Queen development takes just 16 days:
- she hatches from the egg on day 3
- the cell is capped on day 7
- the virgin queen emerges on day 16
There’s then a further 6-7 days until she becomes fertile and goes on her mating flight(s). These are weather dependent, needing warm, calm and sunny conditions, usually between 2pm and 5pm. These can often be relied on in late May and June, but are a bit more hit and miss late in the season. Fortuitously for a small number of queens in my apiaries it looks like they’ll be enjoying great conditions for their nuptials … yesterday or today.
I’ll check in a week or so and hope to find mated laying queens …