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2933 Views 8 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  lupester
What temp and relative humidity do you guys run your queen cell incubators?
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My controller turns heat on at 92 and off at 93. I keep a pan of water inside and humidity runs whatever, I cant control.

I use a large soaked sponge in a tray for humidity. I run my incubator at 94 F. It's a progressive heater so it turns on and off 0.1 degree above or below the set point. It's a variable output heater. It runs on AC or DC so I'm able to take it out in the field with me.
Wisnewbee, could you please provide more info on your heater,thank you
Wisnewbee, could you please provide more info on your heater,thank you
I use a 48 watt proportional digital heater from the Incubator Warehouse. It holds a temp within 0.1 dregrees of your desired set point. You can control fan speed also. As the temperature in the incubator drops the heaters start to power up a little at a time. Say 10%. If the temp continues to drop the heaters gradually increase until they at 100% output. As the temp increases and approaches your set point the heaters drop output until it hits the set point.This is a complete unit. Heater, fan, thermostat and remote sensing wire. The unit only cost $49.99. It comes with the AC converter, but not the adapter to plug into a power outlet in your truck. I rigged up a DC power adapter for about $5.

I made my incubator out of a styrofoam cooler they use to ship medical supplies. I cut a hole in the side to mount the thermostat/heater unit. The sensing wire is on the bottom of the unit. I have created a bottom inside out of 1/2" hardware cloth. This allows for good air circulation. I made a bracket out of 1/2" hardware cloth on one side to hold a very large sponge. This bracket has a small metal pan in it to hold extra water. The sponge is soaked in warm water until saturated and installed into the incubator tray.

I fabricated small stacking trays with foam inserts. The foam inserts are about 2" thick and have 5/8" holes for the queen cells. The bottom of the foam has fiberglass screen hot glued to the bottom to hold any queen that emerges prematurely. The JZBZ cell cup acts as the cover. Each tray is made so that air can circulated around the open bottoms and each cell. If I could figure out how to post pictures I would. That would make it much clearer.

I've been very happy with the results so far. This heater assembly holds the temp so rock solid it's amazing. The temp varies maybe a couple tenths of a degree at most. If you want any other details just let me know what you want to know.
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The answer depends on whether we are in the process developing cells ( 92.5 F) or are playing what I call the "incubator game" trying to buy some time on cells that are "ready" but we have no "home" for them in the immediate future. Right now I have 60 left over ones from yesterdays mating nucs make ups that are "resting" at 70F. They may be OK on Monday when the insanity resumes. If not no loss on my part.
Very interesting I must say. How does the 70F turn out? Do the still hatch at a high rate?
update: we left the cells in the incubator for three days before they were put in the hair roller cages. Way to long. Longer than I would prefer but I was burned out from making nucs and was hellbent on taking a day off at the expense of the ladies in waiting..... Success rate was about on par with the size of my wallet. All receipts and no cash.:eek: Don't even ask!!!!!
Hey Wisnewbee, looks like that themostat is set to 99.5 degrees. Isnt that too high?

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