Oh my aching back. A couple of days ago, while inspecting a hive I requeened last year with one I got from the University of Georgia's queen breeding program, I could not locate the queen. A good amount of sealed brood, but none uncapped. Three weeks ago, during a quick inspection, I decided to go ahead a place a medium super of drawn comb on the hive. Big mistake.
Today, I decided to go back and shake the whole hive through a queen excluder so I could locate the queen. I assumed that since I had not spotted her earlier, she must have been superceded. I wnated to find her and mark her, or at worst, conclusively determine the colony was queenless.
I removed the super of drawn comb, which was beginning to be fill with nectar. It was definitely heavier than an empty. I then shook both deeps through the excluder and into an empty deep sitting on an upturned outer cover. After twenty deep frames, still no queen. I was about to give up, when I decided to go ahead and shake the honey combs. I had wanted to avoid this as I didn't want to dislodge too much nectar.
The middle frames were covered in young brood with hardly a skip. In fact, it's one of the best brood patterns I've had. And there, at last, was the queen with her blue mark. I gently shook her down into the reconstituted hive, placed the excluder over the two deeps, and then replaced the medium super with brood back on top. Hopefully, the brood will emerge and the bees will fill the super with honey. The foundation was wired, so I won't be using it for cut comb.
I haven't figured out why the queen went straight to the top with all that room in the deeps. However, I now know that impatience and faulty assumptions equal a sore back.
I've found it easier to keep bees than keep relationships. At least when I'm stung by bees I know why.