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  1. #61
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    Jul 2013
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    Mirabel, Québec, Canada
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    435

    Default Re: Talk About Your Incubator

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    I would not bank a virgin queen in any manner. unless it was just for a couple of days at most. The queens that emerge in my incubator are in cages. each cage has just a dab of honey on it and the queen is able to eat it. This keeps her going for the first 24 hours if needed. I do nto really want to see a virgin stay in the incubator longer than that.

    1, the queen is not necessary fully developed when she emerges and her ability to move around contributes to her final development. a lto fo that final development has to do with her egg laying ability.

    2. I usually will have a mating nuc full of bees waiting for a queen. The only reason for the delay in giving them one is that I usually only place virgins in nuc once a day. If I then return to find another virgin has emerged she will stay in the incubator until the next days introductions. IF I where to have enough virgins emerge to make it worth another trip to the nucs. I will make a second one in the same day.

    3. You want the virgin to get mated in the first 7 to 14 days. Not doing so can lead to an inferior or even completely infertile queen.

    4. Banking mated queens is a better idea. even then I would want to let the queen mate. lay at least for a few days to both allow her time for full development as well as evaluate her. then bank her.
    What if the goal was to II her?

  2. #62
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    Sep 2011
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    Reno, NV
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    Default Re: Talk About Your Incubator

    I would do it between 3 and 7 days and still give her room to move. It is my understanding that ability to move is required for the proper final development of the reproductive organs.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  3. #63
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    Default Re: Talk About Your Incubator

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    You have an incubator Daniel? Thought you advocated leaving cells in the bathroom near a lamp.
    Interesting. I will keep this in mind the next time I consider your interpretation of information.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  4. #64
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    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Talk About Your Incubator

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    I have incubated queen cells on a shelf in a bathroom with a lamp near it.
    Not sure how many other ways than the obvious there are to interpret that.

    I did question you on it when you made the statement but as you did not take the opportunity to answer, I could only interpret what you said at face value, as would anyone else.

    The context of your post was that incubators can be complicated "to the ends of the earth", but you just have to put cells in the bathroom near a lamp. (Successfully implied, although you failed to verify that when I asked).
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  5. #65
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    Jul 2013
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    Mirabel, Québec, Canada
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    435

    Default Re: Talk About Your Incubator

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    I would do it between 3 and 7 days and still give her room to move. It is my understanding that ability to move is required for the proper final development of the reproductive organs.
    Think the nicot cages are large enough? How would one measure enough room? Glenn used small bottles, I think, but I'm not sure if there was much more room in those than in the nicot hair roller cages.

  6. #66
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    Sep 2011
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    Reno, NV
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    Default Re: Talk About Your Incubator

    Funny how you completely missed my posting of all the queen cells I have incubated in my incubators. you also managed to miss the links I posted to massive information on how to build them with an extremely wide range of options in not only containers that can be used but various methods of control. I sort of find it amazing that you can then conclude I am advocating anything.

    As for your question. I have not interest in answering it. I posted it as an example of how little control or equipment is needed. I am not interested in your BS line of questions. I don't care if you believe it. I don't care if you attempt it. I did it and I could do it again any time I wish. Provided I have queen cells. So your ultra control crap is completely unnecessary. and my no tech success is the proof. So if I am advocating anything with that post it is that you don't know your ass from a hole in the ground about what you think is needed to incubate queen cells. See just how far off you really are? Now you just keep trying to figure it out with that skill level.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  7. #67
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    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Talk About Your Incubator

    Just asked a question.

    Didn't take your pills today?
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  8. #68
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Ft. Collins, Colorado
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    577

    Default Re: Talk About Your Incubator

    Oldtimer, very interesting explanation on the controller etc... Good luck with it.. I went with the very simple bee a bator years ago that is just the fowl incubator modified to fit the cell bars with fan. It's been running 24-7 since the middle of May. No complaints other than bumping up the thermostat periodically. But I have no clue on the temperature fluctuations since it always looks to be registering the correct temperature etc.., so it's nice to hear your observations on the fluctuations in a normal hive. Makes sense. Thanks for your explanation.

  9. #69
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    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Talk About Your Incubator

    Brandy at what stage do you put the queen cells in, straight after they are capped? I still don't know if fluctuations matter or not, although outside of normal hive temperatures presumably is not good. Do you know if your controller is a PID?

    The old temperature controller I used to use said the temperature was stable also, so I thought it was, till I put a more precision electronic thermometer in there to check and that was a shock. Which brought on this whole thing I've gone through to search for a better controller. But anyhow seems like plenty people have success with other types so the proof is in the pudding I guess.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  10. #70
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: Talk About Your Incubator

    I have no doubt that the Coriolis effect has something to do with properly raising queen cells in a humid bathroom. You know, the water swirls down the drain in the opposite direction in New Zealand than in Reno.



    Barry, we need a "screwed" icon with threads going the other way for the folks down under ...
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  11. #71
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Ft. Collins, Colorado
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    577

    Default Re: Talk About Your Incubator

    Yes, the cells go in as soon as they are capped. And No, no idea on the PID and wouldn't have even known anything about it until your post! The greatest advantage in my case for this incubator was how fast it returns to temp. opening-closing etc.. Putting cells in, taking cells out, caging cells etc.. I graft each week so there's always a little carryover. I also think there's a wide variation in the humidity in the hive as you've mentioned. I've backed off a little over the years on how much water I leave in the reservoir in the incubator. But again, I'm pretty low tech and don't have any numbers or %.

  12. #72
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    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Talk About Your Incubator

    Yes the water I think can be overdone. I'd read humidity in a brood nest is supposed to be 95% so had a large water dish in the incubator but queens used to emerge with big swollen abdomens they looked huge, absorbed too much moisture. So testing an actual hive and finding it runs a lot lower than 95% I've dropped it in the incubator and now the queens hatch looking totally normal.

    And Rader, I don't even know which way the water goes down the plug depends which sink, may have a stronger influence than the earths rotation. But our screws are threaded same as your diagram.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  13. #73
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    Nov 2011
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    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    6,533

    Default Re: Talk About Your Incubator

    I understand "normal" screw thread direction is the same the world over ... but my reverse comment tied in nicely to the Coriolis effect, I thought ...

    It was an attempt at humour, without responding directly to a post that may not be around for posterity.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  14. #74
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    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Talk About Your Incubator

    Yes, I did get it.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  15. #75
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    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
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    3,130

    Default Re: Talk About Your Incubator

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Just asked a question.

    Didn't take your pills today?
    Is your only skill insults? Or do you randomly think you know something about beekeeping?
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  16. #76
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    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Talk About Your Incubator

    Daniel. I asked you a legitimate question about your cell raising claims, that I would have been interested in an answer to. For your own reasons you have said you have no interest in answering it.

    I would be keen to chat with you if it could be sensible but it's pretty clear you have decided which way any discussion with you will go. A pity. But my intention was that this be a useful thread so I won't risk further attempt at communicating with you here.

    BTW I know nothing of your incubators, guess I do not read every last thing that appears on Beesource. I do not bear grudges and would be happy to discuss them with you sometime if you want, somewhere else.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  17. #77
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    Sep 2011
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    Reno, NV
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    Default Re: Talk About Your Incubator

    Okay you want a discussion.
    First I will make this link easy for you since it seems you missed it previously.
    http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/60...ade-incubators
    Here is another from the same source.
    http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/63...ey-work-or-not
    If you search that site for homemade incubator you will find much more. It will also require a massive amount of reading. I know I have done it and then some.

    I can either go through what I have discovered. Much of which woudl be irrelevant to a queen cell incubator such as low set. hysteresis, delays. offsets and much more. Or I can condense the information I have from these sources into only the relevant information for queen cells.

    Fist some of the information I do not consider relevant.
    1. humidity control
    2. temperature fluctuation within reason. I consider temperature swings of as much as 3 degrees +/- perfectly adequate.
    3. insulation
    4. High quality temperature control

    As far as enclosures. Some of the primary considerations I see are one. Where can you locate it. it has to fit where you can make room. visibility. you are going to have your nose stuck to it face it. so make it so you can see what you want to see and be comfortable while doing it. I don't recommend a top view. a side view requires the incubator be placed up higher or it gets uncomfortable to look into. Appearance is a bonus. but few ever get that far. Size. this is far less of a concern if you take some additional step to make the space you have usable. Queen cells are small and you can place a lot of them in a small space. this is also a big advantage. I suggest you make any housing heavy enough that it will not move with normal handling. such as pulling off the lid. opening the door or removing and adding cells. You can either find a container that already has weight or add weight in any manner you can contrive.

    I do not consider insulation an issue for a queen cell incubator with the following requirements. The incubator must be used indoors in an environmentally controlled area. so if you are going to build an incubator that needs to operate in an unheated shed for example you will have some other issues to address. Now here is my explanation of why there is no need for insulation for an incubator that will be kept indoors in a space that is also temperature controlled. Heating any given space is a simple matter of energy in vs energy out. It is far easier and cost effective to put in more energy than to try and keep it from escaping when you have a space as small as a typical queen cell incubator will be. It is easy to pump in the power needed rather than try and keep it from leaking out. Case in point is my lamp next to cells in a shelf. none stop energy input. Maximum leakage. It required a 25 watt bulb and I could probably have gone lower than that.

    Temperature control and disbursement. It seems a bit strange but given that an incubator is built to control temperature. it is probably the least understood part of an incubator builder. Once they are done the incubator does not perform as they expected so they think they did something wrong. usually the biggest lack of understanding is concerning heat itself. what is it. how does it work and how does it spread around.

    First of all heat is energy. And it comes from energy. usually in this case electricity converted to heat via some element. But heat does not just fill a space. I think of it more like oil on water that forms a rainbow colored patterns. heat sort of mingles around in an air space in globs and lumps. but it does not really spread out evenly. This is why air movement can sometimes help. in this case I do not find it necessary. there will be globs and lumps of warmer and cooler air. but the differences are not nearly enough to matter to a queen cell.

    What we want in an incubator is convected heat. but it is easy to end up with radiant heat. shield the heat source. shield it well and you will have much more space to use in the incubator. Temperature swing is usually a problem but on that is easily fixed by placing the thermostat or heat sensor close to the heat source. IN the cases where I use hot water heater thermostats I actually place the stat within one inch of the heat source. temp control is brought to tenths of a degree that way. This is far more than is necessary for queen cells.

    I recently had an incident with my cheap e-bay purchase temperature controller where it stayed stuck in the on position this resulted in a set temperature of 160 degrees rising to 197. For this reason i now advice that if you use cheap controllers that you place two of them in the circuit. the first being set one degree above the other. so if the first fails the second will open the circuit.

    Although things like hot water heater thermostats will work I do not recommend them they are dependent on the outside temperature being stable. I am a big fan of heat controllers even if they are the cheap $25 ones on e-bay. keep in mind a stat will be 10 to 15 dollars anyway. There are a lot nicer controllers and hopefully far more reliable for more money. so pick your poison. I simply recommend a temp controller over all else. they make operating the incubator easy.

    Recovery. this is usually an issue that is never mentioned but is actually very important. Recovery is the time it takes for your incubator to recover any lost heat. A long recover time equals less temperature control. It is part of the reason you get the temperature swing. More power means faster recovery means less temperature swing.

    Here is a real life measured difference. heat recovered equals 5 degrees. Time for recover 1 minute. Temperate swing 9 degrees + 3 degrees -. This set up was redone so that recover was 7 seconds. temperature swing fell to 2 degrees + and -. Additional fiddling moved the sensor , in this case a stat to within 1 inch of the heat source and temperature swing fell to 2 tenths of a degree plus and minus.

    Keep in mind that with a temperature controller my temp swing is one full degree. I set it for 95 degrees it turns the heat source on until it reaches 96 degrees then shuts off. when it hits 94 degrees it turns on again. This is as good as it gets with my controller. I can do better with a stat. But there is no need for that much control when it comes to queen cells.

    My final advice. make it comfortable to work in. and spend more time on how to hold the queen cells and cages. You will get more mileage for your effort that way. Any old box a light bulb and something that turns it on and off at a fairly reliable temp will do otherwise.

    So where did I get my idea of incubating my queen cells on a shelf next to a lamp? No less than Doolittle. It has been done that way for well over 100 years.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  18. #78
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    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Talk About Your Incubator

    Thanks Daniel very interesting.

    There are a few things I would like to ask you about it but as per post 76 I won't cos it wouldn't be worth the aggro plus you never seem to answer actual questions anyway. For example you still have not answered my original questions asked in post 44, none of them answered. But don't worry about it doesn't matter any more.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  19. #79
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    Sep 2011
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    Reno, NV
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    Default Re: Talk About Your Incubator

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Daniel I think we need to compare apples to apples. Did you take the queen cells at the time of capping, and leave them near your bathroom lamp until they hatched, and they were fine? And what sort of mating percent did you get from them?

    I want queens that are not just alive, but are vigorous and will mate well, lay plenty eggs, and live long.
    Actually I thought I had answered this question. Maybe I didn't get it sent. I do that.

    In all I believe without looking at my records I incubated 9 cells next to the lamp. All of which where viable and well formed upon emergence. 3 managed to get placed in colonies. the other 6 where lost due to a mistake my daughter made while placing them in hives. She left them laying in their cages in the sun. In less than 2 minutes they where all dead. Of the three that survived all successfully mated. 2 are typical as far as laying one is exceptional.

    After these few cells we moved on to getting an incubator set up and ran about a 95% success rate with over 100 cells as far as emergence. but quality of the queens began to vary. I do not consider incubation or not had anything to do with this quality variation. It was colony strength that produced the queen cell that I saw made that difference. will be able to say more on the incubator itself next spring when I harvest swarm cells. I will also be ready to manipulate the bees to produce cells at that time also. We produced most of our queens much later than we should have due to lack of equipment at the correct time. We are now set up for next spring at least on a small scale.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  20. #80
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
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    Suffolk, VA
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    2,722

    Default Re: Talk About Your Incubator

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    Temperature swing is usually a problem but on that is easily fixed by placing the thermostat or heat sensor close to the heat source.
    Not sure I understand what you're saying. Are you controlling the temp near the heat source, and therefore indirectly at the cell location? I've found that its much better to place the temp probe as close as possible to the cells. This way you're directly controlling the temp were it needs to be controlled. I really don't care much what the temp is 10 inches away from my cells as long as the temp remains fairly stable and close to my target temp throughout the cycles. This is important in my incubator since its a fairly large space.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

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