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Thread: Grafting

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
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    Default Grafting

    do you guys prime your cells?
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  2. #2
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    FRASER VALLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA
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    Default Re: Grafting

    Nope. Feed cell builders and breeder queen hives Caspian solution. The larvae are swimming in jelly. No need to prime or any advantage I could see. As is there is some leftover jelly that the developing queen does not eat. This is my sign that they got plenty of jelly during development.

    Jean-Marc

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Grafting

    thx Jean-Marc
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  4. #4
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    Dawson Creek, BC, Canada
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    Default Re: Grafting

    Last year I found that priming with water, using a toothpick really improved my success %. This year my first couple graft bars I used water primer and had poor success (30%). Switched to dry cells, and the next graft had 75% success. What's the best solution? ... Wait till the dandilion flow.
    Luke

  5. #5
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    Jun 2012
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    Dawson Creek, BC, Canada
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    Default Re: Grafting

    Quote Originally Posted by jean-marc View Post
    Nope. Feed cell builders and breeder queen hives Caspian solution. The larvae are swimming in jelly. No need to prime or any advantage I could see. As is there is some leftover jelly that the developing queen does not eat. This is my sign that they got plenty of jelly during development.

    Jean-Marc
    Where do you get it? I've never heard of it till now. I did find a few other posts about it, but is it really that effective?
    Luke

  6. #6
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    Jul 2000
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    NE Calif.
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    Default Re: Grafting

    Not me. With a bag of Chinese grafting tools handy (so I can always find a good one)there is no need to prime.That is assuming the larvae are well fed, as they should be.Now I admit to occasionally coming up without the larvae, so use that gob of jelley to prime the next cup.But it isn't necessary.

    I do have to use a magnifier for grafting nowadays.

  7. #7
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    Sep 2009
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    Tyrone, Pennsylvania,USA
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    Default Re: Grafting

    I like to prime the cells but I have only tried It a few times. When I find swarm cells I will cut them out and freeze them.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    New Albany, Ohio, USA
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    Default Re: Grafting

    Yes, slightly better acceptance rate and able to graft younger larvae. Most commercial operations do not prime cells as it is just an extra step. Miksa Honey Farms is one of the only commercial operations that I know of that still primes cells, but it gives them a few extra percentage points on their takes.
    Breeder Queens & Honey Bee Nutritional Supplements
    www.latshawapiaries.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Lee County, Illinois
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    113

    Default Re: Grafting

    We were grafting between 1400-1800 cells every four days during queen production time. Each cell gets a prime. Much easier on the larvae in my opinion. You don't have to struggle getting it off the tool and risk Rollin it over. As for the caspian solution. We had two
    Cell yards this season and as a control used the solution at one. My opinion, just another snake oil attempt. Put this amazing cure all solution into the hive and you'll have the strongest healthiest bees of the year. Give me a break.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Grafting

    what are you guys using to prime? just water, or a royal jelly water mix?
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Sudbury, Ontario
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    Default Re: Grafting

    I know I'm just small-time... this is my first year grafting. Using freshly hatched larvae, jzbz cups, chinese grafting tool, not priming cells (except for the occasional oops when I missed pulling a larvae out and got a 'tool' full of royal jelly, or screwed up putting it in the cell cup and pulled the larvae back out)...

    All done in a 5-frame nuc, fed 1:1 sugar syrup, no protein supplement
    Attempt 1 - grafted 28, got 25 (wasn't impressed with royal jelly production though, and cells looked small)
    Attempt 2 - grafted 20, currently have 17 or more accepted, with plenty of royal jelly. This is using the same cell starter/finisher. I think the difference is all the capped brood I put in when doing attempt 1 has hatched and reached the ideal age for royal jelly production.

    I try to be careful to keep the graft bars covered with a warm wet towel before and after the graft.

    I use a magnifying headset... best deal I found was online through Tmart (http://www.tmart.com/Up-to-10X-Magni...t_p142335.html)... shipped free to me, no duties/taxes.

    I try to get the youngest larvae possible... working the outer ring of brood, on the edge between egg and larvae.

    There are a ton of things that can affect acceptance... I'd love to do a couple studies on my own grafting, do a recording of my grafting to note my own comments on each cell as I go (touched the side of the cup, think I pinched the larvae, not sure if it rolled, that one looked perfect, preprimed that cell, larvae looks a little old)... and then check acceptance a few days later. Try to determine what human-influenced factors can affect acceptance. Taking the extra few seconds to redo a graft could mean an accepted queen cell, which in my opinion is more valuable than the time lost redoing it.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    New Albany, Ohio, USA
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    347

    Default Re: Grafting

    Royal jelly, diluted with about 15-20% saline, just to make it flow a little easier through the dropper. Old research suggests royal jelly composition varies depending on the age of the larvae, so most of the royal jelly used for priming is removed shortly after the bees accept the cells.
    Breeder Queens & Honey Bee Nutritional Supplements
    www.latshawapiaries.com

  13. #13
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    May 2010
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    Knox Co, Ohio, USA
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    830

    Default Re: Grafting

    Ian,

    I didn't have access to royal jelly and used a small droplet of 2:1 syrup. It sure made things a lot easier for me.

    Tom

  14. #14
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    Apr 2014
    Location
    Mapleton, Ut
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    6

    Default Re: Grafting

    This is my first year as well. I have not been fond of the Chinese grafting tool. how do you use them successfully? I use the metal Dental type tool and it works well for me. I have found if I leave a part of the larvae hanging off the edge of the tool, that it allows it to "grab" the bottom of the cup and slide right off. I don't prime, it makes it too slickery for the larvae, and I have to fight it to get it off the tool into the cup. But I am only getting 65-70 cells out of 100 for acceptance. with the Chinese tool I can't see the larvae as well and its more of a guess when I try and scoop it out, and then I seem to squish it while trying to use the plunger to slide it off.

  15. #15
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    Jul 2000
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    NE Calif.
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    Default Re: Grafting

    [/QUOTE] Taking the extra few seconds to redo a graft could mean an accepted queen cell, which in my opinion is more valuable than the time lost redoing it.[/QUOTE]

    Exactly right. If it doesn't seem right-redo it!

  16. #16
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    Nov 2009
    Location
    salisbury, wiltshire, united kingdom
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    Default Re: Grafting

    Quote Originally Posted by JSL View Post
    Royal jelly, diluted with about 15-20% saline, just to make it flow a little easier through the dropper. Old research suggests royal jelly composition varies depending on the age of the larvae, so most of the royal jelly used for priming is removed shortly after the bees accept the cells.
    Totally agree, the Royal jelly is removed after acceptance but helps keep the Larvae from drying out until back with the bees

  17. #17
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    Southern Oregon
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    Default Re: Grafting

    I prime the cells with roughly 50:50 jelly to water. You don't want it runny or it will drip out with your graft. Priming allows me to work longer and faster without worry of larvae drying out. Stainless steel grafting tool all they way...
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Grafting

    Do you harvest the royal jelly yourself?

  19. #19
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    Southern Oregon
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    Default Re: Grafting

    Sometimes, but it is much more convenient to purchase some. Most decent health food stores will carry some fresh RJ.
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    DFW area, TX, USA
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    Default Re: Grafting

    How many put two larvae (double graft) in each cell to increase the acceptance percentage?

    Anyone else use water and honey to prime the cell?
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

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