This Season’s Grafting

22 out of 25 takes this batch and similar success last time!  I seem to have got the grafting technique reasonably worked out.  Still able to make a fool of things though as the previous batch I transferred to a too weak cell finisher and they must have been abandoned or got cold as they didn’t survive.  This time I’ve put half the cells in a stronger finisher and left half in the  swarm box.

As far as the cell starter, I’ve been using a swarm box and making sure it is strong.  By moving it from the originating apiary I can let it fly and ensure no loss of bees.

I’ll probably keep the swarm box going by converting it to a LaFerney/Clemens Beginner to Beginner system for the next batch.

Observation queen

queen and courtiers

A queen rearing instruction session produced a few spare cells, so we loaded them into the observation hive and let them hatch.  Good to spot the result. Pity about the photo quality, it’s difficult to get the lighting/reflection right, but you can see how much attention she’s getting.

Queens for sale

caged and ready

Nice to have a few available for the club Xmas party. Sold out in 5 min as I spruiked along the dinner queue!

Quote from purchaser “looking in on the queen I bought from you. She’s filled the bottom box and was filling the second. Very nice solid brood pattern, and she was standing calmly in the middle of a frame when I saw her.

I’m really happy so far. That hive is looking the best it’s ever looked.”

Cut out

amazing wild comb

Although I resolved not to do any more cut outs here’s another, done for a pal.  Extraordinary how regular the combs were built and also that the bees chose such a large cavity (they are supposed to prefer 40L).