Graft rejection from genetics?
Results 1 to 19 of 19
  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Brown County, IN, USA
    Posts
    646

    Default Graft rejection from genetics?

    I recently acquired a new queen that is of mite biter stock. All my existing hives are from local survivor stock. The new queen is laying well. Her first brood won't emerge until next week.

    I want to produce several daughters to build up to overwinter as insurance. I have grafted 3 times into 3 different cell builders, and every time they clear the cups out. This most recent attempt, I checked just an hour after placing the graft frame, and it was cleaned out! I've grafted before with good success rates, so I know the process, had larva of exactly the right age. Might they be rejected since they are genetically different? Maybe I'll have to graft to a builder made from her own workers. Any suggestions?

  2. Remove Advertisements
    BeeSource.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    2,643

    Default Re: Graft rejection from genetics?

    Are you using a queenless Cell Builder?

    Are you Danged Certain that they have no brood from which to make their own queen cells?

    They should be 5- to 10-day-old nurse bees, over-fed, queenless, and NO HOPE WHATSOEVER of finding a grub worm from which to make a queen.

    You should hear the Cell Builder screaming.

    Wah-Lah! You introduce a frame of grafts. If the above conditions are met, they will build queen cells from the grafts.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Yuba County, California, USA
    Posts
    6,598

    Default Re: Graft rejection from genetics?

    Quote Originally Posted by kilocharlie View Post
    Are you using a queenless Cell Builder?

    Are you Danged Certain that they have no brood from which to make their own queen cells?

    They should be 5- to 10-day-old nurse bees, over-fed, queenless, and NO HOPE WHATSOEVER of finding a grub worm from which to make a queen.

    You should hear the Cell Builder screaming.

    Wah-Lah! You introduce a frame of grafts. If the above conditions are met, they will build queen cells from the grafts.


    You took the words right out of my mouth. The problem is with the cell builder.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    7,861

    Default Re: Graft rejection from genetics?

    What is your outside bee environment like?
    Feed them if you have to. And make double the number of cells that
    you need. Let's say you only wanted 5 mated queen. So for the graft you
    have to make 20 cells. Also no open broods at the time of the graft only the
    grafted cells put in. Over the QR (queen right) hive will reduced the chance of a
    success when they got a really strong laying queen. It is better to house them inside
    a crowded nuc bomb hive.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Brown County, IN, USA
    Posts
    646

    Default Re: Graft rejection from genetics?

    It would seem my technique might be the issue. I built a builder nuc as I have on previous failed attempts, two frames capped, one frame pollen and nectar, empty space for the graft frame, two shakes of additional nurses. I put two cups here. I also placed a bar with 8 cups in a 20f queenless hive. In the nuc both were fed and waxed. In the 20f hive, 5 of 8.

    The only difference I can tell... I culled a queen cell from a hive and used the jelly to prime the cups, something I didn't do on the fails as I had no QCs or jelly. I guess maybe in the unprimed cups they dried too much before tended to? Lesson learned, I won't be grafting without a bit of jelly!

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    5,183

    Default Re: Graft rejection from genetics?

    You have to keep your grafts from drying out - that's for sure. I keep a mister full of warmish water handy for both the frame of grafting material, and the cups. Once a graft is made I keep it covered with a damp paper towel.

    You should try grabbing a frame out of your regular hive and doing a few grafts from it side by side with the different genetics and just see if they selectively clean out one kind and not the other. Then you will know if that is the problem or not. Anything is possible. You can always do a Cloake board with the queen mother hive if it is. If that hive is strong enough.
    Since '09-75H-T-Z6b

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    5,183

    Default Re: Graft rejection from genetics?

    Quote Originally Posted by kilocharlie View Post
    ... and NO HOPE WHATSOEVER of finding a grub worm from which to make a queen.
    You know, I used to think that was important too, but I have found that it isn't necessarily the case. You can put your grafts right next to a frame of young open brood, and they will do just fine as long as the cell builder is really densly populated, well fed and queenless.
    Last edited by David LaFerney; 06-27-2016 at 08:52 PM.
    Since '09-75H-T-Z6b

  9. #8
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Brown County, IN, USA
    Posts
    646

    Default Re: Graft rejection from genetics?

    I always keep the cups and frame in a damp towel while working. I think they must have dried between then and when the bees finally began tending to them... Or the damp towel doesn't work as well as it needs to on these 90+ days.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Jamesville, NY
    Posts
    309

    Default Re: Graft rejection from genetics?

    My money is on open usable cells or qr cell builder. After that would be technique, etc.

    I never prime qc cups. If they let the cells dry out they didnt want to draw them.

    Agree with using a damp towel while grafting

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    2,643

    Default Re: Graft rejection from genetics?

    It could also be the time it takes you to graft.

    My score went way up when I tried to make 1 bar at a time in less than 10 minutes (with a good frame of larvae from which to graft I'm done with a 15 cell cup bar in less than 4 minutes), placing them in the CB as I went, that is - pulling the queen cell cup frame back out of the CB and inserting the 2nd grafted bar into the frame quickly and dropping it back in place with minimal disturbance.

    It's quite a sight to see that in 10 minutes how many very enthusiastic bees are attending those grafts on the first bar when I go to put in the second bar! Gobs of them desperately making queens.

    Also, try video recording your self at the grafting table with the camera angle over your shoulder. You'll likely spot where your time is being used.

    I, too, use a spray bottle of 95 degree F water. I keep it and my cover towel submerged in a bucket. The bucket cools to 94 by the time I get finished.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
    Posts
    4,953

    Default Re: Graft rejection from genetics?

    I use no spray bottle or damp cloth. If possible input the donor frame in the cell starter for a few hours (lots of food in the cells), and I work as quickly as possible (cell builder and donor colonies are on porch 10 feet from my bed).
    Sometimes the lights all shining on me
    Other times I can barely see. -The Grateful Dead

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    7,861

    Default Re: Graft rejection from genetics?

    Quote Originally Posted by David LaFerney View Post
    You have to keep your grafts from drying out - that's for sure. Anything is possible.
    KC, I am on my way to make a non-graft frame where the queen can lay directly into the cells (silicone) that will
    turn out to be an extra tall and wide plastic queen cup. I'm tired of grafting and brushing the bees off the
    frames. I don't have the option to just walk 10 feet out to my hive for a graft.
    This way I can just pluck out the plastic queen cups and install them on the frames in the hive. Having the
    young eggs that hatch in day one to be well taken care of will make some great queens for me. I have a vsh queen that I
    like to graft using the non-graft frame method. Hopefully this experiment will work out!


    Reusable silicone plastic cups:
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    2,643

    Default Re: Graft rejection from genetics?

    Sounds like you are up to making a home-made Nicot or Jenter system...good luck!

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    7,861

    Default Re: Graft rejection from genetics?

    KC, don't be scare to experiment a little or a lot.
    I believe that the OP success rate will be greatly increased once
    he use the non-graft frame. That is why I said I'm frustrated with the low success rate
    of acceptance and brushing off the bees with so much time invested in the grafting process.
    Having such a frame will be cost effective and saves time too.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
    Posts
    4,953

    Default Re: Graft rejection from genetics?

    I guess I don't understand why it takes less time to use a graft less system than grafting.

    1. Find queen, catch her, put her in laying cage.
    2. Release her when eggs are in cells (open hive again).
    3. Open up and manipulate the larva a few days later.

    ....I'm done grafting faster than I could find the queen in step 1.
    Sometimes the lights all shining on me
    Other times I can barely see. -The Grateful Dead

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    7,861

    Default Re: Graft rejection from genetics?

    You can say I'm lazy in this process.
    I want to skip the grafting part so only remove the silicone and put
    the plastic cells with a larva in it already to the builder hive. Other than that everything
    is the same.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    2,643

    Default Re: Graft rejection from genetics?

    Grafting is easiest system out there, but non-transferred larvae often make better queens, especially for beginners. Michael Bush's website lists many of the systems - Doolittle grafting and all the others.

    The Jenter box is an easy-to-use non-transfer system. You can get excellent queens from it.

    DrJ - you may want to make up a special breeder queen isolation part of the hive using queen excluder material and give here some freshly-drawn combs to lay in. If you are grafting, get some of the black plastic foundation for the bees to draw out. When the breeder queen lays eggs in these, it is easy to see them against the black background.

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    4,228

    Default Re: Graft rejection from genetics?

    You're feeding the cell builder, right? In, or near a dearth, I like to get the feeder on several hours prior to the grafts being added.

    My guess is that this is not related to the genetics, but some other issue. I've brought in many different types of genetics over the years and have never seen a problem. That said, I never tried the mite biter stock.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Holland, MI
    Posts
    911

    Default Re: Graft rejection from genetics?

    Just got a mite biter queens to Graft off of the 200 grafts looks like 90-95% I'm guessing a problem with your starters maybe?

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •