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i'm in the middle of my second attempt at grafting queens.

i split out my breeder queen into a nuc about two weeks ago to make the harvesting of larvae easier.

the cell starter/finisher (cloake board method) was set up last weekend. it was a double deep full of bees with just enough of everything to set it up well for placing the grafts in.

friday was grafting day and that went well too, but to my dismay on saturday i heard two virgins piping in the upper box that contained my grafts. :eek:

i opened it up to find that queen cells had been started on 18 out of 19 grafts, but i was unable to find the virgins.

i decided to take the graft frame and four other frames and put them into a five frame nuc box. i then transfered this box to the top of the five frame nuc that contained the queen mother, with newspaper and and excluder in between.

i went back later and could still hear those two virgins in the box with the grafts. i tried again to find them but the frames were so crowded with nurse bees that i couldn't locate them.

i went back out this morning and did not hear the virgins. i removed the top box with the grafts and found that the newspaper had been chewed through, and to my relief found the two virgins lying dead on top of the excluder. it appears that the bees from the bottom box came up and dispatched them for me. :)

i still have 12 of the 18 cells being built, so it won't be a total loss.

the rookie mistake was not shaking the bees off the frames i placed above the excluder to start with and making sure there were no queen cells. the save was lucky because i was just operating by the seat of my pants on that one.
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