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Author Topic: Queen cells aren't hatching  (Read 490 times)

Offline CoolBees

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Queen cells aren't hatching
« on: March 13, 2020, 09:46:25 pm »
I did 10 splits with capped QC's on February 14th (from 4 hives). I checked them today. 6 of them did not hatch the QC'S. I'm assuming that I already know why: not enough nurse bees to keep the queen cells warm. All the un-hatched cells were on the bottom of the frames - all had multiple cells unhatched.

I put a lot of "bees" in these splits, but they must have contained a lot of field bees. Each of the failed splits had a very small amount of bees, whereas the 3 queenright hives were quite loaded with bees.

Of the remaining 4, 3 are queenright, and 1 hatched but didn't return from her mating flights.

30% wasn't what I was hoping for ... the learning continues ...   :smile:
You cannot permanently help men by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves - Abraham Lincoln

Offline jtcmedic

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Re: Queen cells aren't hatching
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2020, 06:04:58 pm »
I was in the same boat, I did my splits and we had a drop in temps in lost 2 of the. Just made 2 more. As the weather is going to be wonderful.

Offline CoolBees

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Re: Queen cells aren't hatching
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2020, 07:15:49 pm »
It's been in the mid 60's up to the low 80's here. Nothing too cold.
You cannot permanently help men by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves - Abraham Lincoln

Offline Bee North

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Re: Queen cells aren't hatching
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2020, 06:44:22 pm »
Hi CB
Out of interest sake did you open the cells that didnt hatch...if so what did you find?
I ask this because a fellow beek/friend of mine was recently given 3 cells from a hobby queen breeder which never hatched. He took them to a club meeting and opened them up....nothing inside!
Anyone have an explanation.

Offline FloridaGardener

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Re: Queen cells aren't hatching
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2020, 09:05:17 pm »
Did you take the splits 2 miles away? So the bees inside wouldn't go back to the original hive?

Also... what did you find after 6 weeks? Bees and empty comb? or Bees, comb, and nectar/pollen? Or no bees, empty comb?

Offline CoolBees

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Re: Queen cells aren't hatching
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2020, 10:36:30 am »
Bee North - good question. Yes I opened several of the unhatched queen cells. Each cell had a dead queen.

Florida - I did not move the splits 2 miles. I have been relying on anti-robbing screens instead. In each hive that didn't hatch a queen, I found rather small patches of bees, much less than I had originally installed, as well as significant patches of un-hatched brood. For comparison, the successful splits still had a large qty of bees, about the same as I had originally installed.

All failed splits had enough stores remaining. 3 had gone LW. It seems that I've finally got a handle on robbing at least. ...

I am of the opinion (now) that I got large numbers of field bees in these failed splits, and that the field bees returned to the parent hive, leaving not enough bees to keep the QC and Brood warm enough.

Currently I'm in the process of testing this theory with 7 new splits - for which, I purchased Queen Excluders, moved all (and only) brood above the QE for 24 hrs, then pulled only those frames/boxes - which would contain, almost exclusively, nurse bees. My 7-day inspection (last friday) showed lots of capped QC'S, and lots of bees.

My "check date" for this latest round of 7 is: April 19th. I'm hoping that my split success rate improves now. ... we shall see  :grin:
You cannot permanently help men by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves - Abraham Lincoln

Online Ben Framed

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Re: Queen cells aren't hatching
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2020, 05:26:53 pm »
Alan if you shook enough nurse bees they would not have flown off as making a cell builder. Though worker bees would have went back. See Richard Noel of Brittany France. Excellent information on this subject and very well explained. I am thinking he is a (transplanted) Englishman, very fluent speaking English. 
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline Bee North

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Re: Queen cells aren't hatching
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2020, 09:53:59 pm »
Bee North - good question. Yes I opened several of the unhatched queen cells. Each cell had a dead queen.

Thanks Cool...that make sense.