This season I have decided that it was time to try to raise some queens. I'm not quite ready to do some larvae grafting but with a swarm cell or 2, how hard can it be? First things first there has to be a place for the mating of the queen. Since I am only going to be taking an almost capped or capped swarm cell on a frame from one of my hives it is really not like I am raising a queen but just putting her somewhere to mate and start a new colony. While perusing the vast information on the interweb I came across some plans for a queen castle that is the same size as a regular deep box but can be divided into 4 sections each with 2 frames. The dividers can be removed so you could do multiple amounts of frame. This is the link if you are interested in the plans: http://robo.bushkillfarms.com/downloads/beekeeping/Bushkill4WayMatingNuc.pdf
I had just taken apart an old IKEA pine dresser as it looked like the wood could be used for something and my hoarding tendencies actually came in handy with what I built.
>Total cost on this piece of equipment $0 It is quite amazing what you can do with a Skill-saw and a hammer. It has been a while since is started this post so here is the update. From a hive that was ready to swarm, After placing 2 frames (1 with a few capped swarm cells) in one compartment and another 4 frames in a different compartment (also with one frame with a few capped swarm cells). After a few weeks both ended up with a beautiful mated queen that was then moved to new hives once she started laying well. I suppose that this is more like making splits than raising queens but I am taking a queen rearing course in a few weeks so perhaps there will be an opportunity to try different things after.
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