I believe I had a hive swarm with out me knowing. There were eggs and brood in all developmental stages. At that time I thought that the queen was there so I removed all queen cells. 7 days later I returned to find more queen cells (swarm and emergency) and no eggs - hence why I believe they swarmed.
So I left 1 good swarm queen cell and left for 2 weeks. I have now today opened them up to find that the queen cell has ripened and a hole has been cut. However there are no eggs in the brood chamber only honey and nectar some capped some uncapped. I also think that there is a lot more of the brood box being used for honey and nectar storage than before.
However the middle three frames have empty polished cells and there are no queen cells at all anywhere.
There is no capped brood at all now so as far as I can see basically I am on a timer - i.e a queen is needed to start to lay before all the workers die otherwise it is game over.
So can I have some advice on what to do? From this decription am I safe to assume there is a queen but she is new and a virgin and wait it out and hope she mates or or do I need to obtain a new mated queen fast?
By now you may have your answer.
It can take up to 3 weeks for a new queen to be mated and laying. The polished cells indicate the bees are expecting brood.
If you've still not got eggs or brood if you have another hive a frame containing eggs could be added. If they draw queen cells this would indicate no queen.
In which case you could either leave them to raise a queen, although that may take a while, or you could see if anyone has a spare queen or you could buy one in.
Just a quick update - went to inspect the hive yesterday. Still bees there in good numbers though noticably less than before.
Polished cells in the expected arrangement with polllen/honey surrounding but no eggs or larvae.
It has been raining a lot here recently as you know so hoping a few days of sun will allow the queen to mate
That's sounding encouraging!
Hi just a update for anyone who is interested and another questions.
The queen appears to have survived and mated. Last inspection at weeked saw eggs, larvae and capped brood. All good. Now hopefully the aggressive sods will die off and the new queens progeny will be calm.......
Anyway I do have another question or two. The same said inspection revealed a small circle of what appearsed to be drone brood on one frame and the rest were flat capped worker. Why would this be, if the queen has mated then you would expect female offspring...?
Also, I did see some play cups (2/3) again why would this happen in a hive with a new queen and loads of space?