Cell Punching with Eggs

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polymath 

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I cell punched the other day and I am pleased to say that 4 out of the five have been drawn out and accepted by the bees. I moved these to the finishing colony all good. My breeder queen though had not got a single larvae in the box, it is in a nuc and they really are not letting her lay a lot, she is very old 4 years and on her last legs. Plenty of eggs though so I cell punched with them. Wondered if anyone had done this before and what results you had, will share the results of my fun in a week or so. Here is a pic of my first four though cell punched.
 

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I cell punched the other day and I am pleased to say that 4 out of the five have been drawn out and accepted by the bees. I moved these to the finishing colony all good. My breeder queen though had not got a single larvae in the box, it is in a nuc and they really are not letting her lay a lot, she is very old 4 years and on her last legs. Plenty of eggs though so I cell punched with them. Wondered if anyone had done this before and what results you had, will share the results of my fun in a week or so. Here is a pic of my first four though cell punched.
You've done well to get such nice looking cells at the moment. The weather is terrible. (y)
 

madasafish 

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Cell punching does not work with eggs.
Nor does grafting.
If from another hive, bees remove them
 

polymath 

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You've done well to get such nice looking cells at the moment. The weather is terrible. (y)
I know i was very happy given the crap conditions but as I am away mid may on for a couple of weeks want to get cells into Mating Nucs before i left hoping for some nice mated queen on return.
 

victor meldrew 

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Thanks, had that feeling. Well will go back and check in a day or so and report back.
Why not ? They accept a donated frame from another colony , unless they have laying workers of course !
 

John McC 

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I cell punched the other day and I am pleased to say that 4 out of the five have been drawn out and accepted by the bees. I moved these to the finishing colony all good. My breeder queen though had not got a single larvae in the box, it is in a nuc and they really are not letting her lay a lot, she is very old 4 years and on her last legs. Plenty of eggs though so I cell punched with them. Wondered if anyone had done this before and what results you had, will share the results of my fun in a week or so. Here is a pic of my first four though cell punched.
You have given me great hope. I am all prepared, with my plans, punches and mating nucs. Just waiting for the weather to improve.
 

masterBK 

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Although where possible you should always use 1 day old (maybe 2 days at a push) larvae, I have on three occasions transferred cupkit plugs (via grafting frames each with two bars of 10 plugs) containing just eggs to the cell raiser and got 50 to 60% acceptance ie 10 to 12 decent sized queen cells. The eggs were probably on the point of hatching (queen introduced into cupkit box 4 days previously ). I expected them to have hatched but not unusual to get a days delay before queen lays so these days I plan for the 5th day. On each of these occasions I could not have waited another day to get freshly hatched larvae as I would have been unable to visit the apiary the next day (eg on one occasion I would have been out of the country) so transferred them anyway and was pleasantly surprised at the result.

ps Some of the plugs used contained more than one egg which is not unusual for a queen confined for a few days to a Q box containing a mere 110 cell plugs (I don't use the fondant release option on the box as sometimes the queen is released too early and manual release after a couple of days involves another trip to the out-apiary). These days I have the breeder queens in polynuclei at home so the queen box can more easily monitored.
 

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masterBK 

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Sorry to hear eggs not accepted although probably to be expected. Acceptance of grafts depends heavily on how well the cell raiser is prepared but also on current external conditions. With very little foraging going on due to the cool weather and rain there would probably be poor acceptance of even one day old larvae so eggs have no chance. If in doubt feed for a few days to simulate a flow and ensure there is a comb of fresh pollen next to the frame of grafts .
.
 

BugsInABox 

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Cell punching does not work with eggs.
Nor does grafting.
If from another hive, bees remove them
Ok I hadn't played with this sort of thing yet but it never occurred to me you can transfer larvae but not eggs - explains a few things I was puzzled by last year. These unknown unknowns are the hardest to address. I'm assuming eggs don't get similarly removed in a walk away split.

Thinking about it - why not just leave the punched cells with eggs in the breeder colony a day or two before moving then to the finishing colony - have I missed the point.
 

madasafish 

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Ok I hadn't played with this sort of thing yet but it never occurred to me you can transfer larvae but not eggs - explains a few things I was puzzled by last year. These unknown unknowns are the hardest to address. I'm assuming eggs don't get similarly removed in a walk away split.

Thinking about it - why not just leave the punched cells with eggs in the breeder colony a day or two before moving then to the finishing colony - have I missed the point.
Two visits.

Why not only punch young larvae?
One visit .Job done
 

elainemary 

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Anyone know the relative acceptance rate of cell punches vs grafts? Guessing punches are higher as larva hasn’t been touched. Be good to know from those of you with practical experience of doing both
 

madasafish 

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Anyone know the relative acceptance rate of cell punches vs grafts? Guessing punches are higher as larva hasn’t been touched. Be good to know from those of you with practical experience of doing both

My experience with cell punching was poor. I was lucky to average 25%
I learned grafting last year. By the end of the season, I was achieving 50%.

Now by normal standards those are rubbish .Good grafters get 95% plus.

Bear in mind I am 73, long sighted with varifocals and my hands are not as steady as they once were (No: not too much gin!) Anyone younger with a steady hand and good eyesight should do much better.

PS: grafting once learned is far easier than cell punching.
 

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