Guess I'll give it a whirl...

Discussion in 'Raising Queens' started by Yankee11, Jun 16, 2013.

  1. Yankee11

    Yankee11 New Member

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    I made up some homemade queen cups and have been practicing grafting skills with some laying worker frames
    of drone brood. Time to try it out. We have storms coming tonight and tomorrow. After they pass I'm give it a go.
    Time to stop just reading bout it.

    20130616_195342.jpg

    Would like to make about 10 nucs for the fall/winter. Once (if) I have queen cells. What is the ideal config for the nucs. I am thinking 2 frames of brood. 1 drawn empty frame, 1 frame with some honey and 1 frame with some pollen. Sound about right?
     
  2. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    I would hope you 'polished' those home made cups prior to attempting a graft???
     

  3. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    The cells look good, nice light cappings wax. What method did you use to make them?
     
  4. Yankee11

    Yankee11 New Member

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    Tec, didnt know anything about polishing homemade cups. So I didn't do it. Can you tell me how to do. I put them in tonight. Will check them tomorrow.

    Ef, I melted the wax and had a glass of ice water. I dipped the back end of a Sharpie pen in the ice water then
    several dips into the hot wax. Then back into the ice water. They popped right off. Weather it will work or not, we'll see tomorrow. First time to try. I have doubts now that Tec mentioned polishing the cups.

    I made a starter box and I also discovered I have a queenless hive with lots of bees. I had inserted a frame of
    eggs in this hive about 4 days ago and when I checked it tonight they had pulled 4 queen cells. So I removed the frame with the queen cells on it and started a nuc. Then I put this frame with the grafts in it. So I have do different methods going on tonight.
     
  5. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    I too know nothing about polishing homemade queen cups. I've never used a sharpie pen for the forming of the cups but I would think they are smooth enough when they come off to be considered "self polished".
    Good luck with the grafts. I'm sure you'll report on how things progress.
     
  6. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    if you use home made or store bought bees wax cell cups then to have any success at all you have to get these polished prior to using these for grafting purposes. 'the girls' do this for you by you setting the frame (just like in the picture) in a well populated hive 1 to 2 days prior to the grafting date. it is pretty much the same thing 'the girls' do for worker and drone cells in a hive prior to the queen laying a egg in a cell.

    I would also suggest yankee that if you are just starting up in the grafting process you would have been better advised to have harvest the royal jelly from the started queen cells and use just a bit of that to have primed the queen cells just ahead of doing the graft. <actually in terms of process for the beginner priming the cells is about the best thing you can do to increase your take (which then invariable increase your own confidence)... after a while when you become more comfortable with grafting you can begin 'dry' grafting.
     
  7. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Priming the cells is best done with an eye-dropper. You suck up the royal jelly from the donor cell (as Tecumseh says, a started queen cell is best) and after mixing it with a small amount of water to make it a bit looser, squeeze a drop of the mixture into the botton of the cells to be grafted into.
     
  8. Yankee11

    Yankee11 New Member

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    We put larva in the top bars. About 8 on each. Left the bottom bars empty. That was Friday night. Checked them this morning and looks like they are pulling 2 queens on each one. 4 out of 16. maybe one or two more.

    But, they have worked on everyone of the cups. Polished them? and attached them to the base. I will recheck tomorrow and remove all the cells that they are pulling and use them on the next try. Each small base is connected to the bar with some melted beeswax. I can just pop them off the bar and save them.

    Thanks for the tips. I will learn more with each attempt. I was thrilled to see 4 to 6 being pulled. Heck they were long already, within 48 hours.
     
  9. Lburou

    Lburou Member

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    Tec, do you have any advice for storing the royal jelly? I think I once heard or read that you store it in the refrigerator, mixed with a bit of water....? My stash of royal jelly is turning pale yellow, what does that mean?
     
  10. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Forgive my intrusion since your question was addresssed to Tec. The offset of hours gets me able to answer you sooner--I hope it's not too late already. Mixed with water---correct (up to about 50%) but store it in the freezer, not the fridge. If it's turning yellow I'd dump it.
     
  11. Yankee11

    Yankee11 New Member

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    Well looks like 2 out of 16 or so got accepted and they are capped. Not great but I'll try again.

    I put all the cups in the cells and the bees look like they polished and worked on all of the cups. Can I just stick
    these cell bars in the freezer until I get ready to give it another try?

    I think they will be better accepted now.
     
  12. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    If you haven't primed them with royal jelly, there is no advantage to freezing them. Store them somewhere that they'll keep clean and won't attract wax moths (like a large plastic bag) or get bumped or damaged and they'll be ready for use whenever you want them.