michael palmer cell builder...im a believer now!!!!
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Skaneateles, NY
    Posts
    898

    Default michael palmer cell builder...im a believer now!!!!

    I am at day 6 today after the graft. I have followed to the letter the MP cellbuilder 10 over 10 plan and last night on day 5 when i reunited the mother colony with the queenless cell starter i couldnt help myself i had to take a peek at the grafting frame.

    I have to preface this by saying i really struggled with the grafting process. I feel i royally suck at it and had not very high hopes for success.
    The last time i grafted was in 2017 and the acceptance rate wasnt horrible but i didnt set up a strong enough cell builder and so the cells ended up small. Only one queen of the whole bunch survived that winter.

    I grafted again this time around and my skills are not any better sadly.
    However to my surprise 33 cells of the 45 i grafted were accepted and now that they are capped im utterly amazed at the size of these queen cells compared to the last time i grafted not using MPs methods.
    These cells are HUGE and the plastic grafting cups are still full of RJ.
    I had hoped to get 20 cells to make nucs with...guess i will need to get some more nuc boxes painted in a hurry! I went overboard this winter and built 50 5frame nuc boxes but i only painted 20 of them.

    Suffice to say i am so impressed with this method. If someone with my atrocious grafting skills can get these results literally ANYONE can.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    camden, tennessee, USA
    Posts
    300

    Default Re: michael palmer cell builder...im a believer now!!!!

    Awesome...

    Thanks for sharing. My plan is to try my hand at grafting a few queens after the honey flow is over.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Warren County, NJ, USA
    Posts
    493

    Default Re: michael palmer cell builder...im a believer now!!!!

    great to hear aran. its been repeated before: grafting is the easy part!

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Skaneateles, NY
    Posts
    898

    Default Re: michael palmer cell builder...im a believer now!!!!

    holy moly i tried to put one of these monster queen cells into a plastic orange cell protector..it didnt come close to fitting!!! bugger i had planned on putting protectors on all the cells before putting them in nucs...guess thats not an option anymore.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Skaneateles, NY
    Posts
    898

    Default Re: michael palmer cell builder...im a believer now!!!!

    I checked 20 of the nucs yesterday that i had put the queen cells into.
    I found and marked 14 laying queens, and saw another 4 virgin queens scurrying around frames. Only 2 nucs i found no queen/eggs. Its still only 10-11 days since they hatched so i will give them all a little longer but pretty happy with the yield so far.
    The queens are larger than any queens i currently have in my apiary.
    If you are planning to graft this is a GREAT way to get big fat queens.
    I will be following this method from now on. For very little effort and no expense i have a ton of mated healthy big fat daughter queens from my best survivor queen. Ill be requeening some of my hives, and setting up double overwintering nucs with these queens and will probably end up selling a few because i have too many now.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    8,051

    Default Re: michael palmer cell builder...im a believer now!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by aran View Post
    holy moly i tried to put one of these monster queen cells into a plastic orange cell protector..it didnt come close to fitting!!! bugger i had planned on putting protectors on all the cells before putting them in nucs...guess thats not an option anymore.
    I used to use cell protectors. Found it unnecessary. In fact, I think I have better acceptance without cell protectors. Rick Fell at VaTech believes cell protectors limit the pheromone transfer from the cell.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Skaneateles, NY
    Posts
    898

    Default Re: michael palmer cell builder...im a believer now!!!!

    i have been checking the last few days...out of all the cells i put in the hives 100% hatched.
    26 queens are mated and laying. I have marked the mated queens. I have 3 of the nucs that the queens are no where to be seen so im guessing the queens didnt return from their mating flights. Also 4 nucs still have virgin queens running around in them.

    I couldnt be happier! this worked GREAT! Obviously the cell protectors are unnecessary as MP has stated.

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