Re: How many nurse bees does it take to make a queen cell?
Shame on your for not giving credit when credit is due!
Anyways, I think it is the set up you are using that need to set the boundary a bit to give you more accurate estimation. For example, if it is a cloak or snelgrove board method I am sure there are many more nurse bees to nourish these queen cells. A 5 frame nuc set up is another measurement. But if only on a shake out method to build the bee bomb then it is hard to say because more nurse bees there. The other variables are that the nurse bees will need some time to make the RJ before depositing them into the cell cups. The timing between the first and 2nd or subsequent deposits I don't really know. Of course, the more nurse bees present the better. But as the bees aged they will turn into another task bees so no longer a nurse bee. The just hatch bees are not nurse bees yet. Bottom line is that there are too many variables that cannot be control or measured. But one frame of bees can make 2-3 good queen cells. So the approximate number is between 1000 to 2000. I have a frame of nurse bees with eggs/young larvae attached in a 5 nuc set up that do not make any queen cells. I am still questioning whether or not the old comb has anything to do with this issue.
Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?