Native Irish Honey Bee Society – Apis mellifera mellifera

Native Irish Honey Bee Society
Apis mellifera mellifera

Grafting since 1879 – R. Touchton (autumn 2008)

Grafting Queen-Cells: When was it First Practiced?

Reproduced from: Gleanings in Bee Culture, March 15, 1896

Dr. Miller asks, “Who first invented inoculation, or the plan of
transferring a worker-larva to a queen-cell? and was it known so long ago
in this country as 1879?” To the first question I answer, I don’t know; to
the latter, yes.  I raised about 80 queens by this process in 1876, and about
the same number in 1877, and have practiced the plan more or less every year
since.  We call it “grafting,” and think it a more appropriate name.  My plan
has been to remove the queen from a strong colony, and let them raise cells.
At the end of 4 days remove the larvae from the cells started, and replace
with larvae from a choice queen.  By this plan I have raised some very choice
queens.  Occasionally they will tear down a few of the cells, and sometimes
raise others.  To guard against the latter, cut the cells out as soon as
grafted; fit them into empty comb, or comb containing no brood; then all the
cells perfected in the comb will be “grafted” cells.  I think the natural
cells, filled naturally with royal jelly, preferable to artificial
cell-cups.  In the former you find the cells well filled with royal jelly;
and by selecting larvae as young as will “lift” from the cell, you have them
abundantly  fed from the start, but not so in the latter; and the larvae are
liable to be neglected too long before properly fed, unless you are careful
to give them an abundance of royal jelly when you graft.



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