A way to estimate the age of capped queen cell?
This is a long story, so I will try to keep it brief. I have a very small nuc that I had hoped would raise a queen from a couple frames with very young eggs. I added two frames w/ eggs a week ago, and expected to see an emergency queen cell or two when I checked today. But no luck. A hundred or so capped worker cells, but no sign of a queen cell. Call this nuc #1
Last weekend, I obtained a pseudo-nuc ("pseudo" because the queen provided was not original to that hive). The new queen was in a cage along with three deep frames completely covered with capped brood and bees. Lotsa bees, beautiful brood pattern. When I got these frames, the beek I bought them from also pinched a couple of queen cells as he was putting the frames into my equipment. Call this nuc #2.
Today, I checked for a successful queen release in nuc #2, and I saw her. I also happened to find a completely capped queen cell in the middle of one frame. I gently removed it and brought it back to nuc #1 where I stuck it onto a frame with some other brood. Have my fingers crossed.
I'm wondering if there is any way at all to estimate the age of that cell. I have no history on nuc #2, but i do know there were other capped queen cells about a week ago, and I saw no eggs at all, mostly capped brood, on the three frames I brought back with me.
Is it right to expect that I will have a new virgin queen emerging into my queenless nuc #1 within just a few days? Since I saw no eggs a week ago, I think it was probably sealed then, and she may be ready to emerge as early as this weekend....
I'd welcome any help in making educated guesses. Thanks.
..[T]here is always an easy solution to every human problem—neat, plausible, and wrong. --H.L. Mencken