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Hello All,
I wanted to ask you a question, I've tried raising queens with the Hopkins method, I've noticed that I had many cells that were not long...
My question is..

Does size matter??
:lookout:

I've alway understood that smaller cells wont bring healthy queens.. but I wanted to know from other beekeepers
 

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The size of queen cells is an indication of the amount of surplus resources available in the hive.

An excess of young bees and limited competition from worker and drone brood needing to be fed results in larger and better fed queen cells.

A small cell does not necessarily mean a poorly fed larva, but a larger cell indicates a higher probability of surplus.

You can pull a cell or two apart to see how much surplus royal jelly is in the top. A lack of surplus after the larva finishes feeding is a bad sign since she may have run short.

If you pull or cut a cell apart carefully, and in a way that it is not crushed, you can close it up again and if you have not damaged the pupa, it will hatch normally! I've done it often. YMMV, though.

BTW, how many cells did you get? That tells you something, too.
 

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Allen,

How do you go about opening and closing the queen cells. I tried transferring some from a plastic frame, but the backs/tops of the cells usually stayed attached to the cell. I've heard that putting some wax back on it, and then putting it quickly back in the hive may work? However, I probably damaged the pupa because they didn't hatch out when placed in another hive.


Scott
http://scottriley-bees-and-oysters.blogspot.com/
 

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Swarm cells are usually built under ideal conditions when the hive has lots of resources, both in bees and a good honey flow in progress. Yet swarm cells can vary enormously in size. I notice that the bees do seem to take more care of some cells than others. When selecting cells it's a good idea to choose the ones which the bees themselves are clinging to and that are well marked on the outside rather than being smooth.
Perhaps there has been research on which cells the bees allow to continue to emergence under swarming conditions, and which they allow to be destroyed by emerging queens or that they pull down themselves. Would be interesting to know.
 

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How do you go about opening and closing the queen cells. I tried transferring some from a plastic frame, but the backs/tops of the cells usually stayed attached to the cell. I've heard that putting some wax back on it, and then putting it quickly back in the hive may work? However, I probably damaged the pupa because they didn't hatch out when placed in another hive.
When I have done it, it has usually been with grafted cells on Jayzee Beezee cups and a twist with my fingers was all it took. They are easy.

I've also done it with natural cells, though and careful work with a razor knife works, but how successful the effort will be depends how the cell is attached.

I guess I should add that if you are planning to use the cell after opening it and re-closing it, you need to know when it is safe to handle queen cells. Generally that is just before they are due to emerge. There are other times, too which can be deduced from studying the development process.
 
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