Re: Produce queens from eggs, not larvae
With that price I don't blame you. Lots of good reason to be sustainable in raising your
own queens. Because it is just too much details many will not go into it here. There are books devoted entirely on this subject alone. I will attempt to since I've almost practically experienced them all. There are many form of queen rearing including using eggs either in a natural comb cells or in the plastic queen cups. I will go into using the queen laying cage for getting the eggs. There is a post here that modify an old black comb frame to fit in the plastic laying cage. To do this successfully you have to widen the roaming space for the queen to lay in. Because without the needed young nurse bees the queen abdomen will shrink down inside this small confined laying cage.
The second method is to use fresh drawn comb for the queen to lay in. QCs can be removed and placed inside a queen less hive for them to make the QCs. You have to be a bit careful to not crushed the QCs when removing and installing them into the mating nuc hives. For the cell builder hive I prefer to use an open system where enough hive resources are coming in preferably on a strong flow. If not then you have to supplement feed the hive. What I like to do is to find a booming hive with lots of foragers. If not enough foragers I will combine 2 forager hives into one cell builder/finisher hive. Then take out all the eggs/larvae frames to put inside a nuc hive along with the old queen. Don't mixed in different bees from different hives otherwise they will kill the old queen. The foragers will be returning to the cell builder hive. With the open larvae frames and the queen removed, take more cap brood frames along with the attaching bees from the near by hives to replaced the removed frames. What you want is a booming hive with lots of bees. Brush in more bees from other hives if there are not enough bees to cover the frames. This is call a bee bomb hive!
The queens raised from the eggs stage will be more healthy, hardy and productive laying queens. All my queens this season are from the eggs stage raised queens for the II process. I used the natural comb method to produce these queens.
The price per queen there is that US dollars or your country's dollars?
Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?