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Raising emergency queens


I’m trying to raise a new queen through the emergency process.

Does anyone go to the effort of making sure the comb in which the queen will lay (and from which the emergency cells are constructed), is not old?

If so, what age comb would be considered too old?



Just look at a comb with eggs. Any comb. Scrape an area down to the midrib directly under a line of eggs. But I don’t think it really matters much. as long as those queens are fed well. A good tip is to let them raise as many queen cells as they want to after you remove the queen. Go back five days later and remove all capped cells. Leave ones that are still open. That way you ensure that all the queens are raised on new eggs and have been fed well.


Hi Dan, I prefer combs to consist predominantly of worker comb (at least 90% worker) in preference to age of comb. My first mentor gave me a rule of thumb guide to determine when comb is too old. It’s when you can’t see light through the comb when you hold it up into a light. Otherwise a comb can be used for honey indefinitely.

However when choosing a frame of brood to use for a colony to make emergency queens from, that frame doesn’t have to meet any of the above criteria. It only needs to have some worker eggs of very young worker larvae. Preferably from a good producing quiet colony.


Jay Smith and Moses Quinby would do so.


I don’t bother.