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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,448

    Default New frame holder for grafting

    I saw a photo on the Internet last year and finally built myself of these

    Here's the prototype, just like the photo, but the top support interfered with my magnifier so I hacked it off:



    Second version had support in the back instead of overhead.




    I wanted to lightly insulate the back of the box so the brood wouldn't get chilled if I took my time grafting. My halogen light is nice and warm without being too hot. I can cover the frame of larva with a damp paper towel, then go have my coffee or lunch if I want to without feeling rushed.
    Back side is just a scrap piece of twin wall poly carbonate. I also made a interior frame so the back of the comb wouldn't get squished. A damp paper towel in the back will also keep the larva moist. The poly carbonate pulls right out for cleaning and is easy to wipe off wax or sticky stuff.

    Could have used a wing nut..just didn't have one handy.





    Love this halogen magnifier. Makes eggs look like hot dogs. (This is just my grid frame..not yet in use What you see is open nectar from last year in the cells) Amazon.com had lots of magnifiers to choose from



    Simple box with a cleat on the back works too and is lower to the counter.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,042

    Default Re: New frame holder for grafting

    very nice lauri, thanks again for sharing. have you settled on a favorite grafting tool?
    beekeeping since june 2010, +/- 20 hives, tf

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,273

    Default Re: New frame holder for grafting

    Hey Lauri,

    You're grafting out a Jenter box...don't you know you just pull the plugs out

    Sorry, couldn't resist.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts
    769

    Default Re: New frame holder for grafting

    Do you graft from cells the bees have drawn or use the Jenter box system. If the latter do you really need a magnifier or a grafting tool?
    If you use both techniques which system do you prefer...ease of use and efficacy.

    I have optic loops with a light that we use for detailed work...was thinking of trying those over a fixed magnifier.
    Janne....first hives April 2013, 19 hives, treat, plant zone 8b, at sea level, latitude 49.13, longitude 123.06

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,448

    Default Re: New frame holder for grafting

    EVERYONE'S a comedian, LOL

    I actually DO graft into the brown cell cups though..just so I can use the components like the roller cages. I use both the grid and graft.

    I still use the 00 paintbrush, although am going to give the German stainless grafting tool a shot this year. Maybe a toothpick. Paintbrush works great on soft comb you can easily push aside-roll clockwise to pick up the larva, unroll counterclockwise to place it in it's cup. Paintbrush is very gentle. But on old tough comb it is too flimsy to grab the graft.

    I hope to start grafting in 2-3 weeks, but the weather here just doesn't want to cooperate. I'm not feeling spring anytime soon. Am I ready to sweat in my bee jacket? ...Well, no but a happy medium would be nice.

    I'll at least get my frames of brood above a queen excluder to get ready for making my cell builders as soon as the forecast is looking promising

    Bees are doing good though. I had no losses of entire colonies over winter, but did lose 4 or 5 queens at some point. Caught them early enough to requeened or combined and all are building well. Nice clean frames to make up nucs this year. I have about a 5 or 6 month broodless period here over winter except for a few of the largest hives. Mites appear to be non existent. Still have about 128 colonies out of 133, if you include the mating nucs I overwintered. Those queens sure came in handy for those queenless nucs I ran across a few weeks ago.













    My singles also overwintered well. But most are in double deeps or larger.



    27- 2012 queens still heading the hives. When I went through the hives this spring, I figured I'd be looking for unmarked queens, assuming the hives had probably requeened themselves late last summer. I was surprised time after time when I spotted the yellow dots. Considering I only overwintered 55 hives in 2012, about half those are coming 2 years old this year.

    This is one of my Mountain queens I was very glad to see had overwintered yet another year. Below her is one of her daughters:




    Below is one of my direct daughters of my original Glenn II carniolan VSH queen.


    I have a fantastic choice of breeder queens this year..Boy, am I going to be busy. It will be hard to choose. But the 2012 queens will be done first..just in case.



    Time to give them a larger top entrance!



    Every year I lose a couple queens in my doubles due to shrinkage of the divider and they jump ship to the strongest queen. If I catch it in time, I can just patch it with tape until I remove the colonies and do a silicone fix.


    But even as small as they were most of the mating nucs overwintered great. My temps got down to below 0 here with wind chill, single digits for no more that 8-10 days at a time.
    Last edited by Lauri; 03-29-2014 at 08:06 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts
    769

    Default Re: New frame holder for grafting

    Lauri...how do you prepare and make your cell builder colonies?

    I hope to try raising a few Queens this year as a learning exercise and am coming to the realization that great cell builders is a big part of the equation.

    If you feel this topic has been beaten to death I am still interested in how you do it

    How goes the paper work for exporting Queens?
    Janne....first hives April 2013, 19 hives, treat, plant zone 8b, at sea level, latitude 49.13, longitude 123.06

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,448

    Default Re: New frame holder for grafting

    Janne, I will PM you with some info when I have more time..too much to write here in a short answer. My methods are like others..there are several ways.
    I've Not looked into exporting yet, I'll have my hands full just supplying the locals and some shipping this year. But I still am going to look into it. You are not the only one In Canada that wants some queens I just have my hands full already.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Ft. Collins, Colorado
    Posts
    491

    Default Re: New frame holder for grafting

    WBVC your in a pretty good area for queen breeders: http://192.197.97.9/~beebreeders/

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,448

    Default Re: New frame holder for grafting

    Got to use the new graft frame holder today...worked great. Nice height. We'll see how strong my starter colony is by tomorrow.



    This time of year and all next month, depending on your area, everyone should be making some walk away nucs though. Just because you can






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