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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Palm Harbor, Fl USA
    Posts
    463

    Default two graft sessions zero takes

    I've grafted twice, about twenty cells each time. Just trying to get my feet wet, so to speak, on rearing a few queens from hives that I like. I looked yesterday and the bees acted like a couple QC's might take, but most were turned into burr or drawn comb. The QC's that looked like a maybe, looked too dry (day four) for me to be optimistic.
    I used a magnifier and light to carefully select larvae, coated grafted larvae with wet paper towel, fed the cell builder hive honey water the whole time...what else do I trouble shoot?

    perhaps the larvae looked 'dry' upon grafting.
    Frame was out of hive for twenty minute.
    My wife says I have ADD, but, hey look- a chicken!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,407

    Default Re: two graft sessions zero takes

    Twenty minutes sounds way too long, unless kept moist with wet towel/paper towels. Perhaps, if you haven't, you could prime the cups with a tiny drop of RJ. That helps keep the tiny larvae from drying out. Of course, it is also an indicator; if the priming RJ dries out (the grafted larvae will have too), you would then need to start over again.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Palm Harbor, Fl USA
    Posts
    463

    Default Re: two graft sessions zero takes

    are you taking RJ from your hive or using store bought? How much is too much to prime? I was considering using a qtip to rob some RJ from cells, and just moisten the grafting cups, fearing drowing a larva
    My wife says I have ADD, but, hey look- a chicken!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Belfast, Ireland
    Posts
    426

    Default Re: two graft sessions zero takes

    Having the frame out for 20 minutes should be no problem as long as it was not in direct sunlight.
    Grafting is best done in the shade.
    I often graft larvae dry so I don't think the lack of jelly is likely to be the problem
    I suspect the problem is more likely to be with your cell raiser.
    Has it got plenty of pollen and is it definitely queenless?
    Is there a flow on and are the bees bringing in a lot of pollen.
    Sometimes when I graft they start 20/20 cells but occasionally they start just one or two or maybe none at all.
    The problem is often the weather where I live but you should be ok in Florida.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,407

    Default Re: two graft sessions zero takes

    It is not easy to drown them, I often spray the cups and frames of larvae with a fine mist of distilled water from a spray bottle. Sometimes a film of water forms in the cell cups and the larvae float on this just fine. I think the easiest way to have them drown is if they are flipped over during the grafting process. Hypothetically they learn to breath from the side they keep up, and turning them over can cause drowning. But they will even float on water. I watched a You-tube video where the grafter used water to float the larvae out of their worker comb cells, they were floating in a tray of water, where they were plucked from and inserted into their cell cups. The cells produced this way appeared well developed.

    A Q-tip may work when moving RJ, but it seems lots of it might be absorbed into the cotton. I've used RJ rescued from other cell cups, as well as some I received from R.A. I use one of the German stainless steel grafting tools to harvest and prime with RJ. Also, the plastic syringe the R.A. RJ was provided in. I don't suppose that you can really use too much RJ for priming, after all, some queen grafters use a technique, where the cell cups are grafted, the cups are filled with RJ, then that larvae is removed and replaced with another very young larvae. She being placed in the large bed of RJ having already been put there for the earlier larvae. A technique appropriately called double-grafting.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Manning, SC
    Posts
    2,270

    Default Re: two graft sessions zero takes

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Clemens View Post
    I watched a You-tube video where the grafter used water to float the larvae out of their worker comb cells, they were floating in a tray of water, where they were plucked from and inserted into their cell cups. The cells produced this way appeared well developed.
    Joe, got a link or name of that video on U-Tube? I've searched but could not find...
    http://OxaVap.com Your source for the Varrox OA Vaporizer,
    "One of the highest ranked" by R. Oliver

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Palm Harbor, Fl USA
    Posts
    463

    Default Re: two graft sessions zero takes

    absolutely queenless, only a little bit of a flow. I am feeding the cell raiser colony- but a flow can 'make or break' you?
    they are bringing in some pollen.
    I grafted in my kitchen, under fluorescent lights, 20 meters from the hives...
    My wife says I have ADD, but, hey look- a chicken!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,407

    Default Re: two graft sessions zero takes

    When I first began raising queens, I would make a colony queenless. Wait until they were building cells, then destroy all but the best looking/positioned cells, remove the larvae from those and replace them with larvae from my breeder colony. BINGO, cultured cells with the bees doing most of the work for me. I cut them out when they were soon due to emerge and place them where I wanted them.

    BTW, flow or not, I'm always providing some pollen sub and sugar syrup to my cell starter/growers. Just in case.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

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