What is it ?
The Jenter kit enables the queen to lay eggs directly into a plastic "plug". This avoids the dangers of grafting, and ensures correct age of larvae.
The kit comprises
A plastic comb box;
Cell plugs (for the eggs) that fit into pre-drilled holes in the comb box;
A cover plate on the rear, to let you access the plugs once the eggs are laid;
A queen excluder plate on the front to retain the queen;
Queen cell starter caps, that fit over the cell plugs and form the beginning of the queen cell.
Cup holders - large open ended cones that hold the cell cup/plug to a frame bar.
How do you use it ?
Select a well-used drawn brood frame, full of unsealed honey. Using a sharp knife cut out a piece 4" wide out of the center of the frame. Attach the plastic comb box to the underside of the top bar.
You must prepar the hollow cell plugs by pushing them down into a piece of foundation by twisting them and embedding the wax in the hole. This give you a beeswax base in the tip of the cell plug for the queen to lay her eggs on. Push 90 of these plugs into the back of the cell box and then replace the rear cover plate.
Place the complete frame and comb box into any healthy strong brood box. Feed the colony with heavy syrup (2 parts sugar to one part water) in a feeder. In a couple of days the cells will be drawn out and filled with honey. The frame can then be removed and any surplus bees can be gently brushed off into their original colony. At this stage no queen has had access to the comb box and therefore it will have no brood in it.
The complete frame and comb box is inserted into the colony from which you wish to obtain eggs.
Five days before you wish to transfer the larvae to the cell starter, confine the queen in the Jenter comb box. This is accomplished by temporarily removing the central queen excluder plug from the front plastic excluder, finding the queen, and putting her in the box via the center hole and replacing the plug confinining her to the comb box. Check the frame after 10-12 hours. Usually the bees will have removed the honey and all the cells and cell plugs wil be filled with eggs. There must be frames of eggs on either side of the frame with the cell box or the bees might remove the eggs and move them somewhere else.
As soon as eggs are present, pry off the complete front queen excluder and ensure the queen walks out of the comb box to the adjoining frame.
Replace the queen excluder and return the complete frame to the center of the brood nest of the breeder queen.
A few days later you remove the plugs; attach with caps and holders to the bottom of a half depth frame, and insert this into your queenless cell raising colonies.
Being queenless, these colonies are strongly motivated by the emergency impulse and will feed and raise the queen cells.
When the queens are ready to hatch, each cell is moved to a mating colony.