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Author Topic: Best Grafting tool  (Read 8418 times)
bugleman
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« on: May 03, 2009, 07:14:11 AM »

I am going to try my first grafts this year.  Any suggestions for the type of tool I should buy?  I like the idea of the tool having a slider to push the larve into the comb with.
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« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2009, 01:04:47 PM »

I have used a coupe different grafting tools, the best I have used is the chinese grafting tool, the only thing is buy about 5-10 because some will work a lot better than others, I usually get 2 good one's out of every 5-10 tools I try.

http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com/prodinfo.asp?number=333
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RayMarler
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« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2009, 01:08:56 PM »

I like my grafting tool made out of a paperclip the best.

http://s679.photobucket.com/albums/vv158/Blujay85/?action=view&current=graft02.jpg

http://s679.photobucket.com/albums/vv158/Blujay85/?action=view&current=Graft01.jpg

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Cheryl
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« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2009, 01:09:11 AM »

Nifty. How do you go about making that?
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RayMarler
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« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2009, 02:18:29 AM »

Nifty. How do you go about making that?

I bent out the long leg, and pounded a flat foot or scoop on it with a hammer on the anvil portion of a vice.
I shaped the scoop foot with a hone stone and gave it a taper front edge for scooping up larva with royal jelly smoothly.
I bent the leg back slightly at the level that corrosponds to the cell depth, for easily inserting without damaging the cell.
This tool will scoop up the lava with royal jelly and deposit it into a queen cell cup easily. The royal jelly being scooped helps in releasing the larva into the queen cell cup right side up. No need to prime the cells at all, it works better with no priming. It works with a sideways scooping motion instead of a forward motion so you can see more clearly what you are doing. This tool was made for right handed person, would be very simple to make it for a left handed person.
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Cheryl
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« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2009, 12:18:48 AM »

Wow, THANKS for that description!! I often make my own tools, and I can tell that careful thought was put into crafting that simple little device. Excellent explanation, I will keep this as a reference.
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« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2009, 09:29:52 AM »

the first I ever used was at Fatbeemans house and it was a piece of wire flattened on one end, it worked ok but at times was hard to get the larva off the thing, thats why I use the chinese grafting tool now, it pushes the larva off and less chance flipping or rolling the larva loading or unloading, I still would like to try the paint brush method but will try that later when I get the chance, just my 2 cents worth..
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Cheryl
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« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2009, 12:22:07 AM »

Why is it bad to flip or roll a larva? Something to do with royal jelly and respiration?
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RayMarler
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« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2009, 01:47:10 AM »

Why is it bad to flip or roll a larva? Something to do with royal jelly and respiration?

If I remember correctly, it drowns the larva when you flip them because they are breathing thru their membranes on top.
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dpence
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« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2009, 12:31:44 PM »

Nifty. How do you go about making that?

I bent out the long leg, and pounded a flat foot or scoop on it with a hammer on the anvil portion of a vice.
I shaped the scoop foot with a hone stone and gave it a taper front edge for scooping up larva with royal jelly smoothly.
I bent the leg back slightly at the level that corrosponds to the cell depth, for easily inserting without damaging the cell.
This tool will scoop up the lava with royal jelly and deposit it into a queen cell cup easily. The royal jelly being scooped helps in releasing the larva into the queen cell cup right side up. No need to prime the cells at all, it works better with no priming. It works with a sideways scooping motion instead of a forward motion so you can see more clearly what you are doing. This tool was made for right handed person, would be very simple to make it for a left handed person.

I made one myself, I am still practicing.  It can be custom bent for your particular style.  Pretty nifty.

David
 
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2009, 06:04:24 PM »

I really like the Chinese grafting tool as well.  Buy several as they vary in quality.  But they pick up the larvae with the royal jelly and are much easier to learn to use and able to pick up much younger larvae.
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Michael Bush
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bugleman
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« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2009, 08:08:44 PM »

how small of a larve should I attempt to pick up.  I could pick ones up that just had a dot of royal jelly but had a very hard time putting them into the cups.  My friend tried some that were a bit larger and have great success.  We will see in a few days.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2009, 10:16:13 PM »

>how small of a larve should I attempt to pick up.

If you can see them they are too big.  Smiley  As small as you can find.
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Michael Bush
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bugleman
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« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2009, 12:56:29 AM »

Thank you Mr Bush.  Now to press my luck.  How durable are the larve in terms of scooping pressure, roll over etc.?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2009, 05:58:25 PM »

>Thank you Mr Bush.  Now to press my luck.  How durable are the larve in terms of scooping pressure, roll over etc.?

They are pretty fragile, but seem to survive more than I think they should.  Smiley  You should be as gentle as possible.
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Michael Bush
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mgmoore7
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« Reply #15 on: May 31, 2009, 02:17:56 AM »

>how small of a larve should I attempt to pick up.

If you can see them they are too big.  Smiley  As small as you can find.


I just tried my first grafting run after 3 unsuccessful attempts using the Nicot system.   When I grafted, I was using a 5x visor magnifier but it got in the way when trying to get the chinese grafting tool in place.  Therefore, I was down to plain eyesight. 

Knowing this rule that Michael Bush speaks of, I looked for cells that were surrounded by other eggs, young larve and appeared to be shiny at to the bottom with royal jelly and I could not see a larve or egg.  Useing the tool was tough at the beginning but mostly because I did not have the technique down yet.  After doing about 10, it started to get easier.  Once lifting the tool with the larve, I could see the tiny larve about the size of the egg (or not and try again) and was able to put it in the cell cup.  Once in the cell cup, the larve often could not be seen again without alot of straint or the magnifiers.

On this 1st run, after 24 hours, 11 of 16 appear to viable.  I knew that a few of those would not be viable due to trouble getting the larve off the tool in the center of the cell cup the 1st few times.

I hope that helps a little in some technique to find the right age larve.   
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Dvash
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« Reply #16 on: November 10, 2009, 12:56:52 PM »

I really like the Chinese grafting tool as well.  Buy several as they vary in quality.  But they pick up the larvae with the royal jelly and are much easier to learn to use and able to pick up much younger larvae.
Michael, does that mean that you don't prime the cell cup with royal jelly? Do you depend on the small amount that comes with the larva?
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Cindi
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« Reply #17 on: November 10, 2009, 09:45:47 PM »

When I took a course on queen rearing, we used a Chines grafting tool.  The tool, as it was picking up the "invisible" larva at the same time, picked up the royal jelly, no need to prime the cell, devices (whatever they are) would no doubt have enough royal jelly on it to keep that larva alive, until it is fed more.  As Michael said, if you can see the larva, it is too old.  Look for cells that all you can see is the milky looking royal jelly and take that, that would be a larva that is under 36 hours old.  The younger the larva the better the end result will be.  Have that beautiful, most wonderful day, health and life.  Cindi
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RayMarler
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« Reply #18 on: November 11, 2009, 03:15:07 AM »

I wear a pair of strong reading glasses, then I can see the little buggers!
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #19 on: November 11, 2009, 08:45:49 AM »

>Michael, does that mean that you don't prime the cell cup with royal jelly?

I do not.  I tried it and saw no difference.

>Do you depend on the small amount that comes with the larva?

Yes.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
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