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Thread: 1rst Round

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Default 1rst Round

    I put together a cell starter the other day and grafted some larvae for the first time ever today. I started going cross eyed by the time I was finishing transferring larvae to cell cups. Hopefully I'll get a few queens out of the deal to start some nucs with in a few weeks.

    Larva on the end of the grafting tool.

    http://i165.photobucket.com/albums/u...e/IMG_2773.jpg

    Transferring larva to a cell cup.

    http://i165.photobucket.com/albums/u...e/IMG_2774.jpg

    Cell cups primed with a little honey, didn't have any royal jelly, and each contains a larva. I used the smallest larvae I could find.

    http://i165.photobucket.com/albums/u...e/IMG_2778.jpg

    Here's the frame from which I found larvae of appropriate age.

    http://i165.photobucket.com/albums/u...e/IMG_2775.jpg

    I was looking through the colonies today and have plenty of drones. If the cells don't take I'll try again here in a few days. I'm kinda scared I used too much honey to prime the cell cups. It seemed like I only put in a very small amount with the syringe but when I floated the larvae of the grating tool it seemed like a lot more was in the cups than there should have been. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Hanford Ca
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    146

    Default

    Gotta start somewhere. Good luck my fingers will be crossed for you. I would love to do that with that ferel hive I have.

    Angi

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    St. Albans, Vermont
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by WVbeekeeper View Post
    I'm kinda scared I used too much honey to prime the cell cups. It seemed like I only put in a very small amount with the syringe but when I floated the larvae of the grating tool it seemed like a lot more was in the cups than there should have been. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
    I've never primed a cup, and don't have any problems with acceptance. My usual take is 40-43 of 50 grafts. With those results, I can't see the benefit of priming. Why not try a chinese grafting tool..for less than $5. It picks up the larva and the puddle of jelly it sits on. Depositing the larva/jelly in the cup is just as simple. No chasing the larvae around the cell as with a stainless tool.

  4. #4
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    Apr 2005
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    College Station, Texas
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    Default

    WVbeekeeper writes:
    I started going cross eyed by the time I was finishing transferring larvae to cell cups. Hopefully I'll get a few queens out of the deal to start some nucs with in a few weeks.

    tecumseh suggest:
    1) next time get larvae from some very dark to absolulely black comb. you will be surprised how much the dark background helps. 2) get yourself one of those large magnifying glass + light on an extentable arm (when I had young eyes this device definitely helped in regards to eye strain... now it is essential).

    I think??? those plastic queen cell cups are sold as you don't really need to prime or polish the cups. priming does make the larvae come off the grafting tool a bit easier.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
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    Seattle, Washington State
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    Default

    I cant wait to start grafting. The only problem is is that it has been lightly snowing the last few days...

    where is spring???
    Chef Isaac..Culinary Arts and Honey are a sweet mix! http://www.sweetascanbeehoneyfarm.com & http://www.adoptahive.info

  6. #6
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    Feb 2008
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    Reno, NV USA
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    It's not meant as a criticism, but wasn't that larvae kind of old? When I graft 12-24 hr larvae they are either much smaller than the one shown in the photo, or I just wasn't seeing the larvae in the photo clearly. Also, I would think that priming with honey may cause some osmotic shock to the larvae. Maybe a pro can weigh in on this subject.
    When I purchased a dissecting microscope I also purchased a really nice LED light on a flexible arm. Having a cool bright light that can be focused to the bottom of the cell really helped me out. Also, I used the same type of grafting tool as shown in the photo, and found it very difficult to handle. It was like using a shovel to pick up a tiny larvae. The Swiss made tool seen in some of the catalogs (around $35) has really fine tips and is extremely well designed. The tips are fine enough where I can easily get the larvae off and into the cup. How Marla Spivak can work with a head lamp is beyond me. Speaking of Marla Spivak, her grafting video is excellent.
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/arch.../t-201285.html

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    College Station, Texas
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    upon review I think HVH comments about the size of the larvae is quite correct. I am however unfamilar with the style of your grafting tool. I use one of those automatic grafting tools from Kelleys and the larvae should be no larger (curled up) than the width of the tongue.

    do keeps us informed as to how your effort goes.

  8. #8
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    Jun 2007
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    Boone County, West Virginia, USA
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    Default

    I do appreciate all the help. This is why I wanted to post a few pictures and briefly explain what I'm doing (wrong). Thanks.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Santa Rosa, California
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    Default Don't use honey!

    Honey is not to be used. Priming the cell with royal jelly is the only way to do the job of grafting larve. Use older larver cells to get the jelly from. Remove the older larve for access to your sorce. Just a small amount is needed in each "Q" cell. Wet only the very bottom of the cell so the grafted larve will stick in the cell when the bar of cells is put back in a Queenless starter/finisher hive and fed with a feeder frame from the top super,not from a entrance feeder which will cause robbing when there is not a honey flow going on.


    Quote Originally Posted by WVbeekeeper View Post
    I put together a cell starter the other day and grafted some larvae for the first time ever today. I started going cross eyed by the time I was finishing transferring larvae to cell cups. Hopefully I'll get a few queens out of the deal to start some nucs with in a few weeks.

    Larva on the end of the grafting tool.

    http://i165.photobucket.com/albums/u...e/IMG_2773.jpg

    Transferring larva to a cell cup.

    http://i165.photobucket.com/albums/u...e/IMG_2774.jpg

    Cell cups primed with a little honey, didn't have any royal jelly, and each contains a larva. I used the smallest larvae I could find.

    http://i165.photobucket.com/albums/u...e/IMG_2778.jpg

    Here's the frame from which I found larvae of appropriate age.

    http://i165.photobucket.com/albums/u...e/IMG_2775.jpg

    I was looking through the colonies today and have plenty of drones. If the cells don't take I'll try again here in a few days. I'm kinda scared I used too much honey to prime the cell cups. It seemed like I only put in a very small amount with the syringe but when I floated the larvae of the grating tool it seemed like a lot more was in the cups than there should have been. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Boone County, West Virginia, USA
    Posts
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    Default

    I primed all the cells yesterday with royal jelly before transferring the larvae. I checked the cell starter today and all 27 cell cups are being drawn out. I'll take a picture when they get the job done. I can't wait to start making some nucs.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Troupsburg, NY
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by WVbeekeeper View Post
    I primed all the cells yesterday with royal jelly before transferring the larvae. I checked the cell starter today and all 27 cell cups are being drawn out. I'll take a picture when they get the job done. I can't wait to start making some nucs.

    Don't make your nucs based on the number started. Wait til there're capped and then make your nucs up.
    "I reject your reality, and substitute my own." Adam Savage

  12. #12
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    Dec 2005
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    Santa Rosa, California
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    Default Making up nucs

    Quote Originally Posted by WVbeekeeper View Post
    I primed all the cells yesterday with royal jelly before transferring the larvae. I checked the cell starter today and all 27 cell cups are being drawn out. I'll take a picture when they get the job done. I can't wait to start making some nucs.
    Cass....

    I would not make up the nuc till just before the new Queens are going to emerge. The easy way to tell this is when the bees in the finishing hive start to remove some of the wax from around the bottom of the cells. If your new nucs are made up too soon, they may draw their own Queen cells and will also destroy your new Queen cell when you add it to this nuc.

    Lee.

  13. #13
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    Default

    I bought a few nursery frames in which the queen cells can emerge. I also have some of those plastic queen intro cages I was planning on using. I know it would be easier to add the queen cells to a nuc but would it be better than giving them a queen which has already emerged which they have to release from the cage?

    >The easy way to tell this is when the bees in the finishing hive start to remove some of the wax from around the bottom of the cells.

    I checked out "The Complete Guide to Beekeeping" by Roger Morse and have been reading it. It had some pictures of queen cells with some of the wax removed at the tip so I know exactly what you are talking about.

    I may not be around when the queens emerge so they will most likely end up in the nursery frame. If my thinking is correct they would only be in the nursery frames for one or two days before I get back to take care of them. If I use the queen cells to make the nucs I'll have to do it next Sunday, otherwise it will be the following Friday or Saturday with queens which have emerged.

  14. #14
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    Dec 2005
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    Santa Rosa, California
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    Default An easy way to get some queens

    Quote Originally Posted by WVbeekeeper View Post
    I bought a few nursery frames in which the queen cells can emerge. I also have some of those plastic queen intro cages I was planning on using. I know it would be easier to add the queen cells to a nuc but would it be better than giving them a queen which has already emerged which they have to release from the cage?

    >The easy way to tell this is when the bees in the finishing hive start to remove some of the wax from around the bottom of the cells.

    I checked out "The Complete Guide to Beekeeping" by Roger Morse and have been reading it. It had some pictures of queen cells with some of the wax removed at the tip so I know exactly what you are talking about.

    I may not be around when the queens emerge so they will most likely end up in the nursery frame. If my thinking is correct they would only be in the nursery frames for one or two days before I get back to take care of them. If I use the queen cells to make the nucs I'll have to do it next Sunday, otherwise it will be the following Friday or Saturday with queens which have emerged.
    Cass,

    If you really want a quick way to make some queens, try this: Find a good quality Queen that you like with bees that work good around your way of working them.... Put the Queen in a nuc box with a couple of frames of bees and capped brood and a frame that has space for the Queen to lay eggs into in between the brood. Add some honey frames on the outside of the nuc box. Put this behind the hive with the entrance facing the opposite direction of the original hive you are going to raise the Queens from.

    Add this nuc back when you have your Queens or put it in a new hive.... This middle frame in the nuc can be switched back to the starter/finisher hive after the queen has layed in it, if the first try didn't take in the next step. A new empty brood frame should be given back to the Queen nuc box's center frame position when you do this next step.

    Now your ready to start...... Find a frame of brood with all the cells layed about the same time in the center of the frame on one side with day old eggs, they can be primed or not by the nurse bees.... Take a nail and make a grid of grooves following the cells so every other cell is distroyed, kind of like a tick-tac-toe grid but big enought for the amount of Queens you want to have pluss some.... This allows the cell bilders to creat a nice Queen cell for each of the un-distroyed eggs left in the frame. ...Now lay this frame in the center with the cells you just scratched out facing down over the brood on top of the frame bars.... Now space this frame so you have at least one half inch between the drawn comb containing the eggs you have chosen and the top bars of the brood frames.... Or, in the past I made a section of a super, about 2 inches high, notched out for the top bar to rest, on its side, and added a small support in the box to catch the botton of the frame..... This will allow you to open the hive and check the progress of the cells being drawn out into Queen cells. A super can be added with more bees and honey to this hive and a feeder frame can be used if you find there is not a honey flow going in your location.

    Watch the developement of the cells. You'll find that as the cells are drawn out and capped you can have a good idea of how many divides you will need to make up....

    If its a week of time before you visit your yard maybe you should do the queen cells at home so you can check on them every other day or so. This is a must so you can get a good idea of the process taking place inside the starter/finisher hive!
    Lee....

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Santa Rosa, California
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    Default Push on Queen cell protectors

    Quote Originally Posted by WVbeekeeper View Post
    I bought a few nursery frames in which the queen cells can emerge. I also have some of those plastic queen intro cages I was planning on using. I know it would be easier to add the queen cells to a nuc but would it be better than giving them a queen which has already emerged which they have to release from the cage?

    >The easy way to tell this is when the bees in the finishing hive start to remove some of the wax from around the bottom of the cells.

    I checked out "The Complete Guide to Beekeeping" by Roger Morse and have been reading it. It had some pictures of queen cells with some of the wax removed at the tip so I know exactly what you are talking about.

    I may not be around when the queens emerge so they will most likely end up in the nursery frame. If my thinking is correct they would only be in the nursery frames for one or two days before I get back to take care of them. If I use the queen cells to make the nucs I'll have to do it next Sunday, otherwise it will be the following Friday or Saturday with queens which have emerged.
    Cass....
    I don't know if Walter T. Kelly Company,1-800-233-2899 is still around. I purchassed some Queen cell protectors.from his catalog years ago.You push them in the comb under the cell that are ripe. They worked very well to keep all the Queens from getting in to the fight for rule. Someone might know if his family is still there in Clarkson Kentucky My catalog is from 2000. What also works.... I would roll up some cut screen and cap it with some wax rolled into a small ball with a nail in the top to hold it over the Queen cells
    Lee....

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Boone County, West Virginia, USA
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    Default

    Since I knew last fall that I wanted to raise some queens this year, I took it upon myself to submit samples of bees from my colonies.

    Registering Your Apiary and Submitting Samples for Testing


    I used all of my overwintered colonies for making nucs last year. One of these colonies, a swarm I picked up in Carbo, VA in '06, came back positive for tracheal mites. No colonies tested positive for nosema. Less than half of the samples had varroa. Included in the samples were bees from the nucs which I started with the feral daughters. Both of these nucs came back negative for tracheal mites though they were started from a colony which tested positive. Could this indicate that the feral queens I am raising are resistant to tracheal mites? Since I don't want to breed with drones from that colony and another colony which is a little ill tempered (can't work it without gloves) I moved them into a raspberry patch before any drones hatched out and got left behind.

    http://i165.photobucket.com/albums/u...-18-7A_019.jpg

    I took that picture of those two colonies mentioned above a few weeks ago. If you could read the writing on the back of the colonies you would see that I wrote "tracheal mites" on one and "hot" on the other. I will be breaking those two colonies down into nucs after the raspberry bloom dries up and will give them some of the queens I am raising. After a sufficient amount of time has passed I'll send more samples of the nucs which come from the one with the tracheal mites for testing. If no tracheal mites show up in the samples it will confirm the test results which I received back from Beltsville last fall. As a small time (very small) beekeeper, I do have the luxury to submit samples and quarantine unwanted colonies to other locations in the late winter before rearing queens. I'm not bashing anyone, but I wonder how many of the big time commercial breeders test their colonies and what steps they take if they have a problem to keep the ill drones and nurse bees (don't want to stock minis with infected bees) away from the young virgin queens.

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