I think one of the best things to come out of the Sacramento conference was the idea of raising local queens. The term "micro-breeder" was raised, kind of like those "micro-brewers" who brew local beer with the time, patience and specialities that the mega-suds cannot replicate.

But several speakers also noted that one of the defining characteristics of high quality queens was the necessity of leaving the newly mated queen in the mating nuc for 3 to 4 weeks so she can continue to lay eggs and develop her queen scent. This also gives you a chance to test her, or at least observe her egg laying pattern.

As a micro-breeder, I would have the time and I can easily afford to tie up my equipment for that length of time. I wouldn't have to "mate and bank" my queens for a quick turnover of the mating nuc.

Jackson, MO http://www.25hives.homestead.com