Re: Trying it again-one question
Challenger it sounds like you probably did a good job of the actual graft. But having unsealed brood in the cell starter is a bad plan.
There's several theories and methods around this, one that some folks do is to have some young unsealed brood in the starter, but remove it at the same time the grafted cells are added. The idea is that the bees are feeding the young larvae so have plenty royal jelly at the time the cells are added.
However while good in theory this method adds complexity. For me, I have no brood at all in the starter and that works fine plus does not allow problems to happen such as them raising queen cells on the brood. On that subject you will have to check the brood that was in your starter, if there was no queen in the starter they would definitely have started some queen cells.
It is unusual though that they did not even start one of your grafted cells, I am wondering if maybe there was a queen in the starter that you did not know about?
Also, brand new plastic cells should not be used, acceptance will be poor. The cells should be put in a hive for a couple of days for cleaning prior to the graft.
44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).