During our inspection today we found two queen cells! At least one of them had an egg in it, but we couldn’t see into the other one.
We destroyed the two cells and will see if the bees make some more in the next few days. We will probably perform an artificial swarm later in the week to create two hives.
If you look closely inside the cell you can see a white grain of rice – this is an egg. In 3 days this hatches into a larva. The bees will build this cell bigger and bigger to create a queen cell and they will feed the larva a diet of royal jelly. If we left this queen cell alone, the bees would probably swarm in 8-10 days and we would only have half of our bees. Then after 16 days from now the new queen would emerge and be in charge of the hive.
Here is a frame of eggs and larva. The queen is working really hard to lay eggs so we have as many bees as possible to forage for nectar and pollen.