I am thinking of trying to raise a few queens next spring. I have 20 hives at the moment. I wish to raise some queens to replace any winter losses I have and to requeen a hive that has swarmed to get a laying queen faster, then taking the capped swarm cells from the swarm hive and put in the finisher hive to complete. This way any possible production hive will have the best growth. Is this feasible as far as a hive that has swarmed is concerned? I do plan on curving the desire to swarm, but I want to be prepared just in case.
I have read both process of the "kits" and with grafting. I plan on only making a small number of queens at the moment. Please tell me if my thought process is off base; if I use the queen rearing kit I will have many more larvae than I need. Wasting bee resources and having to replace 110 cups each time. Also, i have plastic foundation and would have to alter a frame to make this work (again altering the donar hive somewhat). If I graft, I can take the amount of larvae that I intend to use (around 5) and start the process without altering the donar hive at all. I believe I can get the larvae from one of my hives in the yard with little issues. Question is, is grafting really that difficult to accomplish? I feel that I have eyesight and dexterity for this. Those that have grafted before, do you prefer the "kits" or grafting?