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I have another attempt at grafting going right now. I put them into a starter finisher which is a large and highly populated hive I made queenless a few days ago. Two days before grafting I inserted a frame with eggs into this hive that I plan on using as a finisher as well as a starter. I grafted 36 or so cells yesterday from the frame I had put in two days prior. Many eggs had hatched and the larvae were in a lot more RJ than the others I've attempted to graft which seemed like a good sign. I checked them today and I could see that they were drawing cups down on about 80-90% of them which seemed like a good sign as well. My question is does this indicate that these cells are being raised as queens (accepted?)? My second question is does this also mean that these cells will likely be finished? In other words if the grafts that currently have very little to no wax cells being drawn down are an indication that these will not be raised queens are the ones that are being attended to and drawn indicate they will likely be raised as queens? I've had some cells get started with a ring of wax and I thought that meant they were excepted only to look a few days later after putting them into a finisher and see that they were bluffing.
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with plastic jzbz cups you'll be pretty confident about take-rate after 24 hrs just by the presence of royal jelly. After 48 hrs its about 95% confident. Here is a pic.

2 on Left is day 60hrs
1 on Right is day 24hrs
 

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Discussion Starter #3
with plastic jzbz cups you'll be pretty confident about take-rate after 24 hrs just by the presence of royal jelly. After 48 hrs its about 95% confident.
Do you drill holes for the cups? I am using the smoke colored JZBZ cups and made the bars with the slot. I thought about drilling but decided to use a slot. Just wondering??

If I understand you correctly the royal jelly is the thing to look for yes? I didn't want to chase the bees off the bar to look at the inside of the cups but I may do so tomorrow. They had the bar nearly covered in chaining or "festooning" bees and they were still a bit PO'd from me abusing their living arrangements over the last few days. How do you remove the bees from the bars? Do you graft into cups over a period of days? You showed one bar with grafts made a day apart so I thought I'd ask if this is something you prefer to do. I know some people will look at a bar the day after they graft and graft again into any cups that the bees didn't accept.
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This bar has drilled holes, just a friction fit, abit of wax helps them stick.

Yes presence of jelly will tell you if the cell is active. If the larva is dead they will readily clean out the cell.

I don't graft many cells, actually just started this spring. The reason for the difference in age is because I replaced failed grafts. I needed more queens for nuc production and didn't want to make another cell builder hive. Typically its best to keep grafts the same age, so not confuse age when queens emerge.

I wouldn't worry about the festooning bees. You can pull them off, just try not to damage the cell, the wax will be very soft. If you do, they will rebuild it no problem. They will be a bit testy until the cells are finished, finished cells make them happier.
 

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If they have started drawing down the wax from the plastic cup yes you can assume they have been accepted and most likely all of them will be finished off as queen cells. I can normally count the cells 24hrs after grafting and know how many queen cells I will have at the end. Occasionally one of the cells will get torn down a long the way but, most of the time they will finish off the ones they start. Hope that answers your questions.
 

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I've learned how to spell "ass u me" too many times in grafting... better indication after capping, better yet after emergence, nothing guaranteed until brood pattern is proven and they are increasing hard.

If you are "double-grafting", do so on the same day, as the content of the royal jelly changes on the second day. Higher queen quality is reported with 1st day larvae in 1st day royal jelly.
 

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Will they put jelly in a cup that is empty I have a queen cell with jelly in it but didn't see a larva did I just miss it ? Waiting to see what happens
 

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No, not normally. When they first start feeding the larva royal jelly the amount of jelly dwarfs the larva and it is very hard to see the 2-3day old larva floating in the jelly. Once they get a little bigger you will be able to see them.

Charlie is right it's better to wait until they are capped before you start counting. But, if you are doing a 24-48hr check back to see what kind of take you got comb being drawn down from the plastic cup and jelly in the cell is a good indicator of how many cells where accepted or started.
 

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A good double grafting routine is to isolate the breeder queen onto 1 to 3 combs (locked into queen excluder partitions) at 7:00 AM three days before grafting day (the 4th day), then make the starter/finisher colony queenless at 7:00 AM on the 4th day. Graft some larva some other hive from at 9:00 AM, and put them back in the starter/finisher. At 3:00 PM, remove the larvae you grafted at 9:00 AM, replacing them with larvae from your breeder queen, the oldest of which should now be about 80 hours old - perfect for grafting. The cell cups should have plenty of FIRST DAY ROYAL JELLY, which is what you want, and should ease the removal of the larvae off the grafting tool. Place each cell bar back into the frame inside the starter/finisher colony as you graft, and close it up when all the bars are in the frame.

I don't check take % the next day, but 48 hours later. By that time, the accepted cells have enough RJ that any bump probably won't hurt the little queenies in the cell cups.
 
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