thank you for your opinions on the subject.
I love swarm cells queens. When a colony decides to swarm because if has ran out of room, brood nest is back filled or whatever, you get wonderful big fat queen cups, with huge amounts of royal jelly, you can see those huge fat grubs growing in them before they are caped and you get really nice big queen cells and the queens are usually very large.
I have been raising queens from my best colonies from the previous seasons that wintered great, with large populations coming through bla bla. I make nucs from them in spring with purchased queens and sell them but dont take to much brood and bees to deplete the colonies to much. I then leave them crowd in three deeps till they start swarm preparations. The queens I get have been better on average than any I have purchased to date for the most part. I am going to sell some of these queens as well this summer. I want to start playing around with grafting and non grafting methods of queen raising this season as well. As you know with swarm cells there is no way on know when the colony will start preparations and not all cells are started at the same time so you cant have a set schedule of any kind.
I have read for countless hours about the different methods of raising queens and there are many, many, different opinions on what is best. There is no set standard on what is best, or what will produce the highest quality cells, queens, ans so on. It goes right down the line to mating. There is not even agreement to how far a queen flys to mate only one opinion from one author to the next. There are certain facts that cant be ignored but beyond these there is only theory. At least thats my opinion!
Until I have enough equipment and clients I will not be able to continuously raise cells on a schedule. Maybe next season I could start thinking about it. For the time being I have lots of experimenting to do. I intend to start wintering as many nucs as I can manage. I also want to start wintering as many of my own self raised and mated queens so I dont have to go through this nerve racking stressful wait for queens I need each spring. Folks are really turning toward local bees and queens adapted to local climates and I believe that's the way it should be.