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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
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    2,473

    Default Optimal temp for an incubator

    Got an incubator set up and need to know the optimal temperature setting. I've seen about 92 to 95.5 F. I was thinking of setting it such that it comes on at 92 and turns off at 94.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Pearisburg,VA
    Posts
    75

    Default Re: Optimal temp for an incubator

    The book says 92 degrees F. I set mine on 92 plus or minus 1 degree. Also place a container of water to keep the humidity right. It works good. The queens act as though they are starving when they emerge so put them with bees quickly. I also found that if you put a little honey in the bottom of the hair roller cage it will give you a little more time.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Gilmer,TX USA
    Posts
    1,830

    Default Re: Optimal temp for an incubator

    About to start a thread on this so thanks for saving me typing!

    mike
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Brandon, MS USA
    Posts
    1,585

    Default Re: Optimal temp for an incubator

    I suggest using a hatchery frame instead. Its a lot like a queen bank, but the holes are made to fit your cell cups so that they act as a plug... this way when they hatch, they get instant nutrition warmth... I use them for hatching cells for II and to ship virgins...

    We just make up a queenless deep (using medium hatchery frames so that the cell stay up away from the draft of the entrance)...

    From left to right: Honey frame, Pollen frame, Capped Brood frame, Hatchery frame, Capped Brood frame, Hatchery frame, Capped Brood frame, Pollen frame, Honey frame....

    Each brood frame needs to have its bees of course, but I also shake about three more frames of nurses into the single and top it off with a shallow of honey and reduce the entrance with a small board to create a 1/4 length opening.

    Each of my hatchery frames will hold 2 rows of 18 cells, so one of these hatchery colonies will hatch and care for upto 72 virgins...

    Use them quickly... We NEVER let them sit for more than 5 days before II... when shipping virgins, we ship them no later than 3 days after hatch...

    Each of our mating yards has one or more of these colonies set up and ready to use in case of emergencies, and also we take one cell from each graft and allow her to hatch in the hatchery so we can inspect her.

    If you do decide to use the incubator... just try to set the temp up a tad if there is cooler draft in the room where the incubator is, and down a bit if there is hot air or sun on it... Always lay your thermometer directly on the cells so that you are getting a reading of the temp at the level where the cells will be, instead of the bottom or the top of the incubator... When adding water, use luk warm water, not cold or hot...

    Good Luck and I hope this helps!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Posts
    1,613

    Default Re: Optimal temp for an incubator

    The incubator should not fluctuate as much as you said it is. But, it does take some time for it to start keeping the temp constant. When I hatch chickens I make sure the incubator is set up three days before I set the eggs. That way I can dial in the temp once I have it set it will not move up or down more than one degree. Give your incubator some time the heating elements are really small and take a while.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Brandon, MS USA
    Posts
    1,585

    Default Re: Optimal temp for an incubator

    Johng is right... for our pheasants, peacocks, turkeys, quail, geese, and ducks, we set the incubators 3 days ahead of schedule to let them warm up... the most important thing to remember is that draft in the room with the incubators can have a big effect on the settings...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,473

    Default Re: Optimal temp for an incubator

    [QUOTE=rrussell6870;639343

    72 virgins...

    [/QUOTE]

    I must be getting old...I completely missed that on the first read. All this while I thought that you were just mild-mannered queen breeder....now I know different - beware, we're watching you.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
    Posts
    3,539

    Default Re: Optimal temp for an incubator

    ...if one is to believe the marketing material for the reptibator, it appears that the heating element is "pulsed" rather than "on or off"...the element therefore doesn't get as hot as an element that is "on" would get. i haven't done any side by side comparisons, so i have no data of my own....except that i used this last year to good effect...and i think i had it set at 94.

    we essentially followed dee lusby's method of having the queens emerge into glass vials. this works fine, but they gunk up the inside of the vial pretty quickly and start to get stuck.

    as the queens emerged (and dropped to the bottom of the vial), i pinch the empty cell flat and put a small drop of honey on the flat. i jam the flattened cell back into the opening of the vial (leaving enough space for air) and lay the vial on its side...the queen will mount on the flattened cell and eat the honey.

    this all worked quite well last year, so i'm likely to keep this as our core method...but interested in trying the in hive incubator as well and comparing results.

    deknow

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Brandon, MS USA
    Posts
    1,585

    Cool Re: Optimal temp for an incubator

    Quote Originally Posted by AstroBee View Post
    beware, we're watching you.

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