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  1. #1
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    Jan 2010
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    Default Proper age for grafting

    Can someone explain to me what size larvae exactly I am looking for? Nobody can give me a concise answer....

    mike
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    New Albany, Ohio, USA
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    Default Re: Proper age for grafting

    Mike,

    I suggest beekeepers use an egg for comparison. When the larva first hatches it is slightly smaller than the egg. I prefer to graft larvae that are just slightly larger than eggs. There is a trade off here. The smaller larvae are harder to see and more delicate, so your over success rate may be lower than if you graft larger larvae.

    Joe
    Breeder Queens & Honey Bee Nutritional Supplements
    www.latshawapiaries.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Proper age for grafting

    Mike, the answer to your question is a larvae that is in it's first day of larvaehood. Many call this a three day old larvae, because the egg morphs into a larvae on the third day. You can tell which one to pick if you choose the larvae that are right next to the eggs, which are still standing.

    Does that help?
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: Proper age for grafting

    Right after the hatch, at 3 1/2 days, is the perfect age. If they are just an imperfection on top of a small pool of clear liquid, that's the right age. If you can see them, but they haven't filled the bottom of the cell, you can probably get away with them that age, but I prefer younger. If you confine a queen and look at the cells four days later you'll have a lot of them that age.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Brandon, MS USA
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    Re: Proper age for grafting

    I will take some pics for you... have a cold front coming in, so it will be Tuesday before we get back into the hives to graft again... I prefer the absolute smallest.. most of the time you can follow the eggs back in a pattern to the larvae.. the spot where the eggs stop and a tiny pool of "blue shimmer" starts, that is were you want to start... a day older will yield a better take, but the quality will not be as high... grafting starved the larvae for a short while as the nurses clean out the remaining jelly and begin to give it new, fresh jelly... the larvae that are grafted before they begin to gorge will be less effected by this period and have more development time as a queen, instead of as a worker.

    Hope this helps!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Proper age for grafting

    MB, that is great on paper, but the larvae do not wave little flags telling you how old they are!

    Mike
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Nelson, South Island, New Zealand
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    Default Re: Proper age for grafting

    Kingfisher, Michael also told you what 3 1/2 day old lavae looks like.

    " If they are just an imperfection on top of a small pool of clear liquid, that's the right age. "

    There you go no flag waving needed.

    frazz

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    Southern Oregon
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    Default Re: Proper age for grafting

    The clear liquid is key, as the larvae get older the jelly will become milky. Slightly smaller than an egg, and on crystal clear jelly is what you are looking for.
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    Southern Oregon
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    Default Re: Proper age for grafting

    This one is almost too old... but still good.

    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Proper age for grafting

    Man mine were smaller than that, ok maybe I did ok. Will see how many hatch early from the first graft
    mike
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  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Proper age for grafting

    Mike, the photo isn't actual size.
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  12. #12
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    Jan 2010
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    Default Re: Proper age for grafting

    Of course. Just looking proportionately.

    mike
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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Southern Oregon
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    Default Re: Proper age for grafting

    Like I mentioned that one is pushing it for age, but still in the window. I prefer them just smaller than an egg. On perfect graft I will have mostly eggs in the morning and by graft time in the evening they will have hatched. It is a challenged for some to pick them up under 12 hours hold, but it does get very easy with practice.

    My 11 year old can do it, that's a good age for grafting isn't it?
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Brandon, MS USA
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    Re: Proper age for grafting

    Sure is! That's when your hands are the steadiest and your eyes are the keanest... in our family, they start learning at 7. Lol.

  15. #15
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    Aug 2006
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    Nicosia, Cyprus
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    96

    Default Re: Proper age for grafting

    <<I will take some pics for you... have a cold front coming in>
    So, where are the photos Dude?

  16. #16
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    Jan 2010
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    Gilmer,TX USA
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    Default Re: Proper age for grafting

    I am 17 and near sighted, not bad at the grafting, just am confused on whats what.

    mike
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  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Brandon, MS USA
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    Re: Proper age for grafting

    Quote Originally Posted by olympic View Post
    <<I will take some pics for you... have a cold front coming in>
    So, where are the photos Dude?
    Cold front...27 is the low tonight... will be next week before we can graft again... these are the troubles that come with an early spring. Lol.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Proper age for grafting

    Hey Mike how did that first graft you did turn out?

    Or too early to say yet?
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Clinton County, Michigan USA
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    Default Re: Proper age for grafting


  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    PA
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    163

    Default Re: Proper age for grafting

    Great photo! I can't tell you how long I have been looking and how many times I've asked for a photo. I have always been told that it should be almost a "C" but not quite. This shows it. Thanks!

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