Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 35

Thread: grafting 101

Hybrid View

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    1,933

    Post

    Made my first attempt at this Saturday. I have some questions.

    Is temperature and humidity of grafting room that important?

    I didn't realize till reading afterwards to make sure I did OK, that 70 Degrees is recommended with humidity. I can use a heater and humidifier next time, if this is important.

    If I roll the larvae on the side of the cell while pulling it out, am I likely to have damaged it?

    Is priming the cups a good idea? If so, whats the best way? Can you just pull the jelly out of 3 or so cells without the larvae to use?

    Do you sterilize a chinese grafting tool with alcohol, or just use it a few times?

    I prewaxed the plastic cups, any benifit?

    I'm sure more to come. I was going to try the hopkins method but most of my foundation is plastic. I was impressed at how quickly grafting went and would like to get this skill down as it seems very efficent. I'm going to make another attempt this weekend if my first frame is a dud.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

    Post

    Temp is inportant if its really hot. 70 is ok. Time it takes to do the grafting makes it important. Do it fast enough that drying of the cells does not occurr.

    Yes, damage can happen if you roll the larvae.

    Priming is a good idea. You can put RJ, but a small dab of water will do. Its kind of the good, better, best method. Many things are used to prime the cell. I personally use some water and a little honey if no RJ is handy.

    I do not steralize my grafting tool. I prefer the cheap bamboo type tools.

    If I use plastic cups, I do not pre-wax. I like the wooden cell cups with the wax cups. I sometimes use the hair cage style queen protectors and they slip over the wooden cell bases from Kelly.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

    Post

    Do you have any idea what the outcome is? If the weather permits, you can sneak a peak after two or three days. You can see how many have taken. Just be careful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,973

    Post

    yes a bit of regulated temp and humidity helps as does (IMHO) a place in which you feel comfortable doing the graft.

    the wax cell/wood holder need to be polished a couple of days ahead of the graft. it was my understanding that the plastic cell cups come to you all ready polished,

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

    Post

    You can get the wax cups near polished quality by using a cotton swab and twisting it between your fingers very rapidly. It cleans out any dust and dirt film. Then I prime with honey/water or RJ, and have good take percentages.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Lima, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    722

    Post

    You can actually check back in 24 hours or less (weather permitting). In 24 hours they will have built about 1/8" of wax around the cell cups. Damaged larvae are usually removed pretty quickly. I've checked back in just a few hours before and can get a pretty good idea of how well I did that time.

    -Tim

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    1,933

    Post

    If the wax cells need polishing, then I wonder if I should have polished the plastic cups that I waxed?? Ah, working against myself.

    The temps have dropped here so I can't check, we had a spot of flurries yesterday then rain all day. This morning was around 40 with a rumor of spotty fluries tonight. Our weather is manic. Should be warm enough Saturday to check.

    I have another frame set up ready to go again, I'll try the honey/water priming as I wasn't pulling out much jelly. I rolled quite a few larvae, so I'm not expecting much. At first it seemed required, but the last few cups went well. I should have grafted an entire frame for practice then grafted a second frame to actually use.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

    Post

    When you use the water/honey, only use what would be about 1/4 of a normal drop of water. I have a bamboo stick, (why I don't know other than it was handy), and dip the stick in the solution. I just kind of dab the stick in the cell. Just enough thats it gets wet. Too much and the larvae can drown.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,973

    Post

    michael ask:
    If the wax cells need polishing, then I wonder if I should have polished the plastic cups that I waxed?? Ah, working against myself.

    tecumseh replies:
    I would suspect so...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

    Post

    Split personality candidate??

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    GA, USA
    Posts
    183

    Post

    Bjorn: what ratio of honey to water do you use to prime with?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

    Post

    I use a shot glass. Honey is no more than enough to coat the bottom. Then I fill about half way up with water. Then stir. Must be something like 10 to 1 or even higher.

    I found the water/honey works well, but I think the main thing it does is keep the larvae from drying out. Once the cells are in the hive, not sure if the mixture or what you use really makes a difference at that point.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    1,933

    Post

    Thanks, the ratio was my next question.

    Will the waxed cups that did not take from my last grafting attempt be polished? :confused:

    Yes Michael, they will be polished.

    Good, thanks! [img]smile.gif[/img]

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,973

    Post

    michael sezs:
    I should have grafted an entire frame for practice then grafted a second frame to actually use.

    tecumseh adds:
    I find that when I begin rearing a few queens in the early sping here I am ALWAYS a bit awkward in doing my first bar of grafts. After one or two bars it become much more natural.

    the michael w sezs:
    Will the waxed cups that did not take from my last grafting attempt be polished?

    tecumseh answers:
    if the bees in the box are of sufficient numbers to cover all the frames then the wax cell cups that did not take the first graft are either most likely to be polished or knawed down to such an extent as to appear to be worthless.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    27,196

    Post

    Maybe you should start off by grafting from drones or older worker larva. They are easier to see.

    What kind of grafting tool are you all using?
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,205

    Post

    You can always double graft the first batch. [img]smile.gif[/img] Graft them, wait a day for them to feed them and then graft them again.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    1,933

    Post

    I'm using the chinese grafting tool with plastic cups that I waxed. Seemed like a good idea at the time.
    I made a copper wire tool that looks like it may work. I'm going to try a small paint brush too.

    I've found that I can see the eggs and larvae even in the white wax with white foundation, but when I was going through a hive before grafting, I couldn't tell because I wasn't looking closely enough. I think I will be able to find the right larvae in the hive I want to use next time. By the time I finished the one frame, I found the chinese tool could pull out larvae without having to see it. I started using it the wrong way, but I think the way to use it is to push it down along the side of the cell and let it bend at the bottom to scoop under the larvae. I read that here too. I did that a few times but not consistently.

    When you double graft, do you remove the larvae from the first graft? Or do you mean graft again into the cells that didn't take?

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,205

    Post

    >When you double graft, do you remove the larvae from the first graft? Or do you mean graft again into the cells that didn't take?

    You graft, let them start the cells, remove the larvae and graft again. The theory is to get lots of royal jelly. I think it's too much work with no real advantage, but it would give you the chance to get into practice. [img]smile.gif[/img]
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Drums, PA, USA
    Posts
    331

    Post

    I graft in the afternoon in the shade. 70 degrees will not dry them out like a 90 degree day. I usually graft with a flattened out paperclip, polished with an emory board. I usually dip it in alcohol, and clean it off with clean water. I like to put mu cups in the hive for a day for polishing and scent purposes. After that, I usually graft the smallest larvae I can see with magnifying glasses. I don't prime, but it probably would help getting the larva off the tool. Feeding the hive before hand sure helps that though. I prefer "clean" grafts, meaning the larva didn't roll around, and no foriegn matter ended up with the graft. If the starter box is setup properly, and loaded with bees, they take with decent results. I check on them the next day, because I want to know where I stand as far as takes. After, I'll check in 3 days, and then you have a really good idea as to where you stand.

    Double grafting to me, is getting alot of royal jelly. Do not use royal jelly from an older larva though, because it is not the same. They make it a crude mixture for workers. I do not double graft, but I still feel the key to grafting is tons of practice! Once you do it a few hundred times, it gets a little easier! But don't let anything discourage you from trying. It is one of the coolest things about beekeeping.
    Dale Richards<br />Dal-Col Apiaries<br />

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Lincolnton Ga. USA.
    Posts
    1,725

    Post

    there are some good reading about grafting in this month's Bee Culture Mag.
    Ted

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads