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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Villa Rica, Ga
    Posts
    93

    Default Grafting verses queen rearing systems "kits"

    I am thinking of trying to raise a few queens next spring. I have 20 hives at the moment. I wish to raise some queens to replace any winter losses I have and to requeen a hive that has swarmed to get a laying queen faster, then taking the capped swarm cells from the swarm hive and put in the finisher hive to complete. This way any possible production hive will have the best growth. Is this feasible as far as a hive that has swarmed is concerned? I do plan on curving the desire to swarm, but I want to be prepared just in case.
    I have read both process of the "kits" and with grafting. I plan on only making a small number of queens at the moment. Please tell me if my thought process is off base; if I use the queen rearing kit I will have many more larvae than I need. Wasting bee resources and having to replace 110 cups each time. Also, i have plastic foundation and would have to alter a frame to make this work (again altering the donar hive somewhat). If I graft, I can take the amount of larvae that I intend to use (around 5) and start the process without altering the donar hive at all. I believe I can get the larvae from one of my hives in the yard with little issues. Question is, is grafting really that difficult to accomplish? I feel that I have eyesight and dexterity for this. Those that have grafted before, do you prefer the "kits" or grafting?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Australia, NSW
    Posts
    107

    Default Re: Grafting verses queen rearing systems "kits"

    Quote Originally Posted by gibby937 View Post
    I am thinking of trying to raise a few queens next spring. I have 20 hives at the moment. I wish to raise some queens to replace any winter losses ........ Question is, is grafting really that difficult to accomplish? I feel that I have eyesight and dexterity for this. Those that have grafted before, do you prefer the "kits" or grafting?
    I'm a newbee, 1 have 1 hive, and I purchased 10 grafting tools from China for $8 and made my own queen cups by dipping a piece of dowel in some wax. I have 3 cells about to hatch tomorrow. Cheap as chips!
    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/230686588253

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,213

    Default Re: Grafting verses queen rearing systems "kits"

    I have several Jenter boxes and have raised a lot of cells this way. I also have grafted a lot. I graft more in recent times as it requires less trips to the yard and less of my time. But I enjoyed the kits. If I were doing it over, I would probably do the Hopkins method instead as it requires no special equipment and no grafting and would give me a chance to learn to raise queens before I learn to graft.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesqueenre...#hopkinsmethod
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beeshopkinsmethod.htm
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,699

    Default Re: Grafting verses queen rearing systems "kits"

    I've used Nicot kit and it works well if a flow is on. In a dearth it's not as good for me. This year I tried out a Chinese grafting tool and I was very much impressed with the ease of grafting with it. I think I'll be using it exclusively from now on. I think grafting is easy if you have a tool that will pick up and release the larva with jelly easily. The Chinese tool is the best I've used.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Villa Rica, Ga
    Posts
    93

    Default Re: Grafting verses queen rearing systems "kits"

    Thanks for the responses! I can't wait to give it a try next spring.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Knox Co, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    842

    Default Re: Grafting verses queen rearing systems "kits"

    Check out On the Spot queen rearing: http://www.mdasplitter.com/

    Tom

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,390

    Default Re: Grafting verses queen rearing systems "kits"

    Quote Originally Posted by gibby937 View Post
    Please tell me if my thought process is off base; if I use the queen rearing kit I will have many more larvae than I need. Wasting bee resources and having to replace 110 cups each time.

    Question is, is grafting really that difficult to accomplish? I feel that I have eyesight and dexterity for this. Those that have grafted before, do you prefer the "kits" or grafting?
    You're sure about this, eh? I would think the opposite. You get all your set up ready to accept the larvae, and there are zero...not 110.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,213

    Default Re: Grafting verses queen rearing systems "kits"

    >You're sure about this, eh? I would think the opposite. You get all your set up ready to accept the larvae, and there are zero...not 110.

    You are right. I've never consider 110 to be a problem. I have considered 0 to be a problem...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    960

    Default Re: Grafting verses queen rearing systems "kits"

    Another good system to employ for beginners making a few cells is very similar to what Joseph describes - Dr. C.C. Miller's method. It is described in several beginning books, and the only differences are to cut the foundation into angles before drawing into comb, and then to cut it back to an angle so that eggs are on the diagonals before they go into the cell starter. I'd recommend using a Cloake board - sure makes it easy to convert from queenless cell starter to queenright finisher 24 hours after the frame goes in.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,213

    Default Re: Grafting verses queen rearing systems "kits"

    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    960

    Default Re: Grafting verses queen rearing systems "kits"

    Thank you, Michael Bush! It was good to read that again.

    I notice the modern interpretation is wireless foundation wax cut into points hanging from the top, as opposed to his original "starter patches" of foundation 4" from the sides. He gives his reason as wanting several different ages of larvae and let the bees choose which get to be queens, and he mostly cut away eggs at the outside edges before giving the frame to the starter.

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