I just finished "Better Queens" by Jay Smith, after reading his earlier book on the same topic. http://bushfarms.com/beesbetterqueens.htm
I'm planning to raise a few queens next year and am doing the required reading. I have some questions.
He seems to say that the standard method of grafting yields inferior queens due to the fact that they are not adequately fed. If this true, why is grafting still so popular?
It seems his method of cutting out cells and the rest is a bit more involved than the grafting method, is this true? Is it worth it for the results?
Those of you who have experience in queen rearing, what are your thoughts on Mr. Smith's book? What is your advice for someone with fewer than two dozen hives who would like to raise their own queens?
Don't misunderstand my intentions, I'm not taking his or anyone else's statements as difinitive, I'm just asking questions trying to learn and bring ideas together to form a viable trial method.
Thus far, I'm interested in grafting because of the ability to sample a couple of half-dozens of larvae from several queens and raise them at the same time in the same cell builder. I like the Jenter/Nicot methods, but they require a bit more massaging and you only get progeny from one queen at a time. I also like the idea of making wax cells and not using plastic. It's not that I have anything against plastic, I just think it would be fun to be able to raise queens without needing to buy supplies.
Thanks in advance for your thoughts.