Talk About Your Incubator
This thread is to talk about and show pics of your queen cell incubator.
To kick off I'll show mine, it's home made from 2 inch thick polystyrene glued together. It works OK although the temperature swings more than I would like. This is because the temperature controller is set to a maximum variance of 1 degree, but the temperature probe is rather big and slow to react. So the air temperature has to pass the set temperature by around a degree, before the probe will get to the actual trigger temperature.
Anyhow here's some pics with explanations.
This is the outside of the incubator with the lid leaning on it. The temperature controller is an Aqua Logic that used to be on my fish tank. Higher up, there is a small fish tank digital thermometer, this has a very small probe which reacts faster to temperature changes, so gives a more accurate reading and it tells me the temperature swings more than the display on the aqua logic reads, which I assume is because the temperature probe of the aqua logic is quite thick so takes longer for the temperature to change, ie, there is a lag between the temperature of the probe, and the air temperature.
This pic is the inside. The dimensions are pretty much the same as a langstroth box only deeper, so frames of cells can be hung inside on the wooden slats glued near the top. The other main parts are labelled in the pic. The heat source is a 50 W ceramic bulb that came from the pet store, it's the kind used for reptile tanks it doesn't give off any light as I thought light may bother the cells. Under the light is a tray for water, this is to provide humidity, as I'm told humidity in a normal broodnest is around 95%. There is a small computer type fan, not very powerful but the idea is to provide a small amount of air movement to keep temperature even from top to bottom of the incubator. It also blows directly onto the temperature probe, to hopefully speed the reactivity of the probe.
The incubator works. However I am not 100% satisfied with it.
I'm hoping others will contribute with both ideas and more pics, that will be helpful to both me, and others.
44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).