Re: My ghetto II station
Thanks all, for all the good encouragement. I have so many pics to document the entire II process including a complete revamping of my station set up. Every thing got elevated to see the queen better. This will make the II much more smoother when lowering the syringe. Ergonomic is very important considering I can sit there for hours on the entire process. Leaning and refining my process down. Cannot do it free style without suspending the syringe because of my shaky hand when nervous approaching the II site. Imagine jabbing extra holes on the queen when not needed.
Since combining the 2 nuc hives together, the 1st queen is laying strong. Seems like every time I inspected the hive she is there laying right in front of me. The genetics is so stable that they are the most calm and gentle bees around. Definitely showing very good sign of the allogrooming activity in and outside of the hive. With the 4 expensive bought queens all dead only with II will continue the Cordovan lineage. Any mixing with the local carnis drones the genetics will be diluted.
Did the 2nd round of II on the second queen tonight. After the first round last night, she's noticeably more plump today. Found her bury under a pile of bees trying to protect her. At 11 day post emergence, they already recognized her as the queen. This time I only use 14 drones instead of 30 to extract 20 ul from them and have almost 9 ul left over after the II. This queen only use 12 ul or so which is more than enough to satisfy her. I'm still using the 90 degree angle to do the II. Maybe one day I will experiment on the 45 degree when getting more proficient at it with improved II equipment too. Found out that an II virgin will not likely to leave for her mating flights when she's all filled up with more than the recommended 10 ul. There is no time for her to explore her surrounding with a QE on and the consecutive days of II on her at the right time. That is why neither of the 2 queens go on their mating flights afterward even though the QE was off after the 1st II. Because this experiment is such a success, I decided to use 20 ul from now on because not all will go in as seen from the pics. There is no harm to the queen as the extra will just leak out. At least some will go in to fill up the spermatheca. Also spent an hour or so to make 2 cap. tubes after I broke the first one on accident yesterday while cleaning it. These are very fine pointed and fragile glass tubes. The one I made only 2 out of 17 tube was a successful pull with a very fine point at the end and enough to take in 30 ul at one time. With 2 tubes of 400 total I still have plenty to work on. Seems like a longer tube is easier to work with. This is the end of my II session unless the new queen will lay me some drone eggs later on. Put in 2 drone comb frame in there hoping that she will lay some. If she does then my II experiment will continue and with some improvement too.
Are these queen pics look familiar to you?:
Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?