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Author Topic: Transporting a capped queen cell  (Read 302 times)

Offline Bob Wilson

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Transporting a capped queen cell
« on: May 11, 2022, 05:45:56 pm »
I am helping out someone with a potential queenless situation. If it is indeed queenless, I plan to cut a capped queen cell from my own hive (which by then will be 10-12 days from laid egg) and transport it 15 minutes to him.
Do I need to do anything else, other than...
1. A warm car
2. Soft cloth to rest it on
3. Gently position it between two frames in his hive.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Transporting a capped queen cell
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2022, 06:55:22 pm »
Bob I copied and pasted this from The American Bee Journal. Maybe it will be of help?

Phillip

Timing. Queen cells vary in their hardiness depending on where the virgin is in her development. A larva sitting on a pool of royal jelly in an open cell is pretty hardy to temperature changes, but is vulnerable to drying out or being shaken off the food. A queen that is mid-pupation, just forming her wings, is very delicate, and even a few shakes or short period at the wrong temperature can have life-long consequences. A completely ripe cell that is just about to emerge will be just as hardy as a virgin, and can handle a few more knocks and swings in temperature. I will sell queens at a few times in their development, at days I feel are safe for transport: as young as 72 hours old, the day they are capped, and right before emergence. I try not to sell or transport queen cells when they are in their sensitive development phase, to reduce the chance of harm to the developing queen.
It is important to know how old the cells are (the day they are grafted) so that you can know the best way to transport them. Younger, uncapped cells transport best in a queenless nuc with bees to tend to them, but can travel short distances in a container as long as they aren?t jostled heavily and don?t dry out. Usually if I have to transport open queen cells, I?ll create a nuc with nurse bees ? it doesn?t have to be full, but you want enough bees to cover and care for the cells. For short distances, I?ve had success putting the cell into a Styrofoam cup, and covering the cup with a wet paper towel.



If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV

Offline TheHoneyPump

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Re: Transporting a capped queen cell
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2022, 01:54:04 pm »
Hi Bob,
Transporting queen cells is a bit tricky.  Temperature control is important but not critical.  What is critical is the state of the cell and handling.  There is a period between days 11 and 14 where the pupating larvae inside is very delicate. She has a teeny tiny umbilical between the pupae and the jelly pot. Small disturbances can sever the cord and fail the cell.  Also during this period the most delicate and most essential part of the queen, her wings, are developing. Handling can damage the wing buds and result in a queen that cannot fly properly or at all for mating. So, the ride needs to be day 14/15, warm, and cushioned. For the ride, put the cell in your breast pocket under a vest and drive her over like that. Your breast is warm and rides smoothly relative the rest of the car.

More information is needed to cover this properly, specifically how long the hive has been queen less and how big the hive is in population and space currently.  Going on the assumption that it just went queen less within a few days ago..

It is only 15 minutes away and there is only one. if I may make an alternative suggestions to consider.

Option1: Have the someone bring you a nuc box, or the whole hive if it is a single, of bees to place in your bee yard.  Do the cell transfer and installation a few steps from your source colony on day 14. Leave the nuc at your place, do not move it. On day 17 check that the queen has emerged properly in the nuc. Then the someone can take that nuc home and wait out for her to mate and start laying, another 8 to 14 days.  Once laying, combine the laying nuc into the hive by newspaper combine.  Towards the end of this timeline if the queen less hive was abandoned and sitting waiting, it will go LW. Either give it brood frames along the way or combine it with a queen rite hive to keep it stable.

Option2: Place the frame with the cell in your nuc box on day 9 (you have at least 1 right? cannot call yourself a beekeeper without having one around) , wait until your calendar says day 14. Then take the nuc over to the someone place, riding on the front seat of the car, put a cell protector over the queen cell, and install the whole frame into the receiving hive.  check for emergence day 17.  Wait 8 to 14 days after emergence to go look for eggs.

Option3: If the hive has just very recent gone queen less, it may successfully raise its own queen by just giving it a frame of open brood from your hive. (this is simplest and prevents LW condition from developing)

Option4: If the hive is queen less, depending on how long the condition existed, and if your queen cell is not already just a few days from being ripe - there may be a high probability that the hive will go laying worker and kill the cell before the hive is turned around.  Abort the queen cell idea and instruct the someone to combine the queen less hive with a queen rite hive to stabilize it. Use a queen excluder and newspaper when combining to slow the bees merge down and also to trap the possibility of a rogue virgin already being in there. Then go back to it 7 to 10 days, do a normal split and install your cell in the split or install a mated queen (caged)

Need some dates - timeline from you to guide which option will give you the highest probability of success.  How long has the hive been queen less, what is the stage of development of your cell (day#).

Btw:  In my bee yard, unless I know exactly what is going on; a queen less condition is always taken care of by option4.  Combine then split later. This method is pretty much guaranteed success, as it is using the bees to sort out the bees (LWs are killed) and keeps the colony(s) stable until a new queen or cell is ready.


Hope that helps.


« Last Edit: May 12, 2022, 02:11:33 pm by TheHoneyPump »
The bees will spend the next 4 days undoing all of the wrongs that the beekeeper just did to them.

Offline Acebird

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Re: Transporting a capped queen cell
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2022, 08:28:19 am »
I was thinking option #2.
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Offline Bob Wilson

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Re: Transporting a capped queen cell
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2022, 11:18:53 am »
HoneyPump. I need to understand something... If paper combining a laying worker hive with a queen right hive stabilizes it, why do I often hear the best thing to do is shake out a laying worker hive into the yard and let them beg into other hives? Why not always do a paper combine?

Offline TheHoneyPump

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Re: Transporting a capped queen cell
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2022, 01:22:58 pm »
HoneyPump. I need to understand something... If paper combining a laying worker hive with a queen right hive stabilizes it, why do I often hear the best thing to do is shake out a laying worker hive into the yard and let them beg into other hives? Why not always do a paper combine?
As with all beekeeping answers - it depends  :wink:
- If the colony was otherwise tracking well, the beekeeper knows the status of the hive, the timeline of LW development, and it is a decent size colony of over half a box of bees, then the combine is usually the best solution to curb the problem, sort the bees out early and keep the balls rolling.
- If the beekeeper comes up on a hive that is already LW, has no idea or little idea of what has happened when, then absolutely; just tear it down, shake it out, and take the equipment away, no matter what size the hive is.

Does that help?
The bees will spend the next 4 days undoing all of the wrongs that the beekeeper just did to them.

Offline Bob Wilson

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Re: Transporting a capped queen cell
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2022, 01:21:35 am »
Yes it does. Thanks for the info.

Offline Bob Wilson

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Re: Transporting a capped queen cell
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2022, 11:33:17 pm »
Ah, well. I learned a lot on this thread, but the situation took another turn. I began to suspect that my friend's hives were not really queenless. They both swarmed and he checked them when virgin queens were mating. After another week passed, I went over and helped him find eggs and the queen. All is good for him.

Offline TheHoneyPump

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Re: Transporting a capped queen cell
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2022, 12:46:21 am »
That is a great outcome.  Sad to have lost bees but good that the hive was successful at getting re-established naturally.
The bees will spend the next 4 days undoing all of the wrongs that the beekeeper just did to them.