How long before I should start to worry?!

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Apr 17, 2024
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Hi All,

First year beekeeper. Needed to do artificial swarm, and am at the stage where the new colony with old queen and flying bees are getting on OK. The other colony, where I selected a queen cell about 8 days ago, are looking a bit sad. There is an uncapped queen cell, and no eggs or new brood. There are some workers milling around looking a bit out of sorts.

My guess is that I'm being a bit impatient and should wait another week and see if we have a laying queen (she may be out 'on the town' as we speak). If at that stage, they are equally bereft, should I a) re-unite the hive or b) re-queen the colony?

selected a queen cell about 8 days ago ... There is an uncapped queen cell, and no eggs or new brood.
Why do you expect to see eggs after 8 days? Without a new queen, you would be lucky to see any for about a month: egg to Q 16 days, mating day 18 - 30, plus a bit more, say day 39 before you can start to worry about the absence of eggs.

As Drex said, the QC ought to have been capped by now; have they made others, or is there another in there that you missed last week?

Uniting now may re-ignite the swarming instinct in the original colony; how strong was the AS split, and would it be better off in a poly nuc? A small split in a big box may struggle in this cool week of variable weather.
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Once you have knocked all queen cells down to one, you can leave them to it and inspect later on, at least a week or two after the virgin would have emerged from the cell. You risk damaging the cell if you stick to weekly inspections
Pretty sure the OP is saying that the queen cell is uncapped because the queen has emerged…so just need to wait a couple more weeks I’d say
Would be better to say emerged QC rather than uncapped, which is ambiguous.
Yes, it would: 'uncapped' is the accepted term for an open QC containing royal jelly & a larvae, yet to be sealed for the larvae to pupate and queen emerge, at which point the cell would be described as 'opened'.
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Thank you for the replies. Yes I meant "emerged queen cell". I have left them to it (there was an encouraging sign on the hive porch a couple of days ago with a few workers 'fanning' which I'm hoping means ' get in here quick there's queen pheromone knocking around").

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