Last Saturday evening, I removed the queen from my hive in hopes that the ladies would use one or more appropriate-aged larva to create a new queen. I notched three places in the fully drawn comb that had approximately 3-day larva, and then I waited… until today. I opened my hive, and to my delight, the bees had created queen cells around larva in each of the places I had notched – one place even had two queen cells side by side! As I pulled each frame out one by one, I discovered 7 more capped queen cells that the bees had self-selected (based upon the age and location of the larva), and two uncapped queen cells with live larva that were still being tended and fed royal jelly.
Whoa, that’s a lot of queens! I’m planning to create just two hives from the queen cells, so may the strongest survive!
The larva in the fully capped queen cells should emerge as fully developed queens within six to nine days. More (hopefully good) news to come then!