Does anyone have experience with the Ezi Queen system that Dadant sells? How does it compare to the original Jenter system?
(Jenter Queen Rearing System Dadant EZI QUEEN SYSTEM)
look at grafting. In the end, it is easier and a lot more fun doing it!
I have not used it. I'd say one of the main differences is that the plugs come in a "stick" in the EZI method which lets you put the plugs into the box very quickly. The plugs, however, snap off to put them into the cups, which means they aren't very reusable.
I would imagine they would both work fine.
I use the Mann Lake version (Nicot) much like Jentner. The cell cups are transluscent and you can see the egg/larva from the back. The cups transfer easily to the cell cup holder. No larvae are touched or moved or grafted in a queen cup upside down.
The beauty is you have a choice to see what works best for you. I don't graft and there's a billion beekeepers that always question me as to "why not?"
Some people love grafting. I haven't bothered.
Jackson, MO http://www.MakingPlasticFramesWork.homestead.com
Ditto what Grant said. I do not find grafting easier.
i've got the nicot from betterbee and used mann lake for replacement parts.
the advantage i've seen with grafting is the elimination of a couple steps over a few day period.
The Nicot system looks to have the least initial investment of the three
I like the flexibility of the Nicot. You can remove the cell cups after the queen has been confined and larva the right age undisturbed, and or you can also graft into the cups and add them to the cell cup holders. Lot's of options plus being able to use the Roller cages after the cells have been completed is also a positive. IMO Basically I like all the parts and pieces that provide many options.
Like a lot of you, my eyes don't get along with the grafting method any more, but I have had acceptance problems with the plastic cups, both for the queen to lay in them and for the cell starters to build on them. I like the Jay Smith approach which is the same principle except you let the bees make their own cups and just modify them after the queen lays in them.
I hear you on the acceptance problem, since I may have had some of the same problems early on. But thanks to some of Velbert's threads where he talks about leaving the queen confined longer that has helped. I also give them a little longer cleaning and polishing the cups which would be applicable to all the systems.
I have found that queen rearing using the nicot system is quick and easy. I use to graft but it is so hard with aging eyes. The only thing that is vital is to make sure you have the nicot grid WITHOUT excluder in the brood nest for at least 24 to 48 hours for the bees to clean. Also leaving the grid in the hive until the eggs hatch with the the excluder removed helps with cell acceptance. Keeping the number of cells for any one cell builder to take care of increased both the quality and quanity of queens produced. Les, Price
I like the idea of using the cell protectors plugged into the end of the JZ BZ queen cage instead of the rollers. That just never crossed my mind until I saw it this month. DUH!!!
You guys care to share your success rates with the kits? Number of cells placed in the kit, vs number laid in and acceptance rates? I have just ordered a Nicot from Mann Lake, so I'm looking forward to the learning experience myself. Like some of you guys, my eyes just aren't what they used to be.
Also seems to me most of the parts can be reused easily. But do any of you have success with reusing cells and if so how do you go about recycling them? I've used many plastic cells for grafting but I've never bothered with trying to salvage them after use.
...the big difference between the ez-queen and the others is the number of cells...the ez-queen does 420 cells in the cage. the way it is setup (with the "strips" of cups), it is very well suited to doing lots of queens (the strips allow you to transfer them a bunch at a time).
i bought the ez-queen last year, and think that i would probably have been better off to start with one of the others (it will be a long time before i'm raising 100 at a time), but i have this one and it works just fine.
Even though you don't use all 100 cell cups I think it's nice being able to "shop" for the best larva. Sometimes there's a big difference in how they're fed and you can see that difference in the cell cup. Options
hmmmm, guess not............
You can put the plastic cells in a pot of boiling water with a splash of clorox, leave them in for about 5 minutes. Take the pan and run hot water from the spigot over the cells still in the pot. Repeat 2 more times and they should be clean. Pour all water off cells and put on a towel (not paper) and let dry at room temp and you have clean cells.
>You guys care to share your success rates with the kits? Number of cells placed in the kit, vs number laid in and acceptance rates? I have just ordered a Nicot from Mann Lake, so I'm looking forward to the learning experience myself. Like some of you guys, my eyes just aren't what they used to be.
If you put the cage in and get it accepted somewhat several days before you confine the queen, and if you put it in the middle of the brood nest with open brood next to it when you confine the queen and then leave it next to open brood for the next four days, it is usually layed full of eggs and they usually are 90 percent or more hatched on day four.
Acceptance is the same or better than grafted larvae on the queen cells and is directly proportional to the density of the bees in the starter and how close it is to prime swarm season.
>Also seems to me most of the parts can be reused easily. But do any of you have success with reusing cells
Yes. I reuse all of it.
>and if so how do you go about recycling them?
I usually just reuse them. If they need to be cleaned up I swish them through some boiling water in a #8 hardware cloth basket. Don't leave them too long or they will warp.
> I've used many plastic cells for grafting but I've never bothered with trying to salvage them after use.
They work fine also, but seem more flimsy and are cheaper to buy more.
I haven't seen a lot of information put out on these things in the way of tips and tricks to a good take. And I suspect there will be some learning to be done on my part. 90% is an incouraging number. And I would be tickled to death to get to that point!
Watch for the pics of cell bars full of BIG FAT cells! Here we go! :eek: :)