Finding the first eggs in the mating hive is a hard-to-beat feeling! To me queen rearing is probably the most rewarding part of beekeeping. I concentrate primarily on good utility queens that provide kind and productive bee colonies. Starting materials are a number of station-mated Buckfast queens with good traits whose daughters are open-mated to get good and healthy bees. I mainly rear queens for my own needs but there usually be a surplus that I sell.
I do a large number of splits every year, partly to compensate for winter losses and partly as form swarm and Varroa control. The splits are over-winter and if there is a surplus in the spring after I’ve replaced the winter-losses it’s sold.