So on April 12th I made up nucs with mated queens in cages and took them to a nuc yard I set up. On a quick check (2 days later) I noticed that one nuc was heavier with bees and they were attached to the intro queen cage like velcro. Woke up this morning, with the realization I had probably put the queen from the donor hive in that split - checked this morning and sure enough. The queen and attendants in the cage were dead and there's a queen loose in the hive.
By the time I could get another mated queen and get back out it'll be next weekend and I figure they queenless hive will be loaded up with queen cells. While I was working with several hives and yards, I know which hive I left queenless, they were booming, loaded with brood and drones, I was focused on pulling capped brood so they should have had fresh eggs left. I want to keep a full sized hive there and .
I've got a long weekend available and I'm off through April 21 - My thought is to go back then, go through the donor hive, check for queen cells knock down all but 2 and let them do their thing. If for some reason I don't have queen cells, I've got another booming hive next to this one with a 4yr old queen still going strong that I can pull a frame of eggs from.
Sound about right?