Two weeks ago I had two hives with queen cells where the queen had emerged and I was waiting for them to mate and start laying. The smaller of the two hives (the nucleus hive) has a laying queen and is doing ok. The main hive there was no sign of the queen or any eggs or larvae.
Last week we added a new open queen cell to the hive. If the original queen was there the bees would destroy the cell. They didn’t, so she must have failed for some reason or never came back from her mating flights. She might have been picked off by a bird who thought she was a tasty snack; we’ll never know.
Now I have to wait for the next queen to emerge and see what happens. Hopefully she’ll mate properly and make it back to the hive and start producing lots more bees.