I’m only running about 2 weeks late due to the weather. On Friday I made up a strong queenless hive by removing a queen a couple frames of brood and bees from a hive, placing them in a five frame nuc. Then adding a full medium of bees and brood to the now queenless hive. Saturday afternoon I grafted the first batch of larvae from one of my overwintered NWC breeder queens.
This particular breeder made it though the winter in great shape with a good strong population (you couldn’t tell it was a bad winter looking at them). She was from the European stock (semen) Sue Cobey managed to import last year after many years of trying to get approval and cutting though all the red tape. I must say the effort was well worth it as the 2 queens I have from this stock both look great and are probably the strongest hives I have.
A check this Sunday revield what I had hoped for, almost perfect acceptance of the grafted larvae. 37 of the 38 took. I might actually be getting the hang of this. Lack of recent practice in previous years usually made the first graft difficult and often with less than desireble acceptance resulting in having to regraft. A picture of the cell cups, still well covered with bees after being removed from the hive to check it, is show to the right. This picture was taken just 24 hours after grafting. You can already see a good rim of wax being built on the cells and a good amount of white royal jelly in the bottom of the cups.