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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    1,392

    Default Grafted my first cells today, wish me luck!!

    Headed out to the bees today and set up a double nuc, with no frames in the bottom nuc. I took two frames of pollen/nectar/capped honey and two frames with mostly capped brood and some open brood/eggs. I then took a frame of larva from the hive I wanted to graft from, swept off the bees and went and sat under a shade tree, grabbed my Chinese grafting tool, set up the cups and went to work. The first two picks were just to get a feel for it and it seemed pretty easy. Then I only picked larva that was the shape of " ( " and slid it off into the bottom of the cup. I ended up only grafting 10 cells for my first try just to see what happens!

    I ended up shaking a few more frames of nurse bees from other hives into the nuc as well, it was pretty populated by the end, although I know some will find their way back to their respective colonies. I also have 1:1 sugar water on them and about 1/4 pound of fresh made pollen patty.

    I'll check in a couple days and see how things are going!! Hopefully I'll get at least 1/2 to take!!

    Another thought is I am going to pick up some bi-focals or something just to make seeing things easier.
    Coyote Creek Bees

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Litchfield, CT, USA
    Posts
    430

    Default Re: Grafted my first cells today, wish me luck!!

    Good luck! I am all setup to raise my own queens this year. Our weather here in CT is weeks away from even thinking about queen rearing.

    Good luck!
    "Someday we will look back and realize someone was right...and conveniently forget we were the ones that were wrong."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,531

    Default Re: Grafted my first cells today, wish me luck!!

    awesome bg, keep us posted!
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,357

    Default Re: Grafted my first cells today, wish me luck!!

    Glad you are giving this a shot. Best wishes. The timing is perfect as the food flow is beyond belief right now. If you used the plugged out frames of pollen and honey from the almonds previously mentioned the necessity of the sub is a waste of time a best.

    Out of 6105 cells we have grafted so far in 2013 our take rate without sub is 86.715%. This include all the ones both the bees as well as ourselves have tossed for whatever reasons. Not perfect but since the hatch rate has been nearly 100% on spot checks I am extremely pleased with queen production so far.

    An over abundance of good food is just one key of the queen production trifecta needed to produce superior cells.

    The right age larva being fed by a surplus number of very young workers who are consuming food from packed pollen and honey frames will go a long ways to getting healthy cells and therefore superior queens.

    Beyond that nothing else really matters in the bee year without a proper foundation to build on.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    1,392

    Default Re: Grafted my first cells today, wish me luck!!

    Holy cow! 6100 cells in the last few weeks, that is phenomenal! And at almost 90% rate of take, mind blowing!

    I didn't think I would need the pollen sub, but I threw it in just for the heck of it!

    I'll post how things are looking probably on Tuesday!
    Coyote Creek Bees

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
    Posts
    875

    Default Re: Grafted my first cells today, wish me luck!!

    Good luck
    https://www.facebook.com/stevesbees99
    Please visit my page, Thanks

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,357

    Default Re: Grafted my first cells today, wish me luck!!

    [QUOTE=BeeGhost;912808

    I'll post how things are looking probably on Tuesday![/QUOTE]

    If the wind is up at all I would wait to peek. Its awfully tempting I understand. In the long run the cells are better best cared for by the ladies themselves. Left alone under the conditions I previously listed the bees will do much better if left alone. The biggest issue once they are off to a great start is that you do not want any "over aged" competition. The biggest bane of queen raisers is the presence of a larva (contained within the sphere of the cell builder/finisher) that is slightly farther developed than the rest of the troops. Checking to see if you have any queen cells other than the ones you grafted and promptly removing them will increase your propensity to achieving a good nights sleep during your queen raising endeavour. Yes I know its more work but well worth the investment.

    One time a good while back I was at another commercial beeks place to pick up extra cells he was going to toss. As we spoke he went to the cell builders with the "help" where we promptly discovered a destroyed bunch of cells which had been ceremoniously destroyed as per the "first queen out wins" rule. The fire that came out of the bosses mouth at that point was proportionate with the value of the cells which were totally worthless at the point we observed them. I about left promptly as the heat got high very fast.

    Remember that queens not only chew the competition but that they also sting them to death threw the sidewalls which is hard to detect as opposed to chewed ones. If you keep grafting a wise investment would be an incubator that will hold 10 day cells until they are ready to put where you want them. Virgins that hatch in the incubator roam aimlessly without the support bees to assist and feed them. This effectively negates any chance of chewed or stung competition.

    Grafting on the 24th means nice closed cells Thursday night or Friday morning....... Photos to follow I hope.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,728

    Default Re: Grafted my first cells today, wish me luck!!

    Good job!
    That must be a lot of works grafting so many cells. I let them make their own cells to make
    it easier. I end up with 4 big queens all hatched last week. Good enough for all my hive splits.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    1,392

    Default Re: Grafted my first cells today, wish me luck!!

    Thank you very much for your insight Honey-4-all, I am very open to advice and will head your warnings. I have thought about picking up an incubator to hatch virgins at home, not only for the safety net, but so the family can observe them emerging and piping!

    Thanks again!

    Jason Calkins
    Coyote Creek Bees

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    1,392

    Default Re: Grafted my first cells today, wish me luck!!

    Well, I am dealing with bronchitis so I don't get to go to work for a couple days and I hate sitting around the house, it was a nice warm day so I decided to get out of the house and go see the bees. I decided to check on the queen cells I grafted since it was warm and no wind. I pulled up the frame just enough to see that three of the cells out of ten took! I think the others that didn't take are from operator error, probably flipped the larva or damaged it some how.

    I am just excited that I actually got a few accepted the first time! I also pulled the brood frames really quick and seen two queen cells being started as well, so I will make a split off those as well and replace that frame if brood with a fresh frame of brood for the next round of queen cells next week!
    Coyote Creek Bees

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,969

    Default Re: Grafted my first cells today, wish me luck!!

    Good grief! You aren't a Russell on your mothers side?? Thats a joke son!
    Quote Originally Posted by Honey-4-All View Post
    Glad you are giving this a shot. Best wishes. The timing is perfect as the food flow is beyond belief right now. If you used the plugged out frames of pollen and honey from the almonds previously mentioned the necessity of the sub is a waste of time a best.

    Out of 6105 cells we have grafted so far in 2013 our take rate without sub is 86.715%. This include all the ones both the bees as well as ourselves have tossed for whatever reasons. Not perfect but since the hatch rate has been nearly 100% on spot checks I am extremely pleased with queen production so far.

    An over abundance of good food is just one key of the queen production trifecta needed to produce superior cells.

    The right age larva being fed by a surplus number of very young workers who are consuming food from packed pollen and honey frames will go a long ways to getting healthy cells and therefore superior queens.

    Beyond that nothing else really matters in the bee year without a proper foundation to build on.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,357

    Default Re: Grafted my first cells today, wish me luck!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Vance G View Post
    Good grief! You aren't a Russell on your mothers side?? Thats a joke son!
    BTW no I'm not a Russel. You are welcome to come by and verify everything I say on here. Check out all you want. Not an issue at all. If you do show up I only have three rules. Bring your hive tool and either get the darn thing moving by getting your butt to work or stay out of the way cause if we are moving the train will run you over....... Do not stand in the way while watching. Either learn the system very fast or move where the focus point on the binoculars says your clear of the folks who are getting the job done. Simple. When we are working its hells bells and when rest time comes you can enjoy a glass of lemonade or Gatorade to restock your body and soul until the next round of craziness resumes...

    Every one of those statistics is right off the excel file where I keep track off how we are doing. Since the post we have grafted another 2205 cells. The new queens are laying and we need cells to put back in once the picking begins in a few days. Best mating weather in NorCal in a very long time for the early cells. The queens have had so many chances to dance that the drones keep wanting to borrow my cell phone so they may call up their travel agents. They want to get their emasculated butts a rest in some lousy mating zone elsewhere. They really want out of here..... To much work. If you know what I mean.

    Not to switch subjects but when that guy (Mr R. as you call him) was posting all that stuff I did a bit of my own detective work cause all the pieces just did not add up...... Lots of little clues there was a mess going on and a bigger one coming down the track. Beekeeping is fraught with enough heartaches where I don't need to add any additional ones so I stood far back...

    Ordered a new check weigh digital scale as a back up to our other ones for pouring packages today. As my wife says..... Just a new bee toy for my arsenal. Now all we need is a some nice weather and a machine to get them out of the shake cages and into the boxes and life will be sweet till I figure out the next battle to conquer. If the almond growers can have self pollinating trees I figure we can find a way for the bees to put the honey right in the jar and screw the lid on when its full.

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