Friday, May 1, 2009

Raising Queens Part II

Now that the Cloake board is set up and the bees are 'queenless' we can set them up to raise some queens for us. We use a standard medium frame that has been modified to accept cell bars. The cell bars are nothing more than paint stir sticks. Attached to the cell bars will be the wooden cell cups and pure wax cells into which the grafted larva are placed. I couldn't get any photos of the grafting process since it's too hard to hold a camera and graft at the same time. I need an assistant next time.

Today it has been over 24 hours since the introduction of the grafted cells. We'll check them to see how many were accepted. I'm not the most experienced grafter so I usually experience somewhere in the vicinity of 50% acceptance. Amazingly I also couldn't find my typical grafting tool when I needed it most so made use of a 'grafting' tool shown to me by Dr. Rick Fell of Virginia Tech. It consists of a sanded down wooden stick. Being almost paper thin it bends nicely to get underneath the larva.

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