I am not sure if we will ever get to the point when we will harvest queen cells. However, the process is fascinating. The basic steps:
- Create special queen raising shallow box with entrances on all four sides.
- Box will be divided into four sections with dividers with each section allowing two frames.
- Pull brood frame (possibly with honey) along with honey frame (or empty if brood has honey) for each section.
- Place frames with brood closest to the entrance.
- Wait 13-14 days to see if queen cells have emerged
- Harvest any queen cells in drilled out Styrofoam or pre-made cages designed for queen harvesting
- Place cages in hive to continue development
- Place one queen cell in each section of divided shallow.
- Wait 18-21 days to see if queen cell was successful.
- Remove three of the sections to empty boxes adding frames to fill all box as needed (assuming all sections are successful)
- Not only have you raised queen cells, but also split box for raising queen cells into four new boxes!
Very thankful for our beekeeper association and more Mr. Floyd tonight for teaching us a little more about our bees. They help us to "make the best better" with our bee hives!