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My eyes and grafting are not a good pairing.
My eyes either. I have a Nicot and Jenter. The Jenter is a bit more complicated but......when I take it apart the eggs are impossible to miss. The Nicot.....I just have to trust that there are eggs in it.
 

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Andrew,

I have only grafted. My vision used to be great. About five years ago I started wearing reading glasses, now I am in bifocals. I use a magnifying glass todetermine larvae size and orientation in the cell before each graft. It doesn't seem, to me, to take that much extra time and I think it improves my take.

Tom
 

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I can't speak for Andrew but I can say that magnification is only one part of the equation.
 

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Andrew,

I have only grafted. My vision used to be great. About five years ago I started wearing reading glasses, now I am in bifocals. I use a magnifying glass todetermine larvae size and orientation in the cell before each graft. It doesn't seem, to me, to take that much extra time and I think it improves my take.

Tom
What is the correct size and orientation in the cell?

I trying to decide whether to do walk away splits, grafts or one of the batch systems. Problem with the batch systems is one needed to be able to reliably locate the Queen and handle her without causing harm or loosing her.
 

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Here's more info: http://www.honeyrunapiaries.com/queen-rearing/jenter-kit-instructions/

I've used the Jenter for several seasons. I generally graft now just because its requires less planning and manipulation. That said, I found these systems very good at getting good cells, certainly on par with any grafting I've done. I think you'll like it once you work out the details.
 

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The Nicot.....I just have to trust that there are eggs in it.
One of the consistent issues confounding NICOT users is transferring eggs. My success rate with eggs runs about .000000000001%

If you like those odds, more power to you. If you don't, then wait until the larvae appear. One of the BEST things about the NICOT system is the semi-clear cell cups. With good vision, you can see the eggs when you remove the back cover. With less-than-ideal vision, you can see the little dot of royal jelly when the egg hatches...which is the best time to transfer the larvae.

The only time I transfer eggs is when I'm filling out the last frame with the larvae and I still have some cell cup holders to fill. But the bees seldom work on the eggs. They wave their magic antennae and make them disappear.

I enjoy my NICOT queen rearing kit, but it's not the only way to raise queens. It took me several years to finally perfect it. I started liking it when I figured out how to make it work. There are some little details that hold HUGE benefits and those lame instructions that came with my kit were worthless. During this arduous learning process, if I had to put a nickel in the "swear jar" my mother used to keep on the kitchen counter...well, I'd be bankrupt.

My latest edition to the NICOT system: https://www.createspace.com/4542113

You can catch my other books: http://grantgillard.weebly.com/my-books.html

Grant
 
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