Photos of larvae at the "right stage - Page 3
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  1. #41
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    Default Re: Photos of larvae at the "right stage

    This is a great thread.

    Deknow, are you using the Hubble telescope to take pictures with? Those photos are amazing.

    I also thought it was interesting to see that Michael Palmer and myself obviously use the same manicurist.
    The more I learn about bees, the less I know.

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  3. #42
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    Oak Harbor, WA
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    394

    Default Re: Photos of larvae at the "right stage

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephenpbird View Post
    I bought a pair of +3 reading glasses and that "drop of royal jelly with an imperfection at the surface" magically becomes larvae for grafting, even if you have good eyesight some form of magnification will help a great deal.
    + 4.5 reading glasses and a 250 lumen headlamp - now I can only see things a foot away from my face - but I can see just hatched larvae beautifully!

  4. #43
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    Jul 2006
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    Worcester County, Massachusetts
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    4,953

    Default Re: Photos of larvae at the "right stage

    I have a hard time with reading glasses...they are ok when looking at the thing up close , bit I get seasick if I look up from my work.

    This isn't helping as I try to get used to wearing bifocals for all the time seeing.
    Sometimes the lights all shining on me
    Other times I can barely see. -The Grateful Dead

  5. #44
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    Dec 2012
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    7,861

    Default Re: Photos of larvae at the "right stage

    That means you have to find the right pair of glasses to wear.
    A well adjusted pair of lenses will not do that to your eyes or head.
    Maybe a LED miner's light and a magnifying glass will help you see the larvae better.
    I can only see things up close so the tiny one day old larvae is perfect for me. I use an
    ear wax removal small metal scoop tool to scoop out the young larvae. Nothing can be more
    simpler than that.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  6. #45
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    Dec 2010
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    Ojai, California
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    2,573

    Default Re: Photos of larvae at the "right stage

    I thought I had invented the "queen jail", as I used to call it, but Pritchard invented the Pritchard box many years before I did.

    Mine is a different design than his, but it is a very practical design. It fits into a normal hive, and it rests on the rabbet ledges with pieces of angle iron or aluminum that are screwed onto the box.

    Arnie - To make a Pritchard box, proceed as follows:

    Rip a 36" long piece of 3/4" pine 4 3/8" wide (Attaching the QE material on the sides makes it 4 1/2" total - taking up the space of 3 standard frames + 4 beespaces). IF it is to fit in a 9 11/16" deep brood box, make the 2 ends 7 1/4" x 4 3/8". Cut 3/8" wide x 5/8" deep rabbet ledges for the frames to hang in the top end of each end piece (they face inwards when you assemble the box). Make the bottom 17 7/8" x 4 3/8".

    Cut rabbet joints to connect the 3 pieces of the box together, glue and staple. Cut a plastic queen excluder into 2 pieces 7 1/2" x 17 7/8" to be the long sides of the box. If you have a pneumatic stapler, it should attach the QE to the box with ease, but small nails work too.

    Now cut 2 pieces of angle iron or aluminum to hang the Pritchard box in the bee hive box. Locate them and mark them with a pencil, drill them and countersink them for flat head screws, and mount them.

    Make a tight-fitting lid. I use very thin (1/8" or 3/16" thick) aircraft birch plywood with an L-shaped band of thin sheet metal notched and bent to fit around the outside of the cage. I attached this with tiny brads that I had to pre-drill...I think pop rivets would have been better.

    The frames are custom made to fit inside the box. They are standard depth (6 1/4" deep) for medium Illinois supers, but a little bit shorter than regular frames so that they fit in the Pritchard box.

    In order to draw out the combs in these - and they have worker cell foundation - I attach them to a stick that is 19" x 1 1/4" x 3/4" thick (standard frame top bar) with 2 screws, so that the attached bar holds the frame in a regular deep box while the bees draw the foundation into comb. For quick identification, I paint these sticks pink. Don't leave them in too long - they might get filled with honey. We want them freshly drawn but empty for the breeder queen to lay her eggs in.

    I recommend a queen rearing beekeeper to make 3 of these as a minimum so that if a queen does not lay eggs in one Pritchard box, another breeder in another box will likely have the right age larvae so you can proceed on schedule.

    It is really only a convenience so that you don't have to look all over the yard for a frame with the right age larvae. I can pull it from the breeder's hive, place it in an empty nuc', take it over to the grafting tent, and return it at my convenience. It also helps limit the number of eggs that a breeder queen lays, so you can possibly extend her service life.

    David - I do not recall professor Laidlaw citing any specific study in his books, but he clearly had known of quite a lot of work regarding larva age vs. queen quality and acceptance / later supercedure of queens.

    Older larvae that have been fed worker food and then grafted into queen cell cups do not develop as many ovarioles as the youngest larvae fed a steady diet of royal jelly. I find that at 80 hours, there are usually some the right age and floating in a small puddle of RJ.

    If there are studies, I suspect it was Dr. Otto Mackinsen, Dr. John Eckert, or Dr. Harry Laidlaw that was involved - probably done back in the 1940's or '50's. It may have even been known prior to that - possibly Jay Smith or Gilbert Doolittle. Michael Bush will possibly know whom.
    Last edited by kilocharlie; 04-09-2016 at 02:07 PM.

  7. #46
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
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    Santa Fe, NM, U.S.
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    249

    Default Re: Photos of larvae at the "right stage

    This thread has been perfect in it's timing.

    "A series of experiments recently carried out at Erlangen, Germany, confirmed our own findings. While the larvae can even be a little older than 18 hours, we time them to be no more than 12 hours when the grafting is performed." Brother Adam, p.91 Beekeeping at Buckfast Abbey.

  8. #47
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Franklin County, PA
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    654

    Default Re: Photos of larvae at the "right stage

    This has been a very informative post. When I was first introduced to grafting I was encouraged to graft the smallest larvae that I could. My success was not that great. I was getting used to the tools but I was mangling some of the larvae. As I tried it a few more times I became more in tune with grafting the larvae that had a little more royal jelly. We take a warm moist towel and keep it over the frame so that the larvae doesn't dry out during the grafting process. My next attempts using slightly larger larvae like in the photos provided with the royal jelly puddle gave me much better results. I was encouraged to use the Chinese tool and I got a fairly good hang of it with a little practice. I like having the German tool on hand as well sometimes to get the larvae off of the Chinese tool. It was helpful for me sometimes to break some of the wax away under the larvae that I was trying to scoop up. I should graft some this year. It is very satisfying to see the queen cells on the cell bar. I'm looking forward to the upcoming warmer weather.

  9. #48
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    Jan 2009
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    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    5,183

    Default Re: Photos of larvae at the "right stage

    Btw - Virginiawolf took the excellent picture which I cited in comment #38.
    Since '09-75H-T-Z6b

  10. #49
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    Default Re: Photos of larvae at the "right stage

    Putting the donor frame in the cell builder for a couple hours really helps. I've never used a warm towel.

    I had one student who practiced in the fall and got his grafting down and timed out. He emailed me in the spring...he had been graftjng, and the queens didn't emerge when they should....turns out he was getting better and grafting younger larvae....I told him to give them an extra day, and they came out fine.
    Sometimes the lights all shining on me
    Other times I can barely see. -The Grateful Dead

  11. #50
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    Jan 2005
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    FRASER VALLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA
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    Default Re: Photos of larvae at the "right stage

    Is there a supplier of a Pritchard box/frame?

    Jean-Marc

  12. #51
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    Jul 2010
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: Photos of larvae at the "right stage

    Quote Originally Posted by deknow View Post
    Putting the donor frame in the cell builder for a couple hours really helps.
    i like this idea dean and plan to try it on this week's round.

    the biggest problem with harvesting those just hatched larvae is that there's not enough jelly to easily float them onto the tool, and it may help them last better prior to getting put back into the builder and getting fed again.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  13. #52
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    Jan 2014
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    Louisville, Colorado, USA
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    1,528

    Default Re: Photos of larvae at the "right stage

    Kilocharlie, thanks so much for the detailed instructions on Pritchard box. I really appreciate the time you took.

  14. #53
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    Dec 2010
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    Ojai, California
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    Default Re: Photos of larvae at the "right stage

    By putting the tent right next to the Cell Builder colony and using DeKnow's trick (placing the donor frame in the CB for a few hours before grafting), you almost don't need the Pritchard box. Just start looking for the donor frame early.

    The Pritchard box is still useful for isolating the breeder queen for 3 days, however (Oldtimer's bent QE does the same task), and the portability of it (pulled from the breeder's hive and moved in a nuc' box) keeps the feeding continuous for even more minutes while transporting a frame, though this is getting to an arbitrarily small benefit, unless transporting a long way.

    Jean-Marc - I don't know of one. It is a very, very small market, and was a PITA to make until someone figured out using plastic QE's instead of metal. I made my first one in about 3 hours: P box; lid; 3 frames; 3 pink sticks. The following year, I realized the need for more than one Pritchard box, and made 2 of them and 6 frames in about 1 hour.

    Also note - The egg does not always dissolve the chorion (egg shell) right at 3 days - some become larvae at 3 1/4 to 3 1/2 days. If 80 hours still sees only eggs, put the frame back into the hive for another hour or 2.

    I'm certainly in agreement with Brother Adam - 12 hours after chorion dissolving is my outer limit for grafting (I have never used larvae older than 86 hours since isolating a queen on empty comb)
    Last edited by kilocharlie; 04-10-2016 at 05:26 PM.

  15. #54
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    Dec 2012
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    7,861

    Default Re: Photos of larvae at the "right stage

    I don't know if it is the same name.
    On ebay I saw the 2 or 3 frame plastic cage that
    is made out of the QE. Believe it is for isolating the
    queen while in transport.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  16. #55
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    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
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    8,106

    Default Re: Photos of larvae at the "right stage

    There are other ways to isolate a breeder queen so young larvae can harvested for grafting. I graft 192 larvae every four days from May 20 until July 15, using four cell builders. I have a number of breeder queens I use for grafting stock. Making a Pritchard cage, or some other type queen isolator, for each queen, is too much.

    I use a standard size hive body with a vertical queen excluder to create two chambers...one with six combs and one with three. The queen is isolated in the three comb chamber. Every four days I remove a comb from the bees' chamber, move the remaining combs away from the excluder, and move the oldest comb of brood to the far side of the excluder. A new dark grafting comb is added to the queen's chamber...against the excluder. This comb is the only comb that has empty cells for the queen to lay. Five days later I graft from that comb. Much easier for me than fiddling about with isolation cages.



  17. #56
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    Default Re: Photos of larvae at the "right stage

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    i like this idea dean and plan to try it on this week's round.

    the biggest problem with harvesting those just hatched larvae is that there's not enough jelly to easily float them onto the tool, and it may help them last better prior to getting put back into the builder and getting fed again.
    I started doing this following a discussion on bee-l...it was randy oliver's contribution.
    Sometimes the lights all shining on me
    Other times I can barely see. -The Grateful Dead

  18. #57
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    10,148

    Default Re: Photos of larvae at the "right stage

    Quote Originally Posted by deknow View Post
    I started doing this following a discussion on bee-l...it was randy oliver's contribution.
    understood dean, it's nice that you make the acknowledgement. it's bound to make a difference and i'm looking forward to giving it a try.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  19. #58
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    Jul 2006
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    Worcester County, Massachusetts
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    Default Re: Photos of larvae at the "right stage

    ....it also forces you to evaluate the proper donor frame and get a feel for the inside of the cell starter as a separate task from doing the grafting.
    Sometimes the lights all shining on me
    Other times I can barely see. -The Grateful Dead

  20. #59
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    Jan 2003
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    Suffolk, VA
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    4,211

    Default Re: Photos of larvae at the "right stage

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    understood dean, it's nice that you make the acknowledgement. it's bound to make a difference and i'm looking forward to giving it a try.

    Its also covered on David's website: http://doorgarden.com/2011/11/07/sim...for-beginners/
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  21. #60
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    Apr 2004
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    Central CA.
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    943

    Default Re: Photos of larvae at the "right stage

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    There are other ways to isolate a breeder queen so young larvae can harvested for grafting. I graft 192 larvae every four days from May 20 until July 15, using four cell builders. I have a number of breeder queens I use for grafting stock. Making a Pritchard cage, or some other type queen isolator, for each queen, is too much.

    I use a standard size hive body with a vertical queen excluder to create two chambers...one with six combs and one with three. The queen is isolated in the three comb chamber. Every four days I remove a comb from the bees' chamber, move the remaining combs away from the excluder, and move the oldest comb of brood to the far side of the excluder. A new dark grafting comb is added to the queen's chamber...against the excluder. This comb is the only comb that has empty cells for the queen to lay. Five days later I graft from that comb. Much easier for me than fiddling about with isolation cages.


    Mike is right
    This is the best way that I have found. tried the Pritchard insert( page 58 Queeb rearing and bee breeding,Harry H. Laidlar Jr and Robert E, Page Jr,) didn't work as well.
    4 breeder queens , graft 1 frame from each queen every 4 days, a Pritchard insert for each one would be too much,

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