Now I have 18 colonies. My nabour has tens of colonies from the distance 600 m and more. He has good calm race, and queens are good egg layers. When my virgin queens copulate, they will get good "blood".
It is not that easy if you have in your surroundings many kind of bees and beekeepers and wild furious natives. This is another half of raising own queens.
In my place there is a wild colony in the church at the distance of 6 km and also in the wall of old dairy building, but I did not have found that my queens copulate with those gray Crainians.
15-18 colonies is not allways enough to have good breeding hive. Mostly I bye 3 commercial queens and I take eggs from those.
When my hives raise their own queen cells I change the eggs to better one in proper places and I take another cells away. That is really easy and queens will be large and high quality.
Often losses of queens are more than 50% when I put them in gage and I put them in the copulating nucs.
Now for two years I have divided the parent colony in many nucs with their own raised queens. I take those nucs 5 km away from my yard and from that moment they will be indivudual colonies. Losses are minimal. I have too much hives. That is why I can divide a good hive.
When you raise your own queens, colony must be at least in 4 boxes. It must be a strong hive. And when you raise queens, you probably loose most of hive's yield. This is a price of your own queens.
A strong colony should bring 50-100 kg honey. With that price I can bye 10-20 high quality egg laying commercial queens.
If you change the eggs, there is no bigg difference with honey yield. Of course when you distub the hive many times, it brings less honey.
But queen raising is the best in beekeeping and the most interesting. I do not calculate it in money.
Now I have bought commercial queens from 4 places. It is interesting to compare material next summer. Some of queens are huge large!
I hope that my 17 year boy starts queen and nuc raising next summer. He is really fond of nature and raising all kind of bugs.