After 3 years of various experiments, I have nailed down a fairly reliable method of raising queens. When I started this effort, my primary driver was to make local queens available to the folks in my area so that we wouldn't need to bring in so many outsider's. Now that I have it down, I'm struggling with figuring out how to efficiently hold these queens. As a bit of background, my primary 'offset' to my hobby is Nuc's. I raise several dozen each year and sell them for around $150 each (price varies a bit, depending on frame exchange). So, when my queen cells are 'ripe', I need a place to put them so that they can mate and get started. Currently, I pretty much create a Nuc the day before and add the cell the next day. This works great, but it's hard for me to reconcile selling a single queen for a fraction of what I could sell the Nuc for. Do folks simply use the Queen Castles (or basically a super divided into 3 chambers)? I see all kinds of contraptions (mini-nuc's and the sort) on the internet, but these seem to all require special equipment. What about once the queen is mated? Do folks cage them and hold them in the same hive? What is the consequence of preventing a queen from laying for a week or two, until she is sold? There seems to be a lot of information out there about how to raise a queen, but I am having difficulty locating some easy method to hold the queens once they are mated and ready. I have to wonder if the real goal is to get the order BEFORE the queens are ready.