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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
First I use the Nicot system because all the parts match.
I do not use the laying cage with the kit.
I set up a hive with the cloake board an place the cell bar with cell cups for the bees to polish 24 hours.
I then go to my timing box so I know exactly how old the larva is.
I purge each cell cup with a little royal jelly (wet graft)
I use the small end of the German Grafting Tool.
I then graft the larva to the polished cell cups.
I like wet grafting for I just ease the larva down to the royal jelly and it will float off the tool.
Be sure to lay a damp towel over the grafted cell cups to keep them from drying out.
When I get a cell bar grafted I place the cell bar in my incubator with the humidity set at 72%.
I installed a humidifier on my cabinet incubator I built for queen rearing.
When I get all the cell bars grafted I move them to the upper box of the cloake board Hive.
24 hours later I check those cell bars to see if the bees are drawing out the cells.
When I see the cells being drawn out about 1/8 inch or so I remove the sheet of metal in the cloake board making the hive a Queen Rite Finishing Hive.
When the cells are capped off I do not for any reason touch those capped cells for 3 days, it is a critical development stage.
I then move the cell bars to the incubator and install hair roller cages.
The day before they are due to emerge I draw up some royal jelly in a syringe and put a dab in the slots of the lower cap of the hair roller cage.
When that queen emerges she will go down and usually feed on the royal jelly.
When I see she has emerged I remove the hair roller cage with the queen inside and tear the queen cell off the plastic cell cup.
I take 1/2 small marsh mellow and place it in the plastic cell cup.
I replace the hair roller cage with the queen back on the cell cup holder and she will feed on the marsh mellow.
The temperature at 92 degrees F. and the humidity between 60 and 80% is the key.
Without a steady humidity the queen won't live but a day or two.
I keep the humidity at 72% and have not lost a queen this way.
I like the Nicot setup as far as the cages, cell cups, holders and such because everything matches.
I raise lots of queens this way.
Fact is I'm setting up a hive with the cloake board today and will graft tomorrow.
I grafted 80 larva and had 64 take.
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