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When grafting using the cloakboard method and new JZBZ queen cups when should the cups be placed in the cell builder hive for polishing?
How long will it take them to polish them?
Will they polish them if the QE is put on but not the cloakboard? In other words will they polish the cups in a queenright hive?
Is there anything I can do to entice them to polish them?
Sorry for so many questions but I want to raise some queens this year and want to do my best to get everything right this time.
 

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A little while back there was a post asking about reusing JZsBZs cell cups. Some people cleaned them, I dipped them in molten beeswax, and I even buffed some out with Q-Tips in a Dremel tool. I believe that Michael Bush said, he simply reused them, as is, and had satisfactory results. I just did the very same thing. I had a pile of previously used cell cups, they were covered with beeswax that had accumulated dust, plant detritis, and were just plain awful. I snapped them onto dirty JZsBZs cell bars, I primed each one with a tiny spec of fresh royal jelly, I grafted a young larva into each one, then I placed them into a queenless cell builder colony. The next day I observed that I had about a 75% take, and the day after that, only one other had been aborted. That was my first graft of the season. My next graft, Thursday morning, 27 Feb 2014, I plan to graft two bars, one bar I will clean and polish the cups with Q-Tips, and the other I will use dirty, filthy, used cups. It may not be scientific, but it will be proof enough to me, that cleaning used cups is overrated.
 

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And now I will need to add RayMarler's method, to the things I try with these cups. It certainly sounds easier than the Q-Tip polishing method. It can take as much as two Q-Tips to manually polish one cell cup. I like the idea of using the bees and a little honey, to do the job.
 

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We use them right out of the bag and are disappointed if takes run less than 85%. I've tried cleaning and reusing with mixed success. They cost .06 apiece. It doesn't take much of an increase in acceptance to pay for that.
 

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If they are new and no bust in them i will just physical blow them out and graft into them
I think its a wasted step for the plastic cell cups.

Now if you are using wax cups i like puting them in over night for a little shaping and cleaning
 

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I have dipped them in melted wax (cell hole down), put them in the hive to be polished by the bees, used them right out of the bag, and have just ripped the old remaining queen cell off and have found no difference in acceptance at all. Lots of bees being fed light syrup and they will draw them out no problem.
 

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I used to put them in a day ahead to polish then tried without and found no difference. Now I always use straight out of bag with great results. Polishing is to much trouble for no return.

Johnny
 

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No, no royal jelly. I just put a drop of honey in them and graft into them the next day. From what others have said, perhaps I'm wasting time with it. Not much lost for me though as i only keep a few hives.
 
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