Queenless in March
I have two hives, one that's just made it through its second winter. Last week I inspected it and found no queen, no brood, and no eggs. I saw a queen cell about half its completed size.
I inspected yesterday to see what was new. I saw a larva in the queen cell and it looked to be just about capped.
My second hive is a caught swarm whose queen has only in the past week started producing eggs and brood. I checked last week and was concerned I'd need to requeen her, but this week things are going well. But there's not enough eggs/brood to share with the other hive. Only two frames have eggs/brood, though the laying pattern is solid.
I fed both hives honey I harvested last fall that we haven't eaten yet since they were both on the light side.
My concerns are these:
1. I saw no drones. It's not supposed to rise about the 50's here. Is it possible she'll mate? Am I right in assuming it'll be another week and a half before she emerges and a week or so after that before she starts laying? There's no telling what the weather will be until then.
2. They're packing in pollen and nectar, but I'm worried about the population.