I'm pretty tickled about how well my first queen rearing attempts have gone. I really wonder about the dinky queens I bought last year. Maybe that's why I had more winter losses than I though I should have. Another reason to learn to raise you own.
My hand grafts have been about the same success as the Nicot type Mann Lake system. I finally have them both figured out somewhat. And have my starter hive up to strength and finisher hives managed. I also used a cloake board system. All worked well as long as stupid here got ALL the wild queen cells out..not just some. Grrr..
The Mann Lake graftless system is a lot more complicated that what they tell you in the directions..which are down right wrong in my opinion.
Thanks to all of you, especially Velbert for your web sites, photos and information you kindly shared. Helped me be successful pretty darn quick.
I do have a good recipe for pollen patties and syrup . If you are interested PM me. (Hint.) Vitamin/Electrolytes and cider vinegar.
Below is an interesting queen Out of a solid black Carnie, 100% of all daughter queens so far are this color. Very fat and easy to spot on the frame.Not a good photo, they are quite large. Huge black thorax and very blond fat, long abdomen.
You'll notice all but one of the photos shows the brood pattern. That's because these queens are newly mated this week..and this large already. Can't imagine how big they will get when they mature.
Below you can see the left side of the divided deep was successful in a mated return, right side was not.