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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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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/Thermoelec...h=item4d7c092857:g:PesAAOSwiZZbn3nc:rk:4:pf:0
 

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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.
 

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

https://www.fishersci.com/shop/products/forma-steri-cult-co-sub-2-sub-incubators/13998092
Paid about $450 for a unit that retails for about $18, 000.

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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.

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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-cabinet-egg-incubator-1550.html

https://incubatorwarehouse.com/egg-incubators/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?_fr...313&_nkw=Thermo+Scientific+incubator&_sacat=0
 

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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.
 

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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.
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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.
 

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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 --
 

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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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