Hello all! This part of beekeeping really interests me and I would like to know more on this subject.
When researching, I basiclly found two ways of breeding queens.. 1- no grafting kits and 2- grafting.
for simplicity, I would like to try the "no grafting kit" from Mannlakeltd.com company.
Anyone ever use that kit? and if so, how is it done?
I use the one advertised in better bee and no grafting queen rearing kit. Works great for me. I put my breeder queen in the cage and let her sit there for 3 days. I then let her out by removing the plug. Next day (day 4) I go back and start moving any larva I find into the queen cups to be put into the cell builder colony. I usually get about 30 queen cells at a time. You can put the cage back into the breeder hive and let them raise other larva for the next day for your next cell builder. Keep doing that till you get all the eggs hatched.
I like the method, it easy and you can see the larva (shiny thing) on the bottom of the cell cup. Plus you know the larva is only a few hours old. Then moving them into the cell builder be sure the lava is not in the sun drying out. Also make sure the cell builder is without a queen for a few days and does not have any queen cells started. They will pounce on these cells you give them.
It really is not that hard to graft! All it takes is practice, and knowing what size larva you need to transfer. Use the no graft kit, and get an idea of the size of larva you need, then give grafting a shot. I think its alot quicker, but to each his own.
You can even practice on drone brood, til you get comfortable. I use a modified paper clip for the needle and I have 3x magnifying glasses, (rarely use them), but I have them.