View Full Version : Transporting Queen Cells

Barry Tolson
Jun 5th 2011, 08:29 AM
What are the possibilities of transporting queen cells?
I know within the bee yard is no trouble. The question is if one can transport queen cells across town...or even to another bee yard 40 or 50 miles away...and if so, how to safely do so.

Jun 5th 2011, 09:14 AM
I guess the furtherest I have ever transported cells is about 200 miles. most folks that produce cells (as a separate enterprise) ship them in bullet/shell cases or more often egg containers (maybe half a dozen cells per egg slot). extreme high and low temperatures should be avoided. when I did the transported (mentioned above) I did so in a small cooler with egg carton on top of some water container (bag or bottle) warmed slightly (in a micro wave). some folks seem to think the position of the shipped cells matters, but I couldn't tell that this made much difference.

the age of the cell also is a determining factor as to how rough you can handle the cells. an 8 day (from day of graft) cell is much more fragile than a 10 day cell. when I did the transport, mentioned above, I was transporting 'very hot' cells. quite often I would have some small number hatching before I got to my destination. towards the end of this little endeavor I started caring a few hand made wire introduction cages* so these early hatching queens would not be lost.

cells naturally should never be dropped so there is some advantage to removing the cells to some storage/shipping device with a table (or whatever one might need) in order to limit such risk in doing this small task in the field.

*essentially small sized hardware wire rolled around queen cell dowels (like those sold by Kelleys) with a small bit of electrical tape on each end to hold the thingee together. I would place a queen cell plus dowel in one end and a dowel by itself in the other. when the time came you simply remove the 'dowel by itself' to release the newly hatched virgin queen.

Barry Tolson
Jun 5th 2011, 09:59 AM
This is very good. Thanks for the information.
I have a friend about 40 miles away and may want to take him some queen cells, but have never moved them more than a few feet.
Can't imagine mailing/shipping cells. They actually survive that?

Jun 5th 2011, 09:23 PM
Barry that is a dandy question.

Tec thanks for the great reply, will have to file this one in the memory for future reference.

Jun 7th 2011, 05:54 AM
mr tolson writes:
Can't imagine mailing/shipping cells. They actually survive that?

I do know that folks do this but it is difficult for me to understand how they are shipped without suffering huge losses or without all of them hatching prior to arrival. Once hatched a virgin need to be introduced pretty quickly (perhaps a maximum of 2 days or so) or they are almost always killed.

ps... once a virgin queen emerges into a 'wire introduction cage' a lot of folks suggest that the hull of the queen cell should be crushed to prevent the virgin from hiding away in the hull and pretty quickly dying from not being attended to.

May 23rd 2012, 08:32 PM
Is it possible to remove the queen cells from the comb and place it on the comb of another frame? If so, what is the best way to do this?

May 23rd 2012, 09:01 PM
blueblood, watch this video by fatbeeman http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVKLgBgYPok

May 23rd 2012, 10:41 PM
Wow, Thanks! That is a gold mine of information in that 9 minute video...And, apparently, I am too timid with my bees after watching him just brush them around with his fingers...crazy cool stuff!!

May 24th 2012, 12:44 AM
You probably noticed this in watchng the video, but just for emphasis I'd like to point out two important things:
1. Note how sparingly the smoker is used--just a quick puff of smoke, keeps them calm and quiet.
2. See how he cuts a nice wide plug to go along with the queen cell. Cutting too close creates a risk of damage to the cell and makes handling and introducing it into another hive more difficult.
Beautiful watching the calm, quiet, confident work of a real pro. :thumbsup:

May 26th 2012, 07:14 AM
I've heard that the styrofoam blocks that they make for holding test tubes work well for moving queen cells. Apparently, the holes are just the right size, and I'm sure there significant built in insulation.

Also, I believe JzBz makes battery boxes and shipping bars for their cages. The small end of one of their cell protectors are supposed to fit in the same hole, so (if installed in a protector) you could use those to hold cells. I would of course add something warm, as Tec suggested, and insulate if you're moving far.