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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Utila, Bay Islands, Honduras
    Posts
    68

    Default Grafting Attempt

    I recently grafted 30 larvae in my first attempt at the procedure. When I took a look at them 4 days later I was surprised to find that all of the plastic cell cup that I had treated were empty! I'm new to this so I would appreciate any feed back on what could have possibly gone wrong.
    2nd Year New-Bee - 22 Hives, 28 Swarms, 3 Cut outs in 2014
    Zone 10 - B - Utila, Bay Islands, Honduras

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,873

    Default Re: Grafting Attempt

    Possibly a queen in your cell builder.
    Possibly not enough nectar flow.

    Cell builder works best when hopelessly queenless, meaning no queen and no eggs or larva young enough for them to make a queen of their own, instead of building out your grafts. It should be overly populated with young nurse bees and works best if a nectar flow is on. Feeding sugar syrup and pollen substitute is a good idea, nectar flow or not. Good luck on your next try!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,782

    Default Re: Grafting Attempt

    I'll add:

    What you grafted was too old - if you can see it, its probably too old. A tiny shiny spot is what you're looking for. I need fairly strong magnification to graft. If the larvae is already "C" shaped, its too old. Or

    You let the larvae dry out
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Tyrone, Pennsylvania,USA
    Posts
    353

    Default Re: Grafting Attempt

    I tried my first graft on Saturday, I done 20 grafts and ended up with 2 cells.I was happy to get what I did for the first time.I used a small #3/0 paint brush and it worked ok.I tried the Chinese grafting tool and found it too difficult, with practice It will get better,good luck.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Gloucester County, New Jersey
    Posts
    216

    Default Re: Grafting Attempt

    My first try I got zero out of 12. Second try 1 out of 10. Third try I got 9 out of 20. Keep doing it, you will get better. Look for the tiniest "c" shape in the cell. I need reading glasses and a light that clips onto my ballcap.
    I used the Chinese grafting tool. I want to find something a little sturdier when lifting the larva out of the cell. It is nice for placing the larva in the cell cup though.

    IMG_6994.jpgIMG_6999.jpgIMG_7009.jpgIMG_7101.jpg

    The last photo is my "1 out of 10". She was a day or 2 late emerging but maybe the cooler nights slowed her progress. I'll see how she performs in a few weeks.

    The others are due to emerge Thursday.

    Don't give up and good luck.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Utila, Bay Islands, Honduras
    Posts
    68

    Default Re: Grafting Attempt

    Quote Originally Posted by AstroBee View Post
    I'll add:

    What you grafted was too old - if you can see it, its probably too old. A tiny shiny spot is what you're looking for. I need fairly strong magnification to graft. If the larvae is already "C" shaped, its too old. Or

    You let the larvae dry out
    I used the smallest larvae that I could see and get a hold of, which means that they were all definitely 'C' shaped. I did not put anything in the cell cup for moisturizing. What would be good to use for that?
    2nd Year New-Bee - 22 Hives, 28 Swarms, 3 Cut outs in 2014
    Zone 10 - B - Utila, Bay Islands, Honduras

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Auburn, Washington, USA
    Posts
    318

    Default Re: Grafting Attempt

    If grafting is tough for you, just read up Old Timer's presentation on how he cuts his foundation with day-old larvae and punches out two cells between each future queen cell. You don't need to graft to get high quality queens.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,782

    Default Re: Grafting Attempt

    Quote Originally Posted by captaintat2 View Post
    I used the smallest larvae that I could see and get a hold of, which means that they were all definitely 'C' shaped. I did not put anything in the cell cup for moisturizing. What would be good to use for that?
    Yeah, sounds like you used larvae that was too old. Get some good magnification and try again. I will steal some royal jelly from the older nearby larvae to assist in the transfer. I know many just graft into dry cells, but I find a little moisture really helps me float them off.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,774

    Default Re: Grafting Attempt

    You need, the right age larvae, for sure, but also you need a starter that is LITERALLY overflowing with bees, and you need bees that are in the mood to rear queens. This is usually indicated by an abundance of drones.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesqueenrearing.htm
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Gloucester County, New Jersey
    Posts
    216

    Default Re: Grafting Attempt

    russian virgin queen.jpg

    One of my results.

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