A few things that I've noticed, I am sure there are many more. Usually they will start to clean and polish the cells; they will also start to move honey out of the way to the border of the frame or side frames.
I've heard this for years, but have yet to see it work that way. Bees seem to bring in pollen all the time. They bring in even more when they are queenless sometimes than when they have brood, or at least they bring in as much and use it less... so you end up with many frames full of pollen. If you know when the queen should have emerged, look the next day or two for the empty queen cell. Then in two weeks look for eggs.
in the Mini Nuc if you were to check them 1-2 days after queen cell has hatched Not much going on they are Not bring in much Pollen or nectar
But check back about on the 5-7 days after hatch about the time they should have mated and you will see a big change they have made read the combs by cleaning out. Polishing out the cells making preparation for the queen to lay in and if you see one that has not done this they you more than likely don't have a queen. Once the queen has mated they will polish the combs in preparation for the queen to lay in. Keep in mind if you check on day 5-7 after hatch and don't find these condition's don't panic
if the weather has keep the queen from mating you wont find this just keep in mind was the weather good for mating on these days 5-7. But if most all the nuce are showing the polishing then you come across some they have clutter up frames and didn't polish the frame more than likely the queen has been lost. so re cell.
I can open a Mating nuc and can tell if the queen is laying with out ever pulling out a comb and looking. The bees act commer and organized they are whiting the combs.More pollen is coming in also more nectar is being brought in but these will be used up quickly as the they start feeding the brood.
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