Will the bees allow strongest queen to emerge?
I set up a new nuc with mostly capped brood and food, but my queen didn't make it. So the bees managed to find a few larvae and the nuc now has at least 2 emergency queen cells that will probably hatch Friday, one is tiny, the other a bit bigger, but still quite small. If the tiny one hatches first, will she kill the bigger one before she hatches? If I give them a nice frame of eggs/uncapped brood tomorrow, would they likely make more viable queen cells? Should I zap the current queen cells if I do? Every time I interfere, I seem to screw things up, and they always seem to know best.
Re: Will the bees allow strongest queen to emerge?
Queen rearing is like reading a book. You cannot judge a book based on its cover.
Just by looking at the queen cell from the outside cannot tell you much about the condition of your queens before they hatch.
Then you have the mating flight which not sure who will return to the hive after that. Or if they will become a drone layer or not.
Yes, everytime we intervene there is something that will mess up, usually at the last minute. This is my mistakes also.
I would say for now just wait for the queens to hatch. The first one that hatch will attemp to kill the unhatch queen while she is still inside the cell. I have seen this happened before. The best way is to put a mini queen wire cage around the queen cell so they both can hatch. Then separate the 2 queens in separate nuc box. The one that come back is the mated one, hopefully will lay as well. The queen on the second season will grow twice as big from before.
If you intervene now, yes, they will make more queen cells but the end result is more lost time and you don't really know what they will do next. It is better to stick with what you have now. And if you want more queen cells start another hive for that. Hopefully they will all get mated and fly back to the same hive box.
I would say leave them alone for now. Even when the queen cell seem small it is not sure how big the queen is only after she had emerged. Some small cell may have bigger queen while the big cell may have the smaller queen. We don't really know until they all hatched.