I did a brood inspection today to find out why the flow box does not see any serious movements after a few weeks.
I noticed that I had a few queen cells in the brood box and two of them had larvae in them! I checked other frames and saw my queen strolling around, minding her business and all good with her. So, I was puzzled why the colony decided to make more queens as there is no issue with the space (there are still a couple of frames yet to be completed), hence no need to swarm. So, I decided to squash one of the new queen cells and remove another. But unfortunately, I lost my original queen during this commotion and later found her — on the ground, dead
I had one queen cell intact which I returned to the box. See the photo.
Also on inspecting other frames more thoroughly, I found yet another queen cell with a newborn queen being hatched! I left this one alone. I hope she is in there trying to make sense of all this!
So, my questions are:
- Is the newly born queen going to replace the old one? If so, how long would it take for the queen to mate and start laying eggs? note that we are in the summer and I am not sure if we have drones hanging around.
- Should I buy a new mated queen and add her to the colony?
- Will the new queen cell that I just dropped into the hive hatch?
I would greatly appreciate your help as this has been a massive disappointment for me.