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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    1,410

    Default Second attempt at grafting a complete failure.

    Grafted the last Sunday in April and checked them this Friday....only to find nothing! I think the problem was I flipped the larva this time around or they dried out as it was quite hot out. I grafted in my truck with the AC on low just enough I didn't over heat myself!

    Gonna try again in about a month, for now I am letting my splits raise their own queens.

    On a positive note I am now up to 17 hives from 5 in march and all is going great!
    Coyote Creek Bees

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,070

    Default Re: Second attempt at grafting a complete failure.

    Very very good! Keep it up. I am building more hives to expand my
    operation too. How come it is so hard to do a graft? Are you trying
    to improve your grafting skills? I did the notching method that seems to
    work great. I like to do a graft too but not sure how young to choose the larvae
    to graft. Do we choose the newly hatched, 3 or 5 days old larvae?
    I put everything on the notching method today.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,591

    Default Re: Second attempt at grafting a complete failure.

    Quote Originally Posted by beepro View Post
    Do we choose the newly hatched, 3 or 5 days old larvae?
    Read about caste determination in honeybees.

    The closer to the egg the better. 12 hour old is about right. 3-5 day old will fail.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Earlysville, Virginia USA
    Posts
    99

    Default Re: Second attempt at grafting a complete failure.

    BeeGhost,
    Perhaps the humidity in your cab was too low with the AC going and I am sure that they air flow would not help. I could see how if you took your time grafting and did not quickly cover the grafts with a damp cloth that they could dry out quickly. Also are you sure that your cell builder was queenless? Those are the first two things that jumped out to me as potential possibilities other than flipping the larva over. I am sure that there are others!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    1,410

    Default Re: Second attempt at grafting a complete failure.

    Beepro - Grafting is a learning experience. I am basically practicing to become better at it as I do like the method a lot. Like Michael said, basically your almost grafting royal jelly as the larva is that hard to see sometimes and which is why I am going to invest in a jewlers magnifying goggles or something like them.

    Ryan- I can bet your right with the humidity issue, and negative on the damp cloth to cover them, I didnt provide that and will next time forsure. I am 100% sure the cell builder was queenless as they produced about 5 or 6 queen cells on the frame of eggs/larva I gave them, ended up cutting out a cell and transplated it in another nuc and made a split that way and wil let the other emerge and fight it out this week.

    Heres a question, how long can a frame be unattended by bees before the larva perish? Like if I was to grab a frame and cover it with a damp towel, go home and graft ( 10 minute drive) and then bring everything back?

    And I kind of had a feeling that the grafts wouldnt take as I looked at them just before placing them and seen that the royal jelly was drying up..........but gave it a try anyhow...........lesson learned!!

    Gonna start grafting mid morning while its still cool and bring along a damp cloth!! Still lots of learning to do!!
    Coyote Creek Bees

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,408

    Default Re: Second attempt at grafting a complete failure.

    BeeGhost,

    I have my best grafting success if I do it just after the sun first comes up (using the first rays of the morning sun to illuminate my grafting area, so I can see what I'm doing). At that time of day, our temps are still somewhat moderate, and the humidity is about as high as it will be all day. I also have a 1000 psi fogging system set up under the mesquite tree, where I keep my nucs, mating nucs, and cell builder colonies. It is set on an adjustable period, cycling timer that has a photo eye that disables it after dark. The timer permits adjusting the amount of time the mister pump runs, and also the time between misting cycles is adjustable.

    I added the fogging system, because during the Summer, many of my cells, though they had lots of surplus royal jelly when they were capped, it would soon dry out. With the fogger increasing the relative humidity, and reducing the temp, the surplus RJ persists longer.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,070

    Default Re: Second attempt at grafting a complete failure.

    To increase the humidity, perhaps use a small pvc plastic tent house or small greenhouse type of structure.
    I am thinking to use boiling water to increase the humidity inside before doing your grafting. Is 10 minutes
    one way trip? Then 20 minutes is too far away from the hive. Maybe consider doing a graft on the spot with
    the increase in humidity.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,875

    Default Re: Second attempt at grafting a complete failure.

    I'd bet money you missed one queen cell in your starter hive. Don't blame your grafting quite yet.
    I started grafting and using the Mann lake grid system at the same time. My take on the hand grafts and the grid cells was exactly the same, so I knew my starter and finishing colonies were the cause.
    I am in Washington State. Lack of humidity is NOT a problem

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,070

    Default Re: Second attempt at grafting a complete failure.

    Laurie, I'm still new to this queen crafting.
    How come we need a cell starter colony?
    Is it because they will make bigger qcs this way?
    Can cell starter and finisher be in the same hive?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Cattaraugus,New York, USA
    Posts
    345

    Default Re: Second attempt at grafting a complete failure.

    Beepro,

    Yes your starter and finisher can be the same hive, but you need to either make a really strong starter finisher, or graft fewer cells. I have found that my starter finisher combos can start and finish about 20-25 good cells per run, so that is what i give them. Some folks want to start 45-60 in a shot, so they start them in a starter, and place them above an excluder on a strong queen right colony to use as their finisher.
    Allegany Mtn. Bee Farm
    Quality Queens and Honey from Western New York

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Grass Valley, California, USA
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Second attempt at grafting a complete failure.

    Hello I have never grafted before but I think the point of a starter is to give the Rjelly to the cells and the finisher is to cap and heat the cells. A queenless hive will be WAY more likely to make and feed the newly grafted queens. I have a friend that feeds his queenless hives for 3 days before puting grafts in. He says it makes a larger bed of Rjelly.
    By Their Fruits Ye Shall Know Them

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