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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    Default Why such size difference in three day old grafts? picture



    So, I decided to harvest some royal jelly to use for priming cells - which makes it much easier to get the larva off of the needle and into the cell BTW.

    So after removing the larva from 3 day old grafts I can't help but notice the big size range. I used a lot of magnification and made every effort to get uniformly young larva when making the grafts. Maybe I'll try an experiment and graft a few that I know are just a little on the big side next time and see if that is it.

    I'm wondering if the size at this point would correlate to the quality of the queen - the little ones might be the good ones for all I know - or the big ones might be better fed?

    If there is a correlation it would be pretty simple to take a good look and cull out the rejects - or harvest them for their jelly. Pretty simple for a hobbyist - probably impossible for a real producer I know.

    I'm guessing that you commercial guys do some manipulations so that you have an entire frame of appropriately sized larva to graft from instead of hunting for good ones like I'm doing. Do you see this size difference too?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Munfordville, Ky. U.S.A.
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    1,246

    Default Re: Why such size difference in three day old grafts? picture

    I will be interested to see what some others have to say about this, myself. I have never grafted, but I am going to try sometime in the future to raise my own queens. In my mind what you should be looking for would be the one in the lower right corner. Just a puddle with a c on it. My guess is if the others are three day old larvae also then the eggs much have hatched much earlier (12-16 hours).
    So much to learn, so little time!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Nelson, South Island, New Zealand
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    527

    Default Re: Why such size difference in three day old grafts? picture

    it looks like you have grafted varying aged lavae.
    At 3 days old the smallest ones are the best size the others are way too big

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Heavener Oklahoma
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    928

    Default Re: Why such size difference in three day old grafts? picture

    So this was the size of larva 3 days after you grafted

    When i place a frame in the breeder to lay in I try to graft 3 1/2 to 3 3/4 days after placing the frame into the breeder hive to lay in this will nake the grafted larve 12 hours to 18 hrs old assumining she started laying in the cell usally it may take a short time before they start laying in them so they may be a few hours younger

    Even when you graft in this time frame there is from about just hatched to 12 and up to 18 hrs old larva that you have grafted. This alone will make the size difference after 3 days from graft

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Nelson, South Island, New Zealand
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    527

    Default Re: Why such size difference in three day old grafts? picture

    I wouldn't expect to see such a big size difference at 3 days old if you are grafting lavae the same age from a frame inserted clean into a hive grafting from within a few inches of one location should result in lavae the same age and size.
    Even if you are grafting from a frame not purposely put into the hive you shouldn't get such a big difference in size, some size difference but not this much.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Fredericksburg, Va
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    795

    Default Re: Why such size difference in three day old grafts? picture

    Maybe it is due to the difference in size of the daddies.
    Bee all you can Bee!
    http://www.hamiltonapiary.net

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Tipton, TN, USA
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    784

    Default Re: Why such size difference in three day old grafts? picture

    I'd assume that some of the larva are a little older/younger. Next I would make a guess that some of them were better fed earlier than the others. If you feel adventurous, next time you harvest Jelly. See if the cells in the middle of the frame are drawn out sooner/better. My bees tend to jump on the center cells before the outside ones.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Kent, WA USA
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: Why such size difference in three day old grafts? picture

    As an experiment try this if you notice a variation of size of the larva. Let the bees cap the cells and watch to see if there is any significant difference within the set of cells as to when they are capped. The bees know exactly when to put the lid on. I would suggest looking for a variation of 12 hr or more. If so, is the larger larva getting capped first? This will tell you if it is an age difference. If they are all capped within 12 hr of each other then I would suggest the difference is how well they are fed. If that is the case then there is not enough nurse bees or feed or both for the number of queen cells being started.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
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    5,300

    Default Re: Why such size difference in three day old grafts? picture

    Maybe the size differences seen in the pics are natural and expected simply because their ages vary +/- 12 to 18 hours. Maybe they actually grow so fast that a few hours can make that much of a difference in their sizes.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    Default Re: Why such size difference in three day old grafts? picture

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Clemens View Post
    Maybe the size differences seen in the pics are natural and expected simply because their ages vary +/- 12 to 18 hours. Maybe they actually grow so fast that a few hours can make that much of a difference in their sizes.
    I'm leaning toward that being most of it - if not all. I haven't seen any such variation in mated queens other than the occasional odd ball.

    I think next batch I graft for jelly I'm going to intentionally get some that are just a smidgen on the big size and mark which ones they are.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Dorset, Vermont
    Posts
    129

    Default Re: Why such size difference in three day old grafts? picture

    Quote Originally Posted by David LaFerney View Post
    I'm guessing that you commercial guys do some manipulations so that you have an entire frame of appropriately sized larva to graft from instead of hunting for good ones like I'm doing. Do you see this size difference too?
    For an excellent description of how to get larvae of the right age, see C.C. Miller's book "Fifty Years Among the Bees."

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