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  1. #1
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    Dec 2012
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    Default ReptiPro or Exoterra

    Hi, All! I am looking into buying an incubator.
    Which one is better for queen hatching? Which one do you use and how is your rating of it?
    What are the differences in term of functionality other than the price?
    Gratefulness is the key to a happy lifeIf we are not grateful then we will not be happy since we always want something +

  2. #2
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    Dec 2012
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    silverton, or.
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    Default Re: ReptiPro or Exoterra

    Hi, I had purchased Exo terra at a great price. I had noting to loose. The incubator has lived up to it's purpose! Timer is set between 92 & 95, wet sponges are used for the humidity and so far no problems. The space is small. I use two shelves, so the back row is not easy to see. You can stuff 100 hair roll cages in it Perhaps I need a larger incubator!

  3. #3
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    Dec 2012
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    Default Re: ReptiPro or Exoterra

    Yeah, if you are raising lots of queens then you need a bigger unit.
    What is the price range for this incubator to worth the buy?
    Gratefulness is the key to a happy lifeIf we are not grateful then we will not be happy since we always want something +

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Roy, Wa
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    Default Re: ReptiPro or Exoterra

    Good questions.

    I also have the Exo terra, and despite poor reviews on Amazon, it has worked perfectly for over a year. Months of nearly constant use. (They say it is the new and improved model.)
    It IS small and I don't like the fact the fan shuts off when the heating unit shuts off. Makes for a slight irregular interior temp from top to bottom. (Bottom is about 2 degrees cooler than top shelf)

    Any step up in size or quality I have seen is in the hundreds or thousands.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: ReptiPro or Exoterra

    Thanks, Lauri for the update.
    I know what you mean. At that price it is more economical to run several of the small units.

    The reptipro specs: "Constantly running internal fan for even temperature distribution."
    I am not sure if the fan will shut off when the heating is off also. This can be remedied by
    a small CPU fan inside independent of the unit fan. Some modification is needed I think.
    Gratefulness is the key to a happy lifeIf we are not grateful then we will not be happy since we always want something +

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Vancouver, BC, Canada
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    Default Re: ReptiPro or Exoterra

    Are both the same interior size? One review said the reptipro only held the temp with 5 degrees...that is a large drift. Not in need of one now but eye to the future
    Janne....first hives April 2013, 19 hives, treat, plant zone 8b, at sea level, latitude 49.13, longitude 123.06

  7. #7
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    Default Re: ReptiPro or Exoterra

    Exo Terra Dimensions:
    Exterior Dimensions: 13.5 length x 16 width x 19 height (in inches)
    Inner dimensions: 10.5 x 9 x 14.5

    ReptiPro Dimensions:
    Exterior Dimensions: 13.5" x 16.5" x 18.5"
    Interior Dimensions: 10.5" x 9.5" x 14.5"
    Weight: 18 pounds

    I guess the weight is just about the same on both. What do you mean a drift of 5 degree? If it is down to 88 before
    the unit turns on again then it is no good. Maybe some natural rocks in there will maintain the temps better.
    Gratefulness is the key to a happy lifeIf we are not grateful then we will not be happy since we always want something +

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Vancouver, BC, Canada
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    Default Re: ReptiPro or Exoterra

    Reviewers stated that...if it is to be a "x" degrees it would not start to correct the temp until 5 degrees off. That seems a lot to me.
    Janne....first hives April 2013, 19 hives, treat, plant zone 8b, at sea level, latitude 49.13, longitude 123.06

  9. #9
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    Jan 2012
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    Roy, Wa
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    Default Re: ReptiPro or Exoterra

    I hate to say it, but My old Little Giant Styrofoam chicken incubator with circ fan worked just as well. Fan stays on 24/7 and temp seems to be quite stable. When I used that, I thought the top of the cells in the roller cages were a little close to the heating unit, but that could be rectified by making a 2" shim to fit between the lid and bottom to extend the interior height. You'd have enough room to modify the bottom so it is flat, not contoured.

    I do like the glass door and shelves in the ExoTerra. I too am at the point of buying a second one or just making something. What saves me this year is I am placing more cells in nucs and only hatching out about half my crop in the incubator.
    This gives me five or six days to arrange mating nucs for all the cells/queens. If the weather is bad, etc I have a large window for placement.

    Virgins are in roller cages laying on their sides, hatching cells in vertical cages.





    Cabelas food dehydrator is the likely candidate for home made incubator. It has the quality I am looking for in a unit.



    They come in two sizes. This is the large one.

    Last edited by Lauri; 05-09-2014 at 07:16 AM.

  10. #10
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    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: ReptiPro or Exoterra

    Quote Originally Posted by beepro View Post
    Which one is better for queen hatching?
    Just curious. Queen hatching? Why are you hatching queens in your incubator? How do you keep emerged queens separated?
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  11. #11
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    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: ReptiPro or Exoterra

    Quote Originally Posted by beepro View Post
    Yeah, if you are raising lots of queens then you need a bigger unit.
    What is the price range for this incubator to worth the buy?
    I have a friend who uses a retrofitted refrigerator. But his cells aren't in it very long at all. He gets them into mating nucs or gets them sold in a timely manner.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  12. #12
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    Default Re: ReptiPro or Exoterra

    If improving the bee genetic for better bees and the over all queen quality then Lauri has a few years ahead of me. I am still an ever learning student here. Like her, I found out that I have the talent to make some good queens and share what I had learned too in beekeeping. So I started experimenting. I am still learning from what good information she can give here. Lauri has a very big heart to share what she has learned over the years as well as many improvement of her set up that she developed over the years of beekeeping. For that I am very grateful to have a model to follow. Still have a lot to learn from her. Thanks, Lauri.
    You see the whole purpose of hatching queens inside an incubator is to buy you more time. I had lost so many good queens over the season because not being able to get to them in a timely manner. Sometime they would stick together even though they are big and fat queen cells. Separating them will either kill one or the other. At times a very hard decision to make which one to live or die. At the same time you are controlling which genetic and the queen quality that you like to keep. It is very good for II or AI too if you want to take that route someday. You will not be begging people of where to buy the next queen from over wintering of a lost queen. I had experienced with chasing for a mated queen in the middle of the early Spring to no avail. Nobody would want to spare what they scarcely have just out of winter. Over here we have the perfect environment to make some very early Spring queens from. See pics below! I believe having an incubator will help me in this process to increase the queen number in this successful venture.
    If you see her set up, Lauri has the roller cage to separate her newly emerged queens. This will be the set up that I am using but use window screen #8 hardware wire sheet instead of plastic roller cages. I like to make my queen rearing process as much fun as possible with innovation in mind. i.e.#1 of many, to make multi-cell cages to hold multiple queen cells. At the same time able to spare a few good quality queens to the needy, like me. I want to take the frustration out of beekeeping as much as possible to the many newbees out there. I had many frustration when I got started in the beginning killing more bees than raising them successfully. But thanks to beesource I had learned a lot from the many contributor over the years.
    There are many improvement that you can do in beekeeping with an incubator. At the same time there are many questions I have that I might find in the queen rearing process. Mainly it is to hold and to control the timing of the beekeeping process. Don't you agree?
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    Gratefulness is the key to a happy lifeIf we are not grateful then we will not be happy since we always want something +

  13. #13
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    Default Re: ReptiPro or Exoterra

    I have a hard time reading dense text. Please break your Posts up into paragraphs. Thanks.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  14. #14
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    Default Re: ReptiPro or Exoterra

    Xxooxo Now you can open many notepad to copy and paste them in. Read them one by one to get the message.

    Quote Originally Posted by beepro View Post
    if improving the bee genetic for better bees and the over all queen quality then lauri has a few years ahead of me. I am still an ever learning student here. Like her, i found out that i have the talent to make some good queens and share what i had learned too in beekeeping.

    So i started experimenting. I am still learning from what good information she can give here. Lauri has a very big heart to share what she has learned over the years as well as many improvement of her set up that she developed over the years of beekeeping. For that i am very grateful to have a model to follow. Still have a lot to learn from her. Thanks, lauri.


    You see the whole purpose of hatching queens inside an incubator is to buy you more time. I had lost so many good queens over the season because not being able to get to them in a timely manner. Sometime they would stick together even though they are big and fat queen cells. Separating them will either kill one or the other. At times a very hard decision to make which one to live or die.

    At the same time you are controlling which genetic and the queen quality that you like to keep. It is very good for ii or ai too if you want to take that route someday. You will not be begging people of where to buy the next queen from over wintering of a lost queen. I had experienced with chasing for a mated queen in the middle of the early spring to no avail. Nobody would want to spare what they scarcely have just out of winter.

    Over here we have the perfect environment to make some very early spring queens from. See pics below! I believe having an incubator will help me in this process to increase the queen number in this successful venture.


    If you see her set up, lauri has the roller cage to separate her newly emerged queens. This will be the set up that i am using but use window screen #8 hardware wire sheet instead of plastic roller cages. I like to make my queen rearing process as much fun as possible with innovation in mind. I.e.#1 of many, to make multi-cell cages to hold multiple queen cells. At the same time able to spare a few good quality queens to the needy, like me.

    I want to take the frustration out of beekeeping as much as possible to the many newbees out there. I had many frustration when i got started in the beginning killing more bees than raising them successfully. But thanks to beesource i had learned a lot from the many contributor over the years.


    There are many improvement that you can do in beekeeping with an incubator. At the same time there are many questions i have that i might find in the queen rearing process. Mainly it is to hold and to control the timing of the beekeeping process. Don't you agree?
    Gratefulness is the key to a happy lifeIf we are not grateful then we will not be happy since we always want something +

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: ReptiPro or Exoterra

    Thanks
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Cattaraugus,New York, USA
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    345

    Default Re: ReptiPro or Exoterra

    I use the reptipro and it is a little small but i don't see a 5 degree swing in temps. Usually its within a degree or so. In mine the internal fan does run all the time, but as lauri pointed out, there may be a temp difference between The top and bottom shelves.
    I like it overall, and I would recommend them to anyone that wants an inexpensive cabinet incubator. Sure beats the price on a gqf sportsman or something along that line.

  17. #17
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    Jan 2007
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    Bonn, Germany
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    122

    Default Re: ReptiPro or Exoterra

    Quote Originally Posted by NY_BLUES View Post
    ... but as lauri pointed out, there may be a temp difference between The top and bottom shelves. ...
    One could probably rotate the box to get less temperature difference between upper and lower compartments. Try horizontal instead vertical.

    I would use a few usb temperature data loggers to evaluate the temperature stability in all 3 dimensions within the chamber. They are small, portable and record the actual times and temperatures. They are autonomous because of a small battery inside of each instrument and you don't need cables inside an incubator.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Jefferson Co, TX
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    637

    Default Re: ReptiPro or Exoterra

    sjj - Do you mind posting the name and model number of those usb temp data loggers? I would like to read up on them some.

    Would not mind being at the stage one day to be raising some of my own queens but have much to learn first.
    Started 9/13, building slowly, now @ 7 Lang hives + 5 nucs, and treatment style not decided yet

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
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    2,981

    Default Re: ReptiPro or Exoterra

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Just curious. Queen hatching? Why are you hatching queens in your incubator? How do you keep emerged queens separated?
    One reason is to sell virgin queens. a real pain to catch every one out of a nuc.
    Another is for evaluation of each individual queen that will even go into a nuc.
    Finally to conserve time any equipment is in use. If I can keep a virgin queen in a mating compartment 8 extra days because I have the next cell in an incubator it is far cheaper than purchasing more compartments. At one time I had over 100 cells in an incubator. Those same cells could have been tying up a cell builder or mating compartments.

    Mainly making the most of what you have.
    So far I have found that my limited rearing has not really ran into the mated queen out new virgin in problem. But then I gave myself 200 compartments to get virgins mated in. Never got that many virgins at once.

    After using an incubator for 286 cells I am not sure it is worth it. Not for wild cells anyway. Far to high of losses. I suppose it could be compared to what woudl have been lost had the cells been left in the hives though and one more queen is one more queen. If I am going to use grafts then I would want an incubator that will just hold the cell bar frames. Just take entire fraems and set them in it. I have a huge laboratory incubator that I can rebuild. It is large refrigerator size. I have built all my incubators. some from old broken down incubators, others form styrofoam boxes. old ice makers a couple made of plywood. Whatever I can find.

    You can use a hot water heater thermostat to control temperature. You have to know how to get tight temperature control using one though.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Bonn, Germany
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    122

    Default Re: ReptiPro or Exoterra

    Quote Originally Posted by marshmasterpat View Post
    sjj - Do you mind posting the name and model number of those usb temp data loggers? I would like to read up on them some.
    There are many types of them. Some of them a capable to read the humidity of the environment as well.
    I don't want to suggest one particular version or design of them.

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