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Thursday, 21 June 2012

The punch method of getting queen cells

Regular reader and commenter Joan asked what I used to punch the grafts.

It's a bit of 12mm steel tube (that's half and inch if you live in a backward country), sharpened with a file.

And a pencil for pushing the graft through.

I will of course, blog on the success (or otherwise) of this first attempt at punch grafting.

I am concerned about two things: the first is the strength of the colony and their nectar flow.  It's a hive that swarmed and the new queen failed to materialise.  You need a strong colony to raise queens.  The second is the age of the larvae.  I'm not sure what a three-day-old larva looks like, so I chose the smallest I could see.

I'll check the "finishing colony" in eight days time and report back.


  1. Interesting procedure. I'll be watching for the results as well. I wish you luck!

  2. Complete failure. The colony built comb all over the cells I had grafted on the frame. And then I noticed that a queen had been laying in the comb they had made! Where did she come from?! So the colony wasn't queenless after all.

    So much for that experiment. But I will try again next year.


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