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Thread: priming cells

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    bryan, texas
    Posts
    202

    Default priming cells

    i dont have any queen cells to rob Royal jelly from, and am trying to play around with grafting... I tried several times last year but i think they're drying out too fast and dont have enough rj to stay moist. I tried yesterday again and put moist towels on the cells...

    but once read someone suggesting priming with yogurt. Do the larvae eat yogurt? or is it to keep them moist, or ?

    or can u buy RJ from a healthfood store and use it? it's $18 at my local healthfood store, but if it works, it's not a big cost to me... and i hate killing queencells anyway cause i want more queens..

    d

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,877

    Default Re: priming cells

    The bees will remove the yogurt and replace it with royal jelly.
    If you use store bought RJ then you'll probably have to dilute it a little with some water. Once again, I think I've read where the bees will remove what ever you prime the cells with and replace it with fresh made royal jelly. Best of luck to ya Avalon.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,785

    Default Re: priming cells

    I used to prime them. I gave it up and see no difference in the results...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Australia, NSW
    Posts
    112

    Default Re: priming cells

    I'm a newbee, 3rd time grafting today, first time priming cells with royal jelly from swarm cells (kept in freezer).
    For me at least, it made the transfer of larva very easy in comparison to doing it dry. I found that the larva would stick to the RJ and come off the end of the grafting tool easily, instead of me trying to get it to let go and attach to the cell bottom without RJ, which I had trouble with.
    As Michael says, perhaps the more you do it and the better you get and your sucess improves. I won't be doing this very often, so if it works out OK with the RJ, I expect I will continue for ease alone, if I have RJ available.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,408

    Default Re: priming cells

    When I use one of the Chinese grafting tools, priming can hinder the process of larval transfer. When I use one of the JZsBZs, German stainless, or grafting tools other than the Chinese, I find that I can transfer the larvae from the grafting tool to the cell cup, easier.

    I also find that priming with royal jelly, usually increases the acceptance of grafts - which I attribute mostly to the RJ protecting the tiny larvae from drying too much in our extremely dry desert air, prior to placement in the cell builder colonies.

    Despite the priming royal jelly, I find I also need to cover the cups with a moist cloth and to expeditiously --> prime --> graft --> place, as quickly as possible, to avoid the entire contents of cell cups being grafted, from drying out before placement.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Oneonta,NY
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: priming cells

    You can also do a sacrificial graft or double graft, graft normally, place cells into your starter colony overnight and then remove the first graft and discard, and replace with a fresh larvae. If some of your originals weren't accepted then you can spoon a bit over from a cell with rj. Good luck
    Last edited by ivangrozny; 09-20-2012 at 08:54 AM. Reason: typos

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