I've just come in from setting-up the usual measures against robbing which has become a regular difficulty of raising NUCs in this apiary.
I'm mindful that the Demaree method of artificial swarming often produces queen cells in the upper brood box, due to the reduced pheromone levels caused by having one or two supers between brood boxes.
So - I've been mulling over this reduced pheromone feature, and wondered if raising NUCs in place of the 'Demaree upper brood box' (i.e. with a q/x under (say) a 2x5 or 3x3 frame divided-brood-box) might be workable ?
My assumption being that some worker bees (especially the older seasoned guards) will migrate up past the q/x, and in the case of the guards, will take up station at the entrances of the overhead NUCs.
When the NUCs grow big enough to take care of themselves, the q/x can be replaced by mesh (hardware cloth), and eventually they can become independent.
But - is there anything really stupid that I've overlooked ?