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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.
 

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Thanks, good to know that. Saw no fuzz, just dark brown wax with lots of little dimples. Kind of reminded me of a (mini) morel mushroom, if you know what that looks like.
 

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Just prior to emergence the nurse bees will remove most of the wax from the tip of the queen cell, exposing the cocoon spun by the queen larvae as she was preparing to metamorphose from a worm into an adult queen. This is what I believe Ernie (BEES4U) meant by saying, "if the tip is fuzzy . . ."
 

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I hope the new little queen emerges intact. Not having a clue about cell age & development, I messed up & moved a couple of qcells during a critical time & the girls knocked them down. This was only a small back up nuc so I was just going to combine them back into their original home when lo & behold, they'd created a couple of qcells for themselves.

Note to self for the next time--swap out the entire frame rather than the cell if you don't know the exact age of the cell.
 
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