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Discussion Starter #1
I grafted for the 1st time on the 4th. I had about 20% acceptance, all on the same bar. I grafted again yesterday (8th) on the bar that none had been accepted. I was more comfortable and thought my grafts looked much better. They did not take a single one of them.

Will they take a second batch if they are already drawing out cells from a previous graft? I thought that by staggering them I had an opportunity to get more done in succession, but if that won't work I will wait until they cap and I remove the 1st batch going forward.

I am also ok with just sucking at it and needing to get better.
 

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While bees will be bees and often don't read the rule book. The general rule of thumb I had heard was you get poor results placing new grafts before a set is capped.
What I did last year when I had a poor take (which was more often then I want to admit for the 1st month) was to place the few cells that were accepted in mating nucs 48 hours post graft and let the nuc finish the single cell so I could regraft in the builder.
 

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I don't like to put new graft in where the older grafts are not yet capped. My rule of thumb is to wait a minimum of 6 days (5 for capping and a day of "rest"). With that said, I highly doubt that your acceptance problem is a result of the open grafts. There are apparently some other issues you are dealing with.
 

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steve, the 20% first acceptance would be an issue for me. i wonder if it might be a bit cold yet? i am ESE of you. the past two weekends i have been wanted to put cell builder together i chose to hold off. i am hoping to get them started the end of next week. sunday, monday, tuesday my HIGHS are looking like 54, 56, and 60 with 2" rain over those 3 days.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Re: Other issues

No doubt I do still suck at it. 1st round I had lighting issues. When I went for my headlamp it was gone. My daughter uses it sometimes and didn't return it. I use a flashlight.

2nd time I had better lighting and used a grafting tool instead of a brush. The results looked much better but 0% acceptance had me puzzled.

My hives are in pre-swarm prep right now. All are building up quickly with new unfilled queen cups in all. If I don't split this weekend it will probably be too late.

The grafts were me trying to get ahead on the nucs by using my best queen. And I wanted to try grafting.

It's a learning experience and I will keep plugging away. My engineering nature always analyzes failure. Thanks for the replies.
 

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steve, the 20% first acceptance would be an issue for me. i wonder if it might be a bit cold yet? i am ESE of you. the past two weekends i have been wanted to put cell builder together i chose to hold off. i am hoping to get them started the end of next week. sunday, monday, tuesday my HIGHS are looking like 54, 56, and 60 with 2" rain over those 3 days.
i grafted yesterday having set up a MP style cell builder 10 days ago approx
-> i looked this am and the vast majority of cells were accepted. I grafted 45 larvae and i think at quick look 40 of them had the beginnings of wax walls being built up.
Ill take a better look after work today.
Its not too cold though because i have had to split hives i have found charged queen cells in and there are mature drones wandering around in every hive i have inspected .
 

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i grafted yesterday having set up a MP style cell builder 10 days ago approx
-> i looked this am and the vast majority of cells were accepted. I grafted 45 larvae and i think at quick look 40 of them had the beginnings of wax walls being built up.
Ill take a better look after work today.
Its not too cold though because i have had to split hives i have found charged queen cells in and there are mature drones wandering around in every hive i have inspected .
thats good to hear but what is a 'charged' queen cell? i have plenty of drones also. i would still like temps about 10* warmer than what i am seeing int he next 5 days.
 

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I pull my first graft after 5 days in the CB and insert a second. The first graft goes in the incubator. I pull the second graft 6 days after installed in CB and place in the incubator.

I run a full size Palmer Cell builder. Both grafts have 90 to 95 % success.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I grafted another batch last night. ~50% acceptance overall this time. however I did 2 bars with 2 different tools. One bar I did with a chinese tool that took ~25% and the other I did with a 000 brush and >70%. I suppose even though I thought the tool grafts looked better last time the brush must work better for me which is surprising.
 
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