I just started beekeeping with a friend this year.... here's how my timeline has gone so far.
April 26: I get a package of Italian bees. The queen cage has a bunch of bees that look the same size to me, but I figure maybe I just have a small queen.
May 7: Still no eggs, and there are a couple (empty) queen cups present. I introduce a frame of eggs from my friend's hive (his queen started laying right away) hoping the bees will raise their own queen if they don't have one.
May 12: Didn't see the bees raising a new queen, and decided I should buy one anyway to put in there. I got a Russian/Carniolan mix queen from NEBees.
May 17: I released the queen - the bees were only about halfway through the candy.
May 21: Eggs spotted. I had peaked a couple days earlier and there weren't any, so I'm guessing she had just started laying.
Other than the frame from my friend's hive (which only had brood one one side) my population won't get any boost until at least June 11, and they won't start foraging for another couple of weeks after that if I'm not mistaken. I've been feeding them heavily and they have a decent amount of nectar in the hive... but I'm wondering if they'll miss most of the flow due to a small population.
Should I be worried or do you think I might be ok? I'm glad I was able to switch to Russian/Carniolans, since I think they can get through the winter with a smaller population/store.
I'm in Southeast New Hampshire.