This is my first reared queen and this is hopefully an easy question for all of you pros:
I set up an observation hive earlier this month and the few frames of bees and brood I populated it with have succseefully formed a queen cell from which a virgin queen emerged this last Tuesday February 16 around noon.
We've had good weather the last few days but it is too early for her to fly and we have a long spell of rain coming up.
I've seen so many reference to 'the virgin queen has to mate within 20 days or she becomes a drone layer', but it is never clear to me from these references if this is 20 days from emergence or not.
Can someone help clarify for me - do I have until 20 days from noon on February 16th for my virgin queen to become mated (ie: until March 8th) or is the window shorter than that?
More specifically, we are supposed to have a couple good warm sunny days on February 27th and 28th (12 days after emergence) - am I in good shape or could I have a problem?