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Thread: grafting

  1. #21
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default Re: grafting

    Agreed with the abouve on cell builder NO open larve. In the past I was doing a bit of open and getting a 605 or so take, but they would tear them down in 3 days. Went to a class with Dave burns 2 weeks ago, and learned a new trick. sweep a darn lot of nurse bees into a nuc. about 5lbs worth only nurse bees sweept from brood nest... put your grafts in after they have set overnight. 2 frames of food, 1 pollen, 1 honey, and empty frame (for them to draw wax on so your cells are not covered) and one of capped brood if you got it. use that as a starter you can cycle 3 groups thru before the bees are too old.

    This means you have 5 lbs of nurse bees with nothing to do but feed your grafts!... I grafted 50 cells last sat that way, and have 46 queen cells today

    Ditch the water in your grafts.... just a flat single graft will work fine. if the larve forms a c its too old. slight curve and very tiny!.. for me the graft technique was fine, it was the cell builder I had to improve.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,693

    Default Re: grafting

    UPDATE:

    Well I got some JZ BZ cell cups, and a couple of Chinese grafting tools, and went to work. I grafted 50 larva in 15 minutes and put them in the cell builder, which is now officially hopelessly queenless. Almost no open brood, and what is open is very nearly capped.

    Good thing is: I think I found the problem! I took a look at all the other frames in the cell builder, and found 23 natural Q cells. My guess is that was what was taking the bees time and resources. So I destroyed those and I will continue to hope for the best!!! Thanks again, all.
    Last edited by westernbeekeeper; 06-26-2012 at 03:01 PM. Reason: Forgot some info

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Re: grafting

    Bingo. Finding those emergency cells and destroying them a few hours before the graft is very important. Another good reason not to have any young larva or eggs in your cellbuilder.

    I bet your acceptance goes up very dramatically now. Good luck!
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  4. #24
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,693

    Default Re: grafting

    Hey Keth,
    I just watch your video on your "second graft" thread. Really cool.

    UPDATE:
    I used the chinese grafting tool with those gray JZBZ cell cups, and I have 12 nice cells out of 50 grafts. Not real good, but quite an improvment over the previous tries and also very encouraging. So I will definitely keep trying and experimenting!!! So I'm excited.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Re: grafting

    Great job! Try reducing the amount of grafts you put in one cell builder and see if your numbers go up. 50 cells takes one super strong cellbuilder!!

    Mike Palmer taught me that you really want those JZBZ cups full of royal jelly. Insures the nutrition is there for a good strong larva to pupae stage.
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,079

    Default Re: grafting

    Quote Originally Posted by westernbeekeeper View Post
    I was using the Chinese grafting tools, but the tongues kept breaking, bending, and splitting
    I guess the problem has been solved already, but I can't help but to think that something's wrong with this picture. I have two of them, one being thinner than the other and properly handled, they both seem to do the job. If they're breaking and splitting, I think maybe they're not being handled right.

    Outside of that, I'd say generally you need to try a new cell builder. I use queenright personally. I had 17 of 18 take. You might also try doing fewer at once. What's the point of doing 48 if you're only going to get two?
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    960

    Default Re: grafting

    I've rarely seen a thread with so many replies that are that good. Every one is on the mark. Make up all your equipment - hive dividers, mating nucs, QC frames, Cloake board, etc. Keep the cell starter queenless, crowded (=boiling with bees), over-fed, and over-fed. Pull the Cloake board out after 36 hours and let the cell finisher do it queenright. Don't let your grafting frame dry out, and try 2 dozen or less this late in the year. Yes, clear out rogue QC's. Leave them nothing to do but feed you cells. Oh and did I mention feed the cell builder? I use a Boardman feeder, a Mann Lake frame feeder with a ladder, a patty of Crisco, C&H cane sugar, pollen, HBH, and Nozevit, and a pail feeder with sugar, water, honey, and HBH mixed about 1 to 1.

    The only new info I can offer is that if you see a grub that has no Royal Jelly, skip her and graft one that has a patch of it. Your chinese grafting tool should go in one side, bend under the goo mass, and begin to scrape the other side, but be immediately pulled back into the center. Some of these tools are stiffer than others, so order 5 of them from different companies and try, try again. Putting them into the cell cups is easiest if you aim above center of the bottom, bend the tongue, and push the button on the top while sliding the tongue over toward just bottom of center as it kicks the goo mass off the tongue. The related rates will become evident as you get to laying the RJ/grub down looking about the same as it came out of the donor comb.

    You can buy Royal Jelly at a health food store or harvest it from donor comb and prime QC cups with a hypodermic needle, but a crowded, queenless, over-fed cell starter hive will prime it for you in short order. If you think it is drying out, you can double graft it. If you do, be sure to get the first grub out and don't wait too long between grafts - maybe 2 hours - just enough time for them all to get a little dose of RJ. I keep a spray bottle of purified water handy and mist the air between grafts.

    I first learned with chop sticks and killed most everything I touched. Chinese tools are the best for beginners, automatics are the best for pros, stainless hooks are best for 4.9mm cell size donor comb.

    Read Laidlaw & Eckert's Queen Rearing, Laidlaw and Page's Queen Rearing and Bee Breeding, and try to catch a lecture by Dr. Susan Cobey, Dr. Larry Conner, or other big name. Make your luck good with lots of repetition.
    Last edited by kilocharlie; 06-28-2012 at 10:58 PM.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,693

    Default Re: grafting

    Hello all,
    UPDATE:
    I went out and checked my most recent grafts. I had grafted 25, and 21 of them took and are looking great! I am amazed with the success rate of this batch. Thanks again everyone for all your help and advice!

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Dell Rapids, SD
    Posts
    138

    Default Re: grafting

    I was curious if anybody has tried this method?

    http://www.bibba.com/john_harding_method.php

    I hope to try it soon.

    Dave.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,385

    Default Re: grafting

    Excellent, that is good to hear.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  11. #31
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,693

    Default Re: grafting

    Dave,
    I have not tried it, but am curious to see how it works out.

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    960

    Default Re: grafting

    Oh, just another tip from this week's catastrophic failure - whack the ants in the area first. My best queen's grafts were abandoned by the queenless bees in the cell starter when the weather got hot, the sprinklers came on, and the ants went berserk.

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