Queen Cell Program
The MCBA of PA’s Queen Cell program is designed to improve the genetics of bees in your apiary. We select from the best queens available (locally derived queens or breeder queens). These queens are used to produce queen cells that are provided to members in good standing, for a nominal fee.
Do You Need a Queen Cell?
1. Hive is queenless (have you used a test frame of eggs or very young larvae to be sure).
2. Expanding your apiary/making splits/nucs - How to make a nuc/split with a queen cell
3. Changing your bees’ genetics (better mite control or gentleness)
4. Queen is failing or becoming old
5. Requeen to eliminate/clean-up brood disease (EFB, Sac brood, etc.)
6. Failed requeening after swarming attempt
Contrast: queen emerged alive or queen killed in cell
Normally emerged queen cell
(see hinge at bottom)
*** copywrite picture used with permission from Ellen Codd
Queen killed in her cell
(cell ripped in the middle)
Before requesting queen cell(s) available for distribution, can you answer “yes” to all questions:
✓ Do I really need a cell – hive/nuc is queenless?
✓ Can I pick up at the time and place listed in the alert?
✓ Am I prepared to install the cell as soon as possible? It cannot wait until the next day. Temperature and humidity are important
Pick-up and Transportation
Be on time and bring cash. Bring the following for transportation:
✓ Protective container deep enough to keep the cell upright (insulated coffee/Styrofoam cup).
✓ Plastic bag with warm water in the bottom to keep cell warm (body temperature) but not wet.
✓ Cotton balls, tissues, or cushy material to keep the cell protected. Cell needs to breath – do not put against plastic bag.
Timelines:1. A queen emerges from a ‘ripe’ queen cell in 2 to 3 days
4. In 12 - 17 days after installation of the queen cell, you should see her first eggs (or 10 - 14 days after emergence).
Our meetings are held at:
Montgomery County 4-H Center
General membership meetings are usually held the 4th Thursday of the month at 7 pm, but please check our calendar.