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Queen Cell Incubator

(Plans for this incubator are available here and you can purchase controller or the whole incubator at our store).

This portable incubator is used to transport brood from the hive inside for grafting, transporting ripe queen cells to be placed in mating nucs, and to hold capped queen cells when weather prevents them from being placed in a timely manner.



This incubator is essentially a 5 frame nuc with double walls filled with insulation, 60 Watt bulbs for a heat source, and a thermostat. A Ranco ETC temperature controller was used because it provides precise control with a 1 degree temperature differential, a digital readout of the current temperature, and it will switch 120V at up to 16 Amps with no additional hardware. It has a range of -30F to 220F so it’s suitable for many applications.  (It is now available in our online store)


Another view of the incubator with the top open. The top has a ridge on the bottom that nests inside the bottom to give a tighter seal.



The inside of the incubator showing the 2 60Watt bulbs used for a heat source. Two bulbs are used in case one would burn out.



Another picture of the inside showing a frame in the incubator. Note a sheet of metal is placed over the light bulbs to avoid direct radiant heating of the comb or queen cells placed in the incubator. A sponge and/or container of water (not shown) should be placed in the incubator to maintain the humidity.

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