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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Princess Anne, Maryland
    Posts
    174

    Default Grafting tool thought

    I will be attempting to graft next season. I do not think I will be buying a grafting tool, but instead make one. My thought is to take the last quarter inch of a paper clip and bend it back on itself. Then take a hammer and flatten it some, put a slight angle on it to get in the cells. Will this work or will the end be to wide?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    King County, Washington
    Posts
    121

    Default Re: Grafting tool thought

    Take a flat head tooth pick and shave the small end down till very thin. Gently nibble on it to moisten it and shape into a curved end. It will take you a few tries, but in time you'll find what thickness works for you. This will be the best grafting tool you'll ever use

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    2,228

    Default Re: Grafting tool thought

    Yes it will work....the chinese tools are pretty cheap and inexpensive too.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Bloomington,In
    Posts
    162

    Default Re: Grafting tool thought

    The Chinese grafting tool is what I use. Cheap and easy to use. You could easily make one like you stated or the toothpick.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Rome, Ga USA
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Grafting tool thought

    I agree the toothpick method is the best. You can buy hundreds for a few dollars. I keep my toothpick in my mouth. Chew the end to flatten and then dip in water while working with it. I have found the moist tip actually helps to keep the larva from drying out, increasing the acceptance rate.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    4,130

    Default Re: Grafting tool thought

    Welcome to Bee Source, Georgiabeeman!

    I don't chew on the toothpick. Instead I use a
    sharp knife to carve a curve shape out and then scoop the larva out of
    the cell. Lately I have been thinking about using a skillet stick to
    make a scoop out of it. And at the opposite end put a foam wrap to
    make it bigger for better grip on the handle.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Jefferson Co, TX
    Posts
    1,370

    Default Re: Grafting tool thought

    I have failed terribly at grafting and have tried multiple homemade tools. The toothpick method has not worked. Not sure if it is my eyes, size of larvae I picked, or something else like me smashing larvae with the toothpick. They are basically 1 mm maggots, so killing should be easy. And I have succeeded quite a bit at this apparently.

    So I have some of the chinese grafting tools for this spring.

    Not trying to discourage you, just pointing out my issues. Good Luck
    Started 9/13, building slowly, now @ 12 Lang hives and no treatment yet

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Yuba County, California, USA
    Posts
    4,686

    Default Re: Grafting tool thought

    My very first grafting tool was one I made out of a paper clip and it worked fabulously. The only other tool that has even come close to working as well for me is the Chinese grafting tool, and I think it even works a little better than the paper clip.
    20+ years, raise my own queens, feed when needed, I treat but have not perfected varroa management yet.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    N.E. KY
    Posts
    837

    Default Re: Grafting tool thought

    The only thing I used last year was the Chinese tool. I bought 75 of them in bulk to sell a few off to club members, nobody was interested. It is a great tool to pick up all the jelly and easy to lay all the jelly down with it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Ferndale, WA
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: Grafting tool thought

    This last spring was my first attempt at grafting, prior to this I used the Nicot system sold by Mann Lake. I learned a trick from a more seasoned beekeeper. He uses a 00 artist paint brush. This is a very small brush used to paint really fine lines. The 00 brush is dipped into water or royal jelly and the tip of the brush is pushed along the cell wall and works its way under the larva. The larva remains on the tip of the brush until the brush is twisted on the bottom of the queen cup releasing the larva. It works pretty slick, just be careful not to roll the the new larva.

    As for magnification, my eyesight is not as good as it used to be. I went to Harbor Freight and bought a 5 pack of monocles for few bucks and glued one to an old pair of eye glasses. Kinda what jewelers use. I can now see the tiny larva in the bottom of the cells even if it has only a few inch focal length.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    50,030

    Default Re: Grafting tool thought

    I can pick up much smaller larvae with a Chinese grafting tool than any other tool I have purchased and made most every kind. But yes, with some tweaking you can make the paper clip work. Maybe not the way you are currently envisioning it, but a decent grafting tool can be made out of a paper clip. Copper wire may be easier to work with...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 41y 200h 38yTF

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma dr. Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2,064

    Default Re: Grafting tool thought

    Someone should patent one with the image stabilizer on it like they have for anti shake in cameras! About 10X Zoom would be a plus too!
    Frank

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Newport, N.H.
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Grafting tool thought

    There used to be I think Walter T Kelly company that carried these before. Magnifying lense on German graft tool.

    http://irishbeehives.com/?product=gr...gnifying-glass
    Kevin Sargent

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    4,166

    Default Re: Grafting tool thought

    I'm trying some aspiration in 2016, I'll keep everyone updated on how it works.

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