I am new to the idea of queen rearing but have read four books on the subject and read a bunch of threads on this site. I have no hands on experience with queen raising. I plan to raise a few queens the first year (maybe a few dozen). I will be using 8 frame mediums and (probably) build about 10 sets of 5 frame nucs with supers based on the Coats design reduced to medium frame size for use as mating nucs.
I need opinions on the pros and cons of the Mann Lake Queen rearing system. The ability to put a queen cell protector/cage seems like a good idea since I might be a day late getting back to the ripe queen cells. Does the queen really have to be confined to force her to lay in the cell block? Could you just drill a board to hold the cups and would she lay without the without confinement?
Does anyone make an 8 frame Cloake board? I might have to make one out of an 8 frame queen excluder...
Mann Lake Queen system:
Nuc- note, I will be reducing it to fit 6-1/4" frames. My nuc bottom plan is to reduce the Side height "A" to 6-5/8", and the Front and Back "D" and "E" height to 5-7/8". This gives a 3/8" bee space above and below the frames. I am planning to make supers with Side Height "A" of 6-5/8", and the Front and Back "D" and "E" to 5-7/8" giving a 3/8" bee space above the frames.