I checked my two NUCs again today which should have been day 18. In hive 6 the queen cell was open on the tip which seemed promising, but upon closer inspection, I realized that the queen was still in the cell. There were no bees in or on the open cage, so I pulled it out and this is what I saw.
She wasn’t quite dead yet, After looking at her closely for a few seconds I saw a little movement. For some reason the bees just abandoned her. Maybe she was too weak to make it out of the cell, but then how did the tip get opened? So many questions.
Hive 7 was a little different. The cell was not opened yet, but there were three or four bees frantically running around the cell inside the cage. Being day 18 I really don’t think this queen can be viable either, but I left it where it was and closed up the hive. Assuming that the queen is not viable, I’ll have to do something with those bees soon. They are probably headed for the weakest hive – #4.