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Discussion Starter #1
I plan on using queen cells from a homemade system (see my blog [second post] for more details).

Is there any way I could make queen cell protectors for the queens before they emerge (and would the workers have to get into the area of the cell, or can they just feed her through it?)?


Thanks
 

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What you are doing there looks kinda neat to me. You say you have a way to screen the queen into the little boxes so she can lay in them, right? after she lays and the eggs have changed into larva on day 4, could you not then make sure the queen is not in the box and put the screen back on? You could destroy all cells except the best looking one in each little box and put the screens back on to let the cells emerge into queens in the little boxes. You would have to make sure the little boxes were all in a queenless hive with lots of nurse bees and stores for a queen cell hatching nursery. Thanks, you got wheels of my mind turning now...

A frame that holds little boxes of fresh hatched larvas turned on it's side over the top of a queenless hive for cells to be built Hopkins style. After cells started, place frame in the queenless hopkins starter hive to get the cells finished and capped, then covers put on little boxes and frame hung to emerge in a nursery hive.

Sorry, just a bunch of rambling on here. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks! I'm planning on putting one screen over all the little boxes when I put the queenin. Once the queen is done laying, I could put the "boxes" into a cell builder hive. Once they are capped, I could put another screen around each box (unless I had some mating nucs or queenless nucs available). I'd make them big enough for the queen to be able to emerge and move around.

I'll try to draw up some better plans and post them later. I may just experiment with different size boxes/thicknesses of wood and just see what I come up with. Trial and error always makes for the best improvements.
 

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Yes, I realized you were going to put the queen in with a screen that covered the entire each side of the frame. Making little covers for each box is much more time consuming. I was also thinking, move the frame as a whole with no screen to the cell starter and finisher. You would not place the screens over the individual boxes until they were ready to emerge the next day, or at least until after they were all capped. Saves in time of manipulating each box.
 

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I was thinking about doing that too. I'm concerned that they wouldn't build a queen cell in every box though. I guess it depends on how many boxes I put on the frame. I'm guessing it would be no more than 12. I've read that it's best to make sure the cell building hive has no uncapped brood to encourage them to draw out the queen cells, so I'll do that unless I find out something different.
 
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