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will queen cells hatch easily outside the hive?

 
John Master
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Have had poor luck pulling queen cells and having them hatch, perhaps they all were not going to develop anyway? Regardless, Should I be able to pull queen cells out of the hive and just put them in the house and they hatch after they fully develop? or is there something about the environment in the hive like temperature that needs to be maintained for them to keep growing and hatch alive? For instance like incubating a chicken egg?
 
tel jetson
steward
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you could conceivably hatch them outside of a hive, but certainly not easily. temperature and humidity are the most obvious parameters that would need very careful control, but there are likely a host of others that would be rather more difficult to manage. best let some bees do it for you. you don't even have to talk them into it.
 
John Master
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I forgot about humidity, was thinking if it was feasible to sell unmated queens instead of cells but when they hatch in the hive its hard to find them and pull them out. probably just stick with selling queen cells.
 
tel jetson
steward
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there are ways. queen breeding seems like a whole lot of bother to me, but it's pretty routine stuff. somebody will likely chirp up here before long.
 
Rob Browne
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Location: Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia
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Have a look at how this bloke keeps his young queens in a single hive. I never thought of doing it this way.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALWe6Aw-nt8
 
Michael Cox
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I believe it is possible in a climate controlled incubator, but bees will do a more reliable job for you. Most queen breeders use "mating nucs" - these are tiny with just a cup full of bees sufficient to tend the queen while she mates, along with some wax for her to lay in, and an integrated feeder.

It should be pretty easy to find a queen in a couple of hundred workers.
 
John Master
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that was what I needed to see, he puts the cells in cages but puts them back into the hive to hatch in the cage. then when they emerge the attendants can care for her through the cage and they cant kill each other. as the are needed they can be taken out of the hive. I think I might do something like that in my queenless hive right now, I just had them make about 14 queens from a chunk of comb with larvae that I cut out and turned on its side and attached to a bar. its a wild mess of comb with about 14 big queen cells poking out of it
 
Michael Cox
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This method (storing queens in cages) is called queen banking. It is not generally advised as it interferes with the normal mating process for virgin/emerging queens, and for mated queens some beekeepers say that it affects the long term health of the queens.

If you have a bunch of cells and colonies that need requeening I would probably:

  • catch/kill the queen that is to replaced
  • Insert the capped queen cell into the hive that needs requeening
  • Let the queen mate and begin laying in situ.


  • You might also consider making up a few two frame nucs, with just enough bees to keep the queen cared for until you can confirm she is mated.

    Remember, old queen killed by dropping them in alcohol (vodka!) make excellent Queen Mandibular Pheromone (QMP) lures for enticing swarms in the spring.
     
    John Master
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    Location: Wisconsin
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    I have 5 swarm traps that I plan to put out in the spring. I like your idea of making Queen pheromone liquid to attract them.
     
    Rob Browne
    Posts: 65
    Location: Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia
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    While thay video is interesting you will have to have a supply of bees and nucs so they can fly out to mate. There is a definite window for mating after which you will have a drone layer. It is a good way to get a single hive to raise multiple queens BUT they have to be set up quickly so they become viable.
     
    John Master
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    for this go round I just split my queenless hive into fourths. I had some swarm traps and a nuc sitting empty and I counted 31 queen cells so I figured I would divide the queens between four hives hoping for at least one and up to four laying queens as a result. we'll see how many hives I have after the queens hatch and either mate or not.
     
    Chris Edwards
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    Location: north central Alabama, USA
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    John, you did not mention size or health of the hive. I also would split up the hive to have as many opportunities for a successful mating, but I would be prepared to recombine so that the hive has numbers & resources enough to survive the winter. I would consider purchasing a mated queen, in view of how close you may ( or may not) be to the "end of the season". If you have capped queen cells, you are ,perhaps , 3 weeks from having a laying queen. Good luck ... CE
     
    John Master
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    Yes for sure, this was a swarm I caught so if it goes bust not a big deal, had lots of healthy bees but the queen must have been injured in the move, found a dozen new eggs the first day and then nothing. yes getting late in the season to be waiting for a requeen but as these were freebees I figured I would experiment a bit and see if I can get more hives out of the deal.
     
    I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/cards
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