Unless I have a queenless hive available, I tend to raise queens in a queenright stock – essentially a demaree with brood and lots of nurse bees in the top brood box. This year is no exception and I started by putting in cell cups for a couple of days for polishing before taking the frame of cups to an out-apiary to collect some small larvae using a small paint brush. They survived the return journey unscathed and all but one graft took. The first batch of grafts (larval transfer is a better term) emerged on 10/11 May; all queens seen in nucs and mini-nucs. A further batch will be emerging around 20th/21st May. I have some nucs made-up where I can remove the emergency queencells before putting the ripe ones. The remainder will go into mini-nucs which are clean and ready for another year. We just need some warm weather now!
A few weeks on, two of the MAQS treated hives are back to normal, the other is still ratty. Queen has to go!