Queen Cells – Second Batch 2012

Round two worked well too. 39 cells took out of 42 grafts. All look decent. Both my first and second graft in 2012 had better success than any grafts in previous years. Was it the change to plastic cups, years of practice, perfect weather, or just an exceptional cell building colony? There are lots of factors that influence the success of a queen graft. More is involved beyond being able to move worker larvae from its comb into an artificial queen cell cup. And much more is involved in getting these queen cells hatched out, mated, and laying in new colonies. Making splits, nucs, or colony divides is one of the prerequisites to rearing queens so that you can get those queens mated and heading new colonies.

Here's the second graft of 2012. Looks like I've got lots of splits to make. I'll need to make a queen bank to give me time to make some splits.

I pulled this graft out of the builder at 5 days after grafting and moved them to the incubator. All cells were capped. I pulled my last batch at 4.5 days and I had a few cell still not finished. So waiting till 5 days after the graft is best. At the same time, I do the maintenance manipulation on the cell builder. I’ll talk about that later.

The cool thing about plastic queen cell cups is how you can see how much royal jelly the queen larvae have. Its the white material at the bottom (or in this case top) of the cell. Once the virgin queen emerges, you want to see some royal jelly left over, indicating that there was more than enough food to feed her as a larvae. Click on the pic to zoom in.