Re: Do these queen cells look viable?
One of the tricks you pick up if you read a lot is that you can take a sharp knife and roll a 10 day old queen cell across the blade so that the tip of the queen cell can be pulled off. Carefully drop the queen out onto your fingers and you should see her eyes dark and her body starting to harden and turn yellow/brown. Carefully put her back in the cell and press the tip back down. If you are careful, she will be unharmed. The best place to cut is about 1/2 inch from the end of the cell.
Queen cells should be sealed on the 7th day. I make a point to check the cell builder for any stray queen cells on the 7th or 8th day. This has saved quite a few rounds of queens over the years. My last round of queens had a stray cell on a brood comb. I squashed it to prevent it from hatching early and destroying the cells with larvae from my breeder queen.
Those cells are not necessarily bad, but I target larger and longer cells. How many bees are in the cell builder? The rule of thumb I use is that 20 frames of bees can care for a maximum of 16 cells. Most of the time, they will only mature 8 or 10. Commercial breeders use a lot more cells, but I am after the best quality queens which an overstocked cell builder usually does not produce.
NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest