Cell Plug Boxes
Grafting Honey Bee Larvae
Moulded wax cups have come into use during the last
20 years. The moulds are made from silicone rubber and usually
have multiple impressions. The type that I have myself was originally
manufactured by Thorne, but they have changed, recently, to a mould
that produces ten cups with a smaller, less chunky base. (I suspect
that the newer type has a larger diameter hemispherical bottom than
the type that I use.)
The picture at left shows a cross section of the type of wax cup that I use. It has a chunky base that helps with handling and gives rigidity to the base region that will be separated from the cell bar on completion.
There is a further type that is a combination of the two methods whereby the 'mould' is in the form of ten silicone rubber fingers, the tips of which are dipped into molten wax.
(Gilles Fert refers to this as the Kemp type, but I am not sure whether this is the designer's, producer's or seller's name.) The picture below is clipped from an old Thomas Catalogue.
Plastic Cell Cups from the cell plug box kits can be
utilised for direct grafting. There are also plastic cups made for
grafting. The Jz Bz type is the most common in UK and is illustrated
at extreme right.
The type shown immediate right is available in UK and fits into a grooved aluminium rail that is in turn mounted on the underside of the cell bar.
This type benefits from a small flat cut on the end of one of the curved lugs which allows it to 'snap' in place and gives a more secure fit. The cups can also be fitted onto tapered wooden dowels (as shown below left).
Written... August/September 2001, Revised... 15 February 2002, Revised... 19 June 2002, Revised... 20 January 2003,