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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    bryan, texas
    Posts
    196

    Default killing larvae - Stop the madness!

    i tried grafting 3 times last summer..

    On a frame with 26 cups, only one started on one of the tries. But i managed to drop the frame and squish the cell.. the other two times nothing. zip.. nada..

    one thing i might had done wrong was using a queenless nuc to raise the cells..

    Maybe not enough bees... i put a lot, but it was only 5 frames in the nuc. So maybe i need to try a 10 framer with triple the bees..

    now.. someone said i probably was turning the larvae over and suffocating them. Didnt know they had lungs, but ok.... Any hints or help on how to know how to pick one out?

    I read in an earlier post where someone took an empty frame and stuck a queen on it and inserted it inside the hive with vertical queen excluders on the side. Do you just take plastic ones and cut them on a saw or ?
    Then the queen would lay only on that frame so you know how old they are..

    What I would do is find eggs and look around that area.. If i saw a tiny larvae that was right next to an egg, i assumed it was three days old and had just hatched. Those were the ones i used.

    Was wondering if i should get a nicot cage since i have all the other stuff, but not sure if im just doing things wrong or what..

    Now texas is not the most abundant of flow when i tried it in july, so i dont know if the bees were not happy with no flow... Also it's very humid here, but i dont know how long a larvae can be out of the hive before it dries up...

    so there ya go... tell me what im doing wrong.

    d

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,383

    Default Re: killing larvae - Stop the madness!

    Quote Originally Posted by avalonweddingsbcs View Post
    i tried grafting 3 times last summer..

    On a frame with 26 cups, only one started on one of the tries. so there ya go... tell me what im doing wrong.

    d
    Hard to say sitting here in Vermont at my computer. There are several reasons for grafts not to be accepted.

    Yes, you could be flipping over the larva. I understand that larvae have a snorkle. If you flip them over they suffocate. I find it hard to imagine you would graft 78 larvae and flip all but 1 on one cell bar.

    I would think you would get more than 1 of 78 even if you didn't have the nuc stocked well enough.

    The queen excluded breeder box works great but you said that you used very young larvae, so that's not it. Such a box only helps with scheduling when grafting large numbers of larvae.

    You say that at grafting time in Texas..."Now texas is not the most abundant of flow when i tried it in july, so i dont know if the bees were not happy with no flow... Also it's very humid here, but i dont know how long a larvae can be out of the hive before it dries up..."

    I'm going with this. It very well could have to do with lack of flow or damage to the larvae by drying out. The flow can be imitated by feeding 1:1 syrup continously...from the day before making the cell builder queenless until after the cells are sealed. Remember to include a good fresh pollen comb next to the graft. The temperature/humidity can be controlled. Where are you grafting? Outdoors in the sun? On the front seat of your car? Indoors?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Weirsdale,Florida,USA
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: killing larvae - Stop the madness!

    here is a way to make Queens without grafting here this is were i found it
    hope that helps

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    bryan, texas
    Posts
    196

    Default Re: killing larvae - Stop the madness!

    was grafting in a building that is about 200 ft away from the hives...

    it;s got a table and chair and light ... and i can take my veil off cause there are no bees inside.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Phelps Co. Missouri USA
    Posts
    856

    Default Re: killing larvae - Stop the madness!

    You did not say, were you using plastic cell cups, if so I understand it is best to put them in the hive and let the bees 'polish' them for a day before grafting.

    Also I hear that if after brushing bees off of frame, cover with a 'warm' damp towel until you start grafting, also misting the cups lightly with water helps to keep the egg/larva from drying out.

    I am no expert at all, however Michael Palmer definitely is !


    PCM

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Green Lane, PA
    Posts
    839

    Default Re: killing larvae - Stop the madness!

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    The flow can be imitated by feeding 1:1 syrup continously...from the day before making the cell builder queenless until after the cells are sealed. Remember to include a good fresh pollen comb next to the graft.
    Last year I was running into some problems getting grafts accepted in July. At the advice of Mike Palmer I started feeding 1:1 syrup and low and behold I had every cell accepted except one, 45 out of 46.

    I use plastic cells and do NOT place them into the hive the day prior to grafting. I also have had good success making my cell builders the day of the graft, not the day before. This is simply out of necessity because my real job has me on the road all the time, so things have to be timed for the weekend.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    Yes, you could be flipping over the larva. I understand that larvae have a snorkle. If you flip them over they suffocate.
    I have heard this quite often, but from my own observations I'm not so sure. I know there has been times where I have flipped them and everything seems to work out. I think this year I will purposely flip over larvae on a complete bar and compare it to the other two bars.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Terrell, Texas, USA
    Posts
    281

    Default Re: killing larvae - Stop the madness!

    Have been grafting in Texas for a couple of years. Here is what works for me.

    July is pretty hot and the larvae will dry out pretty quick. Take a damp towel and and empty nuc with you. Remove the frame you are going to graft from and cover with a damp towel for transport to the grafting room. Since we are talking summer I will dispense with making sure the grafting room is warm. However, you might sprinkle a little water on the floor to increase the humidity.

    I "wet graft", that is, I graft into a drop of royal jelly. You can buy organic royal jelly online but be prepared, it is a little pricey. Use a 1 (one) cc syringe without the needle and put one drop into each cup. You can prime about 12 to 13 cells with 1 cc of royal jelly. This will allow you to "float" the larvae off the grafting needle with little problem.

    Two to four hours prior to grafting, I make up a starter colony using a 5 frame nuc built as noted in the book "Scientific Queen Rearing". An excellent read. This is an enclosed nuc with an extended screened in bottom. That is, no bees can come and go. In this nuc, add a wet sponge for water in the bottom, 2 frames of pollen/bee bread and two frames of honey (I like to find honey that is partially capped or just prior to capping. To this I add the nurse bees from about 6 frames. I think this about 3 lbs. Let this all set a couple of hours before adding the grafts.

    Jar the bees to the bottom of the nuc and install the grafts in the center space. If it is really hot, take the nuc indoors or at least in the shade. In 24 hours the grafts will be started and you will be able to see the "take". Move from starter to finisher at the point. Usually graft from 28 to 36 cells at a time into one nuc and have gotten as high as 98% (in October) take.

    Alternately (and this has been working really well), leave the cells in the starter for 48 hours. They will be drawn from 1/2 to 3/4 inch at this point. Being very careful, move the individual cells into queenless nucs (splits). The bees in the nuc will finish the cell and think it is their own queen. Use your imagination for requeening established colonies at this point.

    BTW, I use JZBZ cell cups and have found little need to let the bees polish them. Wax cups would be a different story I think.

    The above is not original, see Larry Connors recent article (in ABJ I think, maybe July or Aug) regarding this very procedure.

    I know I left out a few details. Suggest Larry Connors book on Queen Rearing and the above referenced "Scientific Queen Rearing.

    Queen rearing is one of those exercizes that all Beekeepers should endeavor. It WILL make you a better, more observant Beek.

    Good Luck,

    Tom
    Last edited by Flyman; 12-09-2010 at 04:57 PM. Reason: Detail
    Tom
    "All Men are Equal before Fish"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Knox County, Ohio
    Posts
    2,694

    Default Re: killing larvae - Stop the madness!

    was grafting in a building that is about 200 ft away from the hives...

    it;s got a table and chair and light ... and i can take my veil off cause there are no bees inside.


    How long did it take you to graft? Did the larvae dry out before you got them back in a hive?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    bryan, texas
    Posts
    196

    Default Re: killing larvae - Stop the madness!

    basically would take a frame and walk to the building, sit down, take out 26 larvae, and take it right back out... probably not more than 15 minutes at the table...

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