We had a really hot and humid day today, my weather station said 35°, the car said 29° and the weather report on the radio said 26° – so take your pick. I was super glad to have my vented bee jacket, I still got very sweaty, but I could carry on working – I’m not so sure that would have been the case in my full bee suit.

I checked all the hives at my out apiaries, and made yet another split from my super hive, these Carniolan bees just keep filling frames with side to side brood and filling the boxes with bees. I put yet another super on most of the hives too, so will definitely do an extraction shortly.

I did my first full graft of the season today, very late compared to when I wanted to start, but I should still get a few rounds in now.

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Young larvae seen through my desk magnifying lamp, the grafts are done with the smallest ones, not much bigger than an egg.

The larva you look for when grafting are only just larger than an egg, and should be 12 – 24 hours old. You should aim to get larvae of the same size so that they all emerge around the same time.

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Tiny lava for grafting, floating in royal jelly, as seen through my magnifying lamp
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The larva are grafted into the cups in the foreground
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Cell cup holders waiting to receive the cell cups with grafts in
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a full cell bar with 20 grafts, ready to into the starter hive for feeding up to raise queen cells.

The cell bar is now in a starter hive, bursting with nurse bees, to feed the cells and turn them into queen cells. The hive will be fed with 1:1 syrup feed until the cells are capped, when they will be moved into my incubator, and another round of grafts will be added to the hive.

I will check the cells tomorrow to see how many the bees have accepted, and started to turn into queen cells. All being well, in two weeks time I should have some new virgin queens, ready to go into mating hives.

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