I built a medium depth 3 frame by 3 chamber queen castle to raise a couple queens and/or grow my apiary. I've only raised one other queen and it was in the hive after a squish earlier this spring so this is a new and exciting experience for me. Questions are as follows:
1- I know most people use two chamber units and add a frame of young brood and a frame of honey/pollen.
My unit has three slots, what would you place in the slots. 2 brood/1 stores or 1 brood/1 store/1 empty frame or some other combo?
2- My eyes aren't great, seeing eggs on a transfer frame is impossible, so I have to guess a bit in which frames to pull. This presents several questions:
How quickly will they stat to pull a QC, is 24 hours long enough to wait to look? Normally I would wait a few days but showers are expected for the next 5/6 days.
If no queen cells are built and I verify that the queen is still back in the parent hive I will assume that I didn't give them young enough stock. Can I simply move that frame back to the parent colony and move a new frame in to the castle?
Thank you in advance for any guidance and here's a pic of my homemade castle, the top box just surrounds the feeder jars.