Incubator selection
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    hendersonville tn
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    287

    Default Incubator selection

    Question how did you select the incubator that you bought? I’m looking at buying one for next season. I’m looking at raising 300 queens next year and expanding to 1000 in the next couple of years. What make and model numbers do you suggest?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Franklin, Ma
    Posts
    231

    Default Re: Incubator selection

    I purchased an inexpensive reptile incubator from ebay for 2018 use. I customized the racks of the incubator and my QC frames to get it to work. It will handle 50 plus cells at a time. I was very pleased with it. I pull 2 rounds of grafts from my cell builder. The first round gets pulled after 5 days and put in the incubator to finish. the second graft finishes in the cell builder. 2018 first graft.jpg cells in my incubator.jpg

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Thermoelect...n3nc:rk:4:pf:0

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    hendersonville tn
    Posts
    287

    Default

    Thanks I was looking at that model. Looks cool.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Battle Ground , Washington, USA
    Posts
    816

    Default Re: Incubator selection

    I have the same reptile incubator, I just made styrofoam holders for holding the queen cell cages , it works good and keeps the cells trapped for emerging virgins.
    I'm not tense, Just terribly, terribly alert!

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    2,941

    Default Re: Incubator selection

    I was lucky enough to pick up a Thermo Scientific incubator at a local auction.

    https://www.fishersci.com/shop/produ...ators/13998092
    Paid about $450 for a unit that retails for about $18, 000.

    P3160114.jpg

    P1170020.jpg

    Really like the interior glass secondary door so I can take a peek at the cells without altering the temp. A full length cell bar is on the top shelf for size reference. I forget how many hundreds of cells it will hold, but it was significant. There is 0 difference between the temp from top to the bottom. No variation whatsoever.

    After I got it, I dd some research and found they can be pretty reasonably purchased on Ebay used. Mine is a digital CO2, over 11 cubic feet, but you don't need all the bells and whistles I have.

    The stainless interior and precise control is really amazing and a pleasure to use.

    I started off with the little giant Styrofoam chicken incubator, graduated to the Exoterra reptile incubator which is about 1 square foot interior capacity, holds a fair number of cells but is slightly variable for temp control. Still it worked very well for my needs.

    thumbnail.jpg



    I wanted something larger than the reptile incubator and was about to purchase the GQF
    when I found the scientific incubator available. For the money, I don't think the GQF can be beat unless you get a deal like I did.

    https://incubatorwarehouse.com/gqf-c...ator-1550.html

    https://incubatorwarehouse.com/egg-i...s/cabinet.html

    for about $2500. you can buy a new Thermo Scientific incubator that is about 7 cubic feet and not a CO2 model. Some folks may flinch at the price, but when it is full of hundreds of cells at a critical time of year what's reliability worth to you?

    Of course if you are mechanically inclined (Which I am not) you can build your own. Those auctions I told you about commonly have nice small glass refrigerators that could be modified for incubator usage. I like a good, well made glass housing. Something with around 5 square feet would be good.

    Ebay link for quick research: https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_fro...bator&_sacat=0
    Last edited by Lauri; 12-12-2018 at 06:47 AM.
    Lauri Miller.
    Carniolan Hybrids. Glenn, Latshaw & Wild lines.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    ElDorado,Arkansas,USA
    Posts
    1,552

    Default Re: Incubator selection

    I saw my neighbor has one of those glass front drink refrigerators like walmart has at the front of the check out isles. I wonder how well one of those would work as an incubator.I saw it the other day and wondered where he got it.He picks up all kinds of junk and its sitting outside and I know the refrigeration has to be non working.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Covington County, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    1,417

    Default Re: Incubator selection

    Quote Originally Posted by snapper1d View Post
    I saw my neighbor has one of those glass front drink refrigerators like walmart has at the front of the check out isles. I wonder how well one of those would work as an incubator.I saw it the other day and wondered where he got it.He picks up all kinds of junk and its sitting outside and I know the refrigeration has to be non working.
    Capture.jpg

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    4,208

    Default Re: Incubator selection

    Call me cheap, but I use a deep chest freezer with a Ranco controller and with 3 60 watt light bulbs and a circulating fan. I've successfully used it on hundreds of cells without any problems. Set the temp probe near the cells. It's a multi-purpose unit that, warms honey, incubates cells, and freezes frames.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    ElDorado,Arkansas,USA
    Posts
    1,552

    Default Re: Incubator selection

    The drink box my neighbor has is only about wast high.This is like what my neighbor has.
    02.jpg

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    AUBURN IN.
    Posts
    246

    Default Re: Incubator selection

    wine cooler works great with a little work has self and you have to add a heat element and controller also glass door --fan --moister --

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Pennsylvania/Florida
    Posts
    448

    Default Re: Incubator selection

    Build your own. We have bought a few commercially made incubators over the years, either they didn't work well with our needs or they died early.

    Our best incubator is literally a dead upright deep freezer, with a lightbulb, a fan, and thermostat hooked up to keep it regulated.

    Now you not needing one quite so large could use any smaller fridge that you find. They are quite easy to come by when they don't have have function normally. As long as the door seals and you are handy with tools. start drilling and wiring.

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