This year I made a split from one of the my last year hives and it's doing great. Next year I would like to start rearing queens by using the "grafting" method. I read that you need a starter hive, a builder and a finisher. How do I make those colonies? How can I get the correct aged larvae to graft? Any pointers would be greatly appreciated :).
Many do not have starters, builders, and finishers. It sometime just comes down to resources and number of queens being raised. Some shake bees from many hives to have a starter bursting at the seams. Of course if your raising 60 or 72 cells like some operations, you will need to do this. I tend to graft 16 or 32 cells depending on orders and my schedule. I think you also get better queens this way.
I mostly use one strong hive as my starter and finisher. This does add some extra precaution as any missed rogue cell will doom your graft.
Much of queen rearing is centered around the queen calendar. If you keep true to your dates and schedule, you will do fine. Miss your schedule by one day, and you can lose it all.