I finished up the queen rearing class at the University of Minnesota this morning. Our primary activity was taking our grafted cell bars out of the swarm boxes to see whether the bees started any queen cells. Of my eight grafts, only two were being cultivated into queens. One unlucky group's swarm box had included a virgin queen, so none of their grafts took. (There is a lesson there, there could be two queens in any hive so be careful when you shake bees into your swarm box!) After examining the bars, they were all placed in prepared hives for "finishing". These queens will be used in Marla Spivak's classes to teach the techniques of artificial insemination.
We all left with a pleasant surprise. Gary Reuter gave each of us a ripe queen cell grafted from a strong survivor hive. We actually packaged the cells in the nalgene bottles we were given the day before. When I got home I placed my cell in a 5 frame nuc created from frames and bees taken from Bee Glad... We will see if a mated queen will result from this. This allows me to experiment with wintering a double nuc.