I place them in various places. In three comb/frame mating nucs, I like to have them on the center frame with bees on both comb faces, where it is on one of the comb faces. I also like to place them immediately adjacent to brood, but not destroy any brood to accommodate them, if I can avoid it.
I like to put my cells in a brood frame, as close to the top as possible, but still withing the brood, not into the honey cap. The few capped brood cells that I will destroy with the queen cells wont be missed. When I am placing cells into spring splits, this year nearly 700 cells in less than 12 hours, i dont have time to search for a spot where i wont destroy brood. So the go onto a brood frame, as close to the center of the hive as possible, and as close to the top of the frame, while remaining in brood.
All my mating nucs are fed with a quart jar in the lid. I pull the jar and plant the cell directly under the jar without taking off the lid. The broid frames are always placed directly under the feeder when setting up the nucs and that's where they stay through mating season.
Depends on temp. If night time temps are to be below 50 I put them on side of frame in brood. If nights are 50 plus i set it between top bars in middle of hive over brood. Lot quicker this way. This is cells emerging within 12 hours or so.
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