miksa family is always at the top of beekeeping.

Back to cells,
I'd much rather have a beekeeper come and get cells and have 99%.
The we'd all know what we were doing and be real happy doing it.
:)
Adam Finkelstein
www.vpqueenbees.com
 

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I've got 100+ cells arriving tomorrow morning in WI from Miksa. I'll post the percentage rate of good mated queens after I can observe their brood pattern. I hope the weather will be good for mating. Plenty of drones available. I'm splitting this order with 3 other beekeepers so I will post the percentage for all of us seperately. 1 beekeeper is new to using cells, another has over 55 yrs experience as a beekeeper, and I've been recieving cells from Miksa for 4 yrs now.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I would think that having that kind of quantity shipped together might give you better results than say half a dozen cells. More bees to keep things warm?
 
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