1 of 3- How to Graft Queen Bees

Grafting bees is a fun and economical way to have a sustainable bee yard or backyard beehive system. The material to do it isn't very expensive and can quickly pay for itself, as a quality queen will sell in excess of $40 each.

If your looking to get started you can start with a kit like these:

Grafting Queens for Your own Apiary


So what we're gonna cover today is grafting queens. I'm gonna step you through the process of what we do what I like to do. And let's get started. So, I've headed off to the apiary, we've selected two hives that we really like their genes, they're pretty good at honey production, their tolerance, or their temperament is really calm. And gentle, I guess is the proper word, industry word. But one of them has overwintered successfully, with no treatment whatsoever. So obviously, we like those genes, we want to keep them going. That's an Italian and then we've got a carni that we want to graft off of, as well.

So what you gotta do is, there's kind of some key things that need to take place before you do the grafting. One is you need to start a hive. And you can do that get a starter hive going. I like to go at least a day before you put your queen cups in there. But I've heard some people say you can go as soon as you know, few hours after getting it ready. And pretty much what it is that queenless colony with a bunch of nurse bees. And what that'll do is that'll help grow out the cells on the cups. And they'll nurture them and then we'll end up putting them in a finishing hive. Or what we'll do is manipulate the starter hive and and convert it into a finishing hive. But we'll cover that in a different video.

So what I'm going to do is I'm going to get in, can see them all. But these are our test types. And we're gonna take from that part one over there, and then this tall one here. So stay tuned. And I'll show you how we graphed.

Alright, so just got done pulling the frames out of the hive that I wanted, I've got so this one's out of our carniolan if you can see in there or not. But the age of the larvas is absolutely key. So what you want is them just pass egg stage and just as they're starting to make the little "C" and there's a little bit of royal jelly in there. And so today It's warm. I think it was 82 it's super humid. I'm sweating my butt off right now I just got out my suit. But it's not very windy.

So one of the things you want to take into account is you don't want these to dry out or to chill, that's obviously going to kill the larva. And then you'll have a horrible success rate, if not zero chance of grafting queens, but I've got little bees here. And so what I'm using is I'm actually using this is the German grafting tool. It's got like a little cup on one end. And then like it's really hard stop focusing a little hook on the other. So dogs are chasing a deer or something. But they also make a Chinese tool. I've not used that before. I probably should order one and just try it out but it's got like a nice little plunger on it. So it really helps out when you scoop it up, you can just plunge and just gently push the larva off this one, you just got to kind of get a little technique. I'd like to use this little cup, you scoop it up and they just kind of gently roll it off into your cup.

So these are what we are going to be