dang you must be much younger than myself Iddee. if it was me I would raise the entire thing on a bench and do a bit less stooping.
the fellow I know who uses this technique for the production of large quantity of queen cells simply has stands with two bottom boards pointed in different directions. he move it to one position for cell rearing and the other when the hive is not being used.
in most places pollen patties are not so important but a dribble of feed is certainly recommended.
Rast, this is my first time trying, and likely my last.
I sure hope not. You know you don't have to put grafts in cups in. You can drop a frame of eggs in it too. The whole point (to me) is in getting the top box as full of nurse bees (therefore I feed) as you can without having to shake nurse bees from a few hives into a starter box and then moving them to another finishing hive. I am toying with making some spacers and using the Hopkins method just to try it.
I am not certain Iddee if this is your first attempt at grafting??? I have found that a bit of royal jelley to prime the cells certainly makes your first attempts at grafting much more productive. Sometime when I begin at the first of the season I like to 'prime' cells just to add a bit of insurance. So quite often when I first make up a starter (of whatever form) I drop in one frame of very young larvae and harvest the royal jelly that is produced (typically two days later).
Well, I moved all the brood to the top box yesterday. This morning I installed the slide in to separate the top bees from the queen, essentially making them queenless. Opened the bottom box at the back to allow the foragers to leave. They will return to the top box, thus overcrowding it.
Four of us did a mix of grafting, all for the first time. It'll be a miracle if we get a queencell between the four of us, but it was fun setting it up.
you would be absolutely amazed (I know I was) to see the ladies in the queen grafting shack grafting sticks of cells. they make it look so easy and almost effortless. they laugh at 'grandpa' when he proclaims 'WOW'.
it looks like your grafting set up could use a bit of work?
If I were going to be grafting regularly, It would receive that little bit of work. Since it is a one or two time deal, it probably won't get improved. Just trying one time for fun. Have no use for the queens if successful.