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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Gloucester County, New Jersey
    Posts
    216

    Default Q Cells capped too soon?

    I tried my hand at grafting 20 larva into cell cups early on Saturday.
    This afternoon I checked to see if they took and there were 8 just capped and 3 more being drawn out.
    According to the chart http://www.thebeeyard.org/cgi-bin/qu...y=27&year=2013 they shouldn't be capped until Thursday.
    Any thoughts appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Cattaraugus,New York, USA
    Posts
    345

    Default Re: Q Cells capped too soon?

    If they capped the queen cells already, that means that the larvae that you grafted into the cell cups were older than the 12-18hr old larvae that you want. This means that the larvae in the capped cells will have fed on the royal jelly for a shorter amount of time and thus could be a lower quality queen. There are 2 things you could do
    1.) Cut down the capped cells and graft again using smaller larvae;
    2.) Place the capped cells into the mating nucs and see how they perform.

    If these are intended for sale, I would suggest cutting them down and regrafting, if they are for personal use, then you might just want to let them be and see how they end up in another month or two.
    Allegany Mtn. Bee Farm
    Quality Queens and Honey from Western New York

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Woodlawn, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    327

    Default Re: Q Cells capped too soon?

    I think NY is right. If so, be prepared for these queens to emerge early as well. If you follow the calendar, you could find that one emerged early and killed the rest.

    Interesting corollary to this: An experienced queen rearer teaching a class recently shared an observation. He said that queens reared under emergency conditions (queen removed/killed) are often superseded shortly after introduction into a hive. His theory is that the emergency queens are reared using slightly older larvae, and that the bees sense that they are not of the highest quality. When they begin laying, the bees take the opportunity to raise a new queen from a younger larvae. Would be an interesting theory to test on your early capped cells.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,729

    Default Re: Q Cells capped too soon?

    If you can see them, they are too old...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Indian River, Florida
    Posts
    232

    Default Re: Q Cells capped too soon?

    You can certainly see larvae that is in the 12-18 hour period for grafting. Just be sure that you are grafting the larvae that will provide the best overall results. You will soon get the habit of picking out the best larvae for your best results. Larvae up to thirty six hours old will provide good results. Try to judge your larvae by size, larvae about the size of lettuce seed is a great size to consider for grafting. Keep trying, you will have better results with more experience. Perfect practice makes for perfect results! There are good references out there for guidance, Practical Queen Rearing by Frank Pellett and Beekeeping by John E. Eckert and Frank R. Shaw along with Dr. Lawrence Connor book on queen rearing have good information that will assist you in understanding queen rearing.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Gloucester County, New Jersey
    Posts
    216

    Default Re: Q Cells capped too soon?

    I did some more researching and found that they could indeed be capped in 3-1/2 days like some of mine were.
    Can someone recommend a grafting tool that is a tiny bit stiffer for lack of a better word, than the Chinese grafting tool?
    I've also discovered that for me, grafting out of older comb is easier because new comb breaks too easily.

    -Ed

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Cattaraugus,New York, USA
    Posts
    345

    Embarrassed Re: Q Cells capped too soon?

    Yeah, they can be capped in 3 1/2 days, because capping has to do with larve development, and older larve are more developed than younger larve.
    A stainless steel grafting tool from dadant is very stiff, and might be what you are looking for. I have also modified toothpicks and match sticks to get grafting tools made.
    Last edited by NY_BLUES; 05-01-2013 at 09:47 PM.
    Allegany Mtn. Bee Farm
    Quality Queens and Honey from Western New York

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Indian River, Florida
    Posts
    232

    Default Re: Q Cells capped too soon?

    Yes, the stainless steel tool from Dadant is very good and I would advise anyone to use this tool. You can make good tools out of several different items. I have altered old dental tools that work well and can be easily obtained.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Gloucester County, New Jersey
    Posts
    216

    Default Re: Q Cells capped too soon?

    Thanks. There is so much of the whitish fluid in the cell that the Chinese tool has trouble lifting the larva out without bending backwards and depositing the larva on the side wall. That could also be a sign that the larva was a little big and the tool couldn't hold them

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