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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Sidney, Montana, USA
    Posts
    97

    Default Grafting with aging eyes

    One of my plans for this next year is to start grafting for queen rearing. However my nearly 50 year old eyes need a little help. I have glasses for up close things. I have seen some people grafting in the sun and others under a light inside . Any advice anyone can share would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Suffolk, NY, USA
    Posts
    1,243

    Default Re: Grafting with aging eyes

    way easier, why fight?

    notching & cut cell methods gives me all the queens I need for my re-queening and nucs.
    even have some to sell most times.
    http://www.beesource.com/resources/e...t-cell-method/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Henry, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Grafting with aging eyes

    I have not started grafting yet but this is what I use when I want to see tiny. About the best working magnification is 2.75. Any higher and the work is too close. http://www.amazon.com/Donegan-OptiVi.../dp/B0068OSIIS

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
    Posts
    2,504

    Default Re: Grafting with aging eyes

    I have 20 years on you Started using readers at age 50. I still graft. Actually hundreds of queen a year. In life we cannot always conform to what we want, so we must make what we want to conform to us. I have a bench mounted magnifying glass with an articulating arm, and a light built into it around the magnifier. I use plastic foundation so I can easily strip off the wax to expose newly hatched larva. seeing them, and moving them to the cells is child's play with the magnifying glass. If I ever get shaky hands I am done, but doing delicate work on a regular basis is what I believe keeps them from getting shaky.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
    Posts
    50

    Default Re: Grafting with aging eyes

    Both light and magnification are important. I would recommend a head mounted magnifying loupe with illumination. As an example: http://www.amazon.com/SE-Headband-Ma.../dp/B0018MH9VM

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    1,711

    Default Re: Grafting with aging eyes

    I use the magnifier lens mounted on a headband that Harbor Freight sells. It came with 4 lens of different strengths and was reasonably priced. I found that not drinking my morning pot of coffee helps. I also graft from new comb built on plastic foundation that can be removed down to the plastic without disturbing the larvae, put it back in the hive and the bees rebuild the damaged spot overnight, then I wash out any remaining brood before it is capped and save the frame to be used again.
    38 years - 25 colonies, 32 Nucs - IPM disciple - Naturally Skeptic

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    3,179

    Default Re: Grafting with aging eyes

    I use this one: http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com...oductinfo/239/

    Probably cheaper ones available of equal or better quality, but I have no complaints with this one.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Laurel Hill, Fl
    Posts
    711

    Default Re: Grafting with aging eyes

    I bought one of these, pricey but lots of light and very clear. Now seeing is not my problem, I still can't graft worth a darn....
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ilpage_o02_s00
    Robbin NW Florida(8A) / 13 hives / 3 nd Year / T {OAV}

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Barrie, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    982

    Default Re: Grafting with aging eyes

    I have this one (Randy Oliver recommended it on his site). I am happy enough with it. I am always grafting in the truck out in the yard, so a desk mount unit wouldn't work.

    http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B007CDJKM2/r...332290_TE_dp_1
    Adam - Zone 5A
    www.adamshoney.com

  10. #10

    Default Re: Grafting with aging eyes

    My eyes wouldn't allow me to graft...at all. You may want to consider a graftless system like Jenter. Even I can use those.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Sidney, Montana, USA
    Posts
    97

    Default Re: Grafting with aging eyes

    I appreciate the suggestions. I had considered staying with a graftless system but I really want to learn to graft. I think I will be fine with a lighted magnifier . At first I was a little intimidated by the grafting . But now I am looking forward to trying it.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Barrie, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    982

    Default Re: Grafting with aging eyes

    It's really not that bad. Get a Chinese tool and graft out of an older, darker brood comb - it will have harder comb and rounded cell bottoms that will make like easier. Take you time and do one cell bar at time placing each bar in the hive when complete so you don't have to worry about the larvae drying out.

    Best of luck
    Adam - Zone 5A
    www.adamshoney.com

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    syracuse n.y.
    Posts
    2,598

    Default Re: Grafting with aging eyes

    Quote Originally Posted by Munson View Post
    I have not started grafting yet but this is what I use when I want to see tiny. About the best working magnification is 2.75. Any higher and the work is too close. http://www.amazon.com/Donegan-OptiVi.../dp/B0068OSIIS
    I use the same item, they also offer lights that go around the lenses, makes it easier to see the lava, couldn't find the link to them though.

    found it

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...cm_cr-mr-title
    mike syracuse ny
    I went to bed mean, and woke up meaner. Marshal Dillon

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Topeka, Kansas, USA
    Posts
    134

    Default Re: Grafting with aging eyes

    I use a eyeglasses loupe, and a headlamp I made from a couple of free Harbor Freight flashlights. I have some pictures of it on my website @ http://mannell.net/?p=9 There's also some stuff about cell punching.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    6,071

    Default Re: Grafting with aging eyes

    Bushnell magnifier and LED headlamp. Temperature control both air conditioner/heater. Roll the windows up and no mosquitos or robber bees to annoy me.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Clinton, Iowa
    Posts
    2,527

    Default Re: Grafting with aging eyes

    Michael, how is the interior of your Jeep so clean?!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Champaign, Illinois
    Posts
    393

    Default Re: Grafting with aging eyes

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    Bushnell magnifier and LED headlamp. Temperature control both air conditioner/heater. Roll the windows up and no mosquitos or robber bees to annoy me.


    The mag thing is at Harbor Freight for $5 and the led lights are at walmart for like $14.
    Have the same tools but not quite there on driver's seat grafting. Thought I was the only one who runs the heat and AC to dry things off. Brilliant!
    Internet credibility is an oxymoron

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    1,385

    Default Re: Grafting with aging eyes

    A few more suggestions:

    1) Make certain there are no queen cells or queens in the Starter;

    2)graft from frames with black plastic foundation - this helps as much as magnification;

    3) if you can't drive up to them, use a tent (in the shade, with sunlight coming in the front door), a garage, or other convenient room;

    4) fill up a bucket with 95 degree F water to soak your towel in - cover grafted cells with the warm, damp towel as you go, and to keep your spray bottle warm - spray the cell cups before you graft;

    5) graft only 1 BAR, not frame of 3 bars, at a time. Place the frame with the one bar in the Starter when it's filled. Go back to the Jeep or the tent, graft the next bar. Go add it to the queen cell frame in the Starter. Go back to the Jeep or tent, graft the 3rd bar (August is awfully late in the year to be grafting that many cells...) and go place it into the queen cell frame in the Starter.

    6) I use an LED flashlight with half-used batteries so the light is not too bright. I think I actually see the grubs better with less reflection off the royal jelly, but how much light is up to you, time of day / night, etc. You can also bounce the light off the ceiling - whatever makes the larvae show up best.

    7) Screw Harbor Freight and WalMart! Buy American!
    Last edited by kilocharlie; 08-07-2015 at 10:09 PM.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Pell City,Alabama,USA
    Posts
    295

    Default Re: Grafting with aging eyes

    I avoided grafting for years because people made it sound difficult, it's really not that hard. My eyes are bad enough that I can't read without reading glasses. I have a cheap pair of strong reading glasses that I use when I'm welding that works just fine; along with an LED Maglite.
    The larvae dries out very fast so it's best to rob some royal jelley from a donor cell to graft onto, and as others said keep grafts out of the wind and cover with a warm cloth. If you drag the larvae up the side of the cell or roll it over you need to discard and try again.
    Graft the smallest larvae you can see next to and around eggs. Some will be so young that they will not have much royal jelley in them yet, if you use these priming cells first will be best. After you graft a while you will be able to recognize when larvae is 12 hrs old and less and 12 hrs to 24 hrs old. I use a Chinese grafting tool, but buy a half a dozen because some of them aren't worth a flip.
    I would encourage everyone interested to try it because to me it's just not that difficult.
    The big thing to me is setting up your starter/finisher.

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