Separating queen cells

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Eddy Honey, Aug 27, 2012.

  1. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

    Messages:
    1,042
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Does anyone know if I can remove queen cells off of comb that is built on plastic foundation?

    I have a nuc who's queen failed. I culled her and gave the nuc a frame of eggs from my best hive. Eight queen cells were produced.

    I have a single deep hive who's queen just won't get going. She was a mid-March experiment to see if I could get a queen mated that early. She mated but hasn't "put out" like I would've hoped. She holds her own but going into winter....I just don't know.

    If possible, I would like to take a couple of queen cells that the nuc created and "cut and paste" them into this hive. I've seen it done on foundationless just not with foundation behind it.

    Thanks,

    Ed
     
  2. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

    Messages:
    5,829
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I guess it depends on how and where they're built. You would need a very sharp or fine knife to go just along the plastic without damaging the cells.
     

  3. Noronajo

    Noronajo New Member

    Messages:
    211
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The "Fat Beeman" has a video on YouTube showing how to transplant queen cells but I'm not sure what kind of foundation.
     
  4. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

    Messages:
    5,829
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Don "Fatbeeman" uses his own wax foundation that he makes himself. It is a lot easier removing queen cells with wax foundation. (Not that I'm trying to persuade anyone to switch over to the stuff, I saw the light early on and switched to the "dark" side - Sorry Iddee and Jack.) :lol:
     
  5. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

    Messages:
    3,708
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Make sure to "cut wide" and don't come near the QCs. They are what's valuable and not the cells surrounding them.
     
  6. Noronajo

    Noronajo New Member

    Messages:
    211
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I tried this and it's pretty disgusting- you have to cut through developing larva-I felt like a murderer!
     
  7. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

    Messages:
    3,708
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    I know it's no consolation, but when you put the mess back in the hive, the bees do a perfect job of cleaning it up (and recycling the materials for raising other larvae)
     
  8. Omie

    Omie Active Member

    Messages:
    2,337
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    It's much more problematic when the QCs are attached to plastic foundation, which is what is happening here. It's quite possible that even if you carefully slide a razor under the ripe QC to remove it, it will have an open end where it had been attached and built from the plastic surface. That would be very problematic. I think plastic foundation is just too hard to cut with a razor so as to remove the whole QC without making a mess or bumping things like mad, right? Most folks who cut out QCs for transferring don't use plastic foundation.
    The only way to really know is to try one- get a good wide single edge razor - anything thicker or blunter will push the wax rather than cut it...thus damaging the QC.
     
  9. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

    Messages:
    1,042
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Maybe if I devised a cage to confine them in when they hatch.....but then I'll need to go through the "queen intro" process.
     
  10. Tyro

    Tyro Member

    Messages:
    270
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    I have tried to cut queen cells off of plastic foundation without much success. I always end up with an open end where it was attached. The bees in the new hive have always torn down the cells shortly after.
     
  11. Omie

    Omie Active Member

    Messages:
    2,337
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    That might be a logical way to go. :)
     
  12. Minz

    Minz Member

    Messages:
    187
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Dremel tool? Carbide bit will eat that plastic like a hot knife through bees wax!
     
  13. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

    Messages:
    5,829
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I thing you may have hit on something and I agree with Omie.
     
  14. jb63

    jb63 New Member

    Messages:
    588
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I used a sharp 1 in. wood chisel with the beveled side down to the plastic.Push hard and start 5/8 to 3/4 from the cell you want.There is no guarantee but it worked for me.
     
  15. Omie

    Omie Active Member

    Messages:
    2,337
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    jb, whne you did this, did you wind up with a QC that had no open end? What was on the end that was attached to the plastic- a thin layer of wax, or what? What did you do with the QC then? Details, please. :)
     
  16. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

    Messages:
    1,042
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'm going to let her bee. Just checked her hive and given the fact that I've robbed her hive of brood frames for nucs several times throughout this seaon she still has 2 full frames of capped brood 2 frames of eggs 1 frame of mixed brood both open and sealed and 2 food frames. The other 3 frames are partially drawn. I'll let
    them have the fall flow and then I'll add a medium box of honey to the top before I tuck them in for the winter.


    I have 66 medium frames of surplus capped and uncapped honey/nectar that I'll use to feed nucs and hives that are a little short going into winter.
     
  17. jb63

    jb63 New Member

    Messages:
    588
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Omie, I did it last spring.I practiced on a frame of drawn comb that was winter kill.When I got the result I was hoping I used it on q cells. I put the two queen cells in a nuc and they made it,at least one of them did.If I do it again I'll take pics.
     
  18. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,808
    Likes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Did you just leave the plastic attached to the QCell?
     
  19. Omie

    Omie Active Member

    Messages:
    2,337
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Yes, we want to know if you actually scraped the QC off the plastic or cut out the whole section of plastic. If you scraped it off, was there an open end on the QC where it had been on the plastic foundation, or was there still a layer of wax keeping it sealed?
     
  20. jb63

    jb63 New Member

    Messages:
    588
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Yes,I scraped it.I don't remember if there was an open end.It made a "T" shape and I pressed the tops of the T into the comb with out touching the cell it's self.So if there was a hole it got covered up by comb.It may have been dumb luck but they hatched inspite of me.I have seven or eight q cells coming out this wk end some are on foundationless and one frame is plastic .I'll try and take some pics.