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Grafted my first larva today. Went to hive with mother queen and searched frames until I found one with eggs and just hatched larva. Grafted from small larva closest to eggs.

The ones closest to eggs had such small amount of jelly that I had to move over a few cells to be able to scoop them up and get them off end of tool. Used chinese grafting tool and worked petty good.

I watched a video that Keith Delaplane did where they went to a commercial queen breeder. He kept his breeder queen in a 1 story hive and had it split so about 3 frames were partioned off to hold queen. He moved an empty frame in to the queen 4 days befor needing larva. That way he knew where the larva would be.

How do ya'll make it easy to find right age larva for grafting?

Johnny
 

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Practice, practice, practice! Try this; place a drawn frame in a super on your queen mother hive and let the bees clean and polish it. Then move it to the center of the brood nest. 3 1/2 to 4 days later remove and graft. Works almost every time! :D
 

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We aim to graft on Weds AM each week so we wash a frame on friday afternoon. The graft frame is pulled from the breeder hive and cleaned out with the hose-- moderate pressure to clean out the cells but not enough to damage comb, An older frame with darker comb works best. Shake the water out of both sides and place the now empty, slightly damp frame back into the middle of the brood nest. It takes a day+ for the frame to bee dried/cleaned and the queen to start laying into it. The queen isn't confined at all but by running breeder hives as a single and placing the graft frame in between good frames of brood she'll get there reliably. We check the graft frame on Tues to see if eggs are beginning hatch and get an idea whether early or late weds is going to be best. While checking age on Tues the breeders also get about 1L of feed, as this seems to result in larvae being easier scoop off the bottom of cells.
 
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