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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Frederick County, Maryland, USA
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    420

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    A larger queen producer (>10,000.00 queens/season) I have known for years
    uses "bought" royal jelly. I'm not sure where he gets his from, but I'd be glad to ask him and post back here,
    or put you in contact with him Bjorn--you'd need to answer my email though.

    Adam Finkelstein
    adamf7@gmail.com

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,739

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    >does anyone one here double graft

    I tried it and could see no difference. It's a lot more work.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,973

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    tarheit writes:
    I really don't see why anyone producing queens would need to buy royal jelly.

    It takes little more time than you are already spending, costs almost nothing and avoids any risk of bringing in viruses, foulbrood, etc.


    Of course priming is not necessary. I've had perfect takes without it, but I simply find it easier and quicker to graft with more consistent results. Larvae also are not as likely to dry out. The makeup of royal jelly the workers feed the larvae actually changes with the age of the larvae, so the workers will end up changing out the jelly you put in there anyways.

    tecumseh writes:
    exactly...
    1)place a frame of green brood into a swarm box and you will likely have all the royal jelly you could possible need in about one day from the wild cells that are pulled. it is also not a bad way to see if a swarm box is queenless.

    2) priming a cell is likely more advantagous to someone just beginning queen rearing than someone with lots of queens under their belt. if you have little grafting experience it will make removing the larvae much easier.

    3) in regards to variables humidity is more important than temperature. although one variable is more important than the other, but if you desire some level of success you likely need to control both.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Seattle, Washington State
    Posts
    4,398

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    I would laso add to tecs comments is that priming could be good for the beginner as they are still new and slow to grafting. Without priming, the larvae have a chance to dry out.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Owen, WI, USA
    Posts
    2,560

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    I don't think there is any correlation between newbee grafters and RJ.

    We learned from a couple commercial guys that had been grafting for 30 years; they use RJ. Another guy we know who raises Qs commercially on a large scale uses RJ. We bought packages for years from a package producer/Q rearer who uses RJ for his own needs plus Q sales. I am not sure whom among them buy or harvest their own, but it was one of them that recommended Stakich to us; it was where they got theirs.

    I think RJ or not has more to do with how they were taught to begin with. I know someone that has raised their own Qs and cells for others (thousands a year) priming with diluted Coca Cola. "Things go better with Coke" ?

    As far as speed of grafting being a factor, while large scale Q rearers are faster than beginners, they graft way more frames before sticking them in the starters, so actually may have them out longer. They do take pains to control the humidity.

    Sheri

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Manitoba, Canada, North of the 50th Parallel
    Posts
    218

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Hawkins View Post
    Mr. Hofer, where did you get that idea? I never heard of it and am just curious. Not arguing.

    Hawk
    I'm assuming this is me . At any rate, i read somewhere that some people use a diluted honey & water mixture to prime their cell cups. So I started priming my cells with a small amount of honey acquired from the edges of the frames. Well, honey is good, but royal jelly might be better, even if it's not the "prime" royal jelly that the youngest larvae get.

    Usually, I graft from a frame with larvae that have a variable age. The larvae that is older (maybe 3 days after hatching) has quite a lot of extra royal jelly, and I just scoop out a little to prime my cell cups with. I find it better in getting the larvae off the grafting tool, and I'm quite sure that it doesn't hurt the larvae too much... Even if Jay Smith claims that the bees remove the older royal jelly anyways.
    I've raised some really good queens this way, although I can't give too much credit to the grafting. The cell starters & finishers are REALLY important too.
    Happiness comes from within

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Seattle, Washington State
    Posts
    4,398

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    Sheri:

    Royal jelly provides a cussion of insurance while the begginer grafts. It is duel purpose... it is easier to get the larvae off the grafting tool and provides extra moisture to avoid drying out.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,739

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    The Jenter box gives me all the royal jelly that is there which works well. The Chinese grafting tool gives me most of the royal jelly that is there which also works well.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,973

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    mr hofer sezs:
    Even if Jay Smith claims that the bees remove the older royal jelly anyways.

    tecumseh replies:
    well I would suspect that jay smith didn't suggest that ALL the older royal jelly was removed..... just some. from what I have read the composition of royal jelley changes as the larvae developes. so it would seem reasonable that the bees don't really consider all royal jelly equivalent and likely remove (and I would suspect this royal jelly is recycled) are replaced with royal jelly of the proper kind.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Manitoba, Canada, North of the 50th Parallel
    Posts
    218

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    The Jenter box gives me all the royal jelly that is there which works well. The Chinese grafting tool gives me most of the royal jelly that is there which also works well.

    I agree Mr. Bush. Originally I wanted to do my queen rearing with the Jenter kit. However, after numerous unsuccessful tries I was forced to graft and have been having excellent success.

    My problem with the Jenter kit was always the same over a period of a few years. Can be read here.

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=201368
    Happiness comes from within

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,739

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    >Jenter
    I've never had a problem with the eggs disappearing if it was in the brood nest of a strong hive. Feeding doesn't hurt either.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Manitoba, Canada, North of the 50th Parallel
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    218

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >Jenter
    I've never had a problem with the eggs disappearing if it was in the brood nest of a strong hive. Feeding doesn't hurt either.
    Well, one more try this coming spring.

    Happiness comes from within

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Fredericksburg, Va
    Posts
    798

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    Have not tried the Jenter but early trials with Nicot, I had no problem once the queen layed in the cups. I will try again in the spring.
    I also harvested a bit of royal jelly from a few cups and froze it in a small vial. I also want to try the grafting method (primed with RJ/water) but wanted Nicot as primary method until learning curve is behind me.
    Bee all you can Bee!
    http://www.hamiltonapiary.net

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Casper, Wy, USA
    Posts
    807

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    Hi Guys,

    I've reared tens of thousands of queens in my own little queen business and have a few observations. Now I going to stir the pot :>)

    The best queens are raised by healthy, well fed bees without any interference from man. When we attempt to rear queens disruption and colony degradation occurs. So, as queen rearers, the best queens will be reared when disruptions are minimized and any degradation shifted from the queen rearing functions to another aspect of the colony.

    Early, in my queen rearing, I tested priming versus non-priming. I was using standard grafting tools, in a very hot, dry climate. Priming provided somewhat better results than dry grafting.

    Royal jelly is very easy to obtain and didn't need to be purchased. If grafting on a 4 - 3 schedule, just pull a few three day old cells from a previous graft. The royal jelly is fresh, so no nutrition degradation. It's from your hives. So, no disease worries. Three or four cells worth of royal jelly diluted will prime a thousand cups.

    Knowing that the bees increase the sugar content of royal jelly for a queen, I thought maybe I could do better. What would happen if I increased the sugar content a little more? So, I tried adding honey at various amounts to the distilled water used to dilute the royal jelly. Amounts varied from just a trace through 50%. When you're grafting more than a thousand at a pop, it's easy to sacrifice a few bars for a test. Results, any messing with the royal jelly negatively impacted acceptance. And as sugar increased queen rearing became intermorph rearing.

    Up till then, I'd lost sight of one important aspect. And it's real easy to do this when queen rearing. That is, the bees simply do bee stuff best. That means we must cooperate as much as possible with the bees. Our job is provide the best possible environment with as little interference as possible. All our methods should be evaluated from this perspective.

    So, why did I prime those cells? It was a better way to approximate a natural situation than dry grafting with a standard tool, that removes only the larva and leaves their pool of royal jelly behind.

    Are there ways to rear queens that involve no disturbance to the young larva. Methods and tools have been invented that do just that. Swarm cells can be used. The Alley and Hopkins methods work. A brass tool has been used in Eastern Europe that will surgically extract a larva with lower cell and base intact. And a modern derivation where plastic contraptions allow a larva and royal jelly pool to be pulled out intact. But most of these don't really work very well in a commercial environment. Failure rates are too high. Or production rates too low/unpredictable.

    With a Chinese grafting tool, the larva and royal jelly pool are removed with minimal disturbance. After converting to this tool without priming, my grafting take improved beyond what it was with a standard grafting tool with priming. See

    http://www.bwrangler.com/bee/qtoo.htm

    Regards
    Dennis
    I once wrangled bees. But now, I know better, so I do better.
    http://talkingstick.me/category/bees/

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Seattle, Washington State
    Posts
    4,398

    Default

    link did not work.

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