We completed the first inspection of our new "Nucleus" Hive, which we brought home and placed in our Apiary on Friday, May 20th. The Bees were calm and well behaved and we removed frames and took a look at the hive progress. We didn't see any new eggs or Larvae, but they still have some capped brood that hasn't emerged yet. They are doing a good job at drawing comb on the empty frames, and we did see the Queen, and she appeared healthy. She may not be mated as of yet, which would explain the absence of eggs and larvae. They are taking the syrup we are feeding them, and storing lots of it in the frame cells, so that's a good sign things are fine. They are also foraging, and bringing in pollen and storing it for the brood. Hopefully by next weekend she will be laying and beginning the process of building up the bee population.
We did notice that the bees have constructed 2 Queen cells in the middle of the center frame. Often times the hive will build Queen cells, in case they need to raise another Queen. Time will tell if the Queen that came with the hive will be productive, or replaced by one the colony raises. If they need a Queen, they will raise one, if the current Queen starts laying, they will discard the Queen cells. The Bees know what's best for their colony, so we will let them dictate the course of action.
Below is a photo of the Queen Cells. They look like a peanut hanging from the comb. Some people say they resemble a Morel Mushroom. Pretty neat stuff!