tips on installing cells and protectors?

Discussion in 'Raising Queens' started by d.magnitude, Jun 9, 2012.

  1. d.magnitude

    d.magnitude New Member

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    [​IMG] Forgive me, this is mostly a copy-and-paste from elsewhere....

    See quote from the JZBZ
    site below. Have/Do any of you queen rearing folks use these, and if so, how? I have some that I wanted to use just to ease the handling of cells. I planned on using the prongs to stick the cell into the face of the comb, not hang from top bars (as this model is intended for). I know they make a different model for inserting into the comb, but this is what I have, and the prongs are plenty long for that purpose.

    Usually, when I try to insert a cell into the protector, it is much too wide to fit. Should I trim the cell, just force it in (smooshing some wax), or just toss the protector altogether? I don't think my cells are particularly big, so other people must have this problem too.

    Any other tips on making good use of these protectors is much appreciated.

    I've spoken to a reputable queen breeder who always uses these things when placing a cell in a queenless nuc, to prevent the odd chance of workers tearing down a cell. I didn't know they did that, but hey, I know very little. Contrarily, I've also heard that using protectors decreases rate of acceptance. Tough to know who to listen to.....

    From JZBZ:
    TOP BAR CELL PROTECTOR


    This cell protector was designed so the cell could be "planted" without disrupting the frames and it take less time. However, for best results it should be positioned over the center of the brood nest or slightly to the rear relative to the hive opening. (To take advantage of the fact that the youngest bees always hang out on the far side of the cluster, relative to the hive opening) Many users re queen using this cell protector with 80% or better success ratio. In theory, when the new queen emerges, there will be two queens in the hive, which neither one of them favors. So they have a nasty fight and the one with the greatest vigor wins, and the hive has just been re queened.

    -Dan
     
  2. d.magnitude

    d.magnitude New Member

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    I'm going to give this thread a bump.

    I'm still very interested in using these cell protectors on my cells, especially when I'm transporting cells for sale. Unfortunately, only about 10% of my cells actually fit in these, the rest are too fat.

    I suppose that could be seen as a good problem, but nobody else has ever mentioned this being an issue, so it makes me wonder what's up. I'd still like to figure out how to be able to use these protectors, but I have to say that trimming the wax from a cell or smooshing it in seems too risky to me.

    -Dan
     

  3. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a snip...
    Usually, when I try to insert a cell into the protector, it is much too wide to fit.

    tecumseh:
    this will depend on the base of the cells you utilize in grafting. the kelley wood dowel base and cell cups don't really fit in these at all but the plastic cups seem to work just fine.
     
  4. d.magnitude

    d.magnitude New Member

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    I use the plastic JZBZ cups that are supposed to work with these JZBZ protectors. The bees almost invariably build wax around the outside of the cup when they're in the finisher. They also build up wax around the outside of the cells (do we call this "sculpting"?), to the point that they're too fat.

    Maybe the answer is more foundation in my finisher. I never thought I'd be wishing for punier cells.
     
  5. d.magnitude

    d.magnitude New Member

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    I wanted punier cells, and I guess I got them. When I was pulling cells to go into mating nucs today, I'd say 75% fit into the cell protectors.

    I've been putting more and more foundation on my finisher, and I've been trying to stop feeding when the cells are due to be capped. I think that's all helped. I have to say, some of the cells do look quite small, but I think that may go along with the plastic cups.
     
  6. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    I think between the added foundation and the feeding you have likely figured out the major variables with the excess wax on the cells. I never had this problem with the plastic cups (all purchased from some one else) but when I tried to do the same thing with wood or solid wax based cups (I am not even certain if anyone still makes these which is really really a sad state of affairs) without fail the cells would not fit into the protectors without a lot of trimming the excess wax from the base of the cell.

    it also seem to me that the plastic cells were always puny looking when compared to the other forms of cups. I came to believe this was just a visual thing since these 'by appearance' puny cells made queens that were quite robust looking as fully matured adults.

    I have come to think that cells that are excessively long (appear tapered from one end to the other with no bulge in the middle) or smaller cells that have a noticeable curve are likely cells that should be culled.