The bees will generally prefer to use young larvae to start queen cells if there are any available, but to be safe, figure that they can use 3 day old larvae to to start queen cells on the day you split, meaning that it hs been 6 (or even 6-1/2) days since the eggs were layed. Cells will hatch 15-17 days from being layed, so as early as 9 days from when you split. You split on May 23rd, so cells could hatch as early as June 1st (yesterday - which it sounds llike they did ).I split a hive on sunday may 23. the 1/2 that i moved i took the queen with. i left the other 1/2 queenless to raise a bunch of queen cells which i planned on cutting them out and transfering to nucs. this brood chamber was full of capped eggs, larva, and brood. i checked the hive on sunday may 30th and i had a least six nice capped queen cells. i went last night june 1 to cut out the queen cells and move them and all but one was already hatched out.
How many days do you guys generally wait to cut out and transfer queen cells when raising them like this? Obviously the eggs they made into queens were older than i anticipated. and i though i was at day 12 or 13.:doh:
I generally move my cells 1 or 2 days before this worst-case (best case:scratch schedule to be safe. In fact I did a split on May 24th and seperated the capped queen cells yesterday June 1.