I'm a fairly new beekeeper. This will be my second year. Unfortunately, I haven't been very successful. I had two hives going last year and one died during the winter becase they weren't strong enough and the second hive died early spring because the queen had died and I was too late to realize it. So I started fresh this spring with the old frames. The first hive had combs filled with honey, while the second hive just had already made comb.
I installed the new bees about a week ago and checked on them yesterday only to discover both hives had no new brood that I could see. They were busy drinking syrup water and bringing in pollen, but I could not find evidence of the queen anywhere. Are there any circumstances where the queen waits a little while to start laying eggs, like when the bees are cleaning out the old frames, or did I just get extremely unlucky and have both queens die?
Thanks for your help with this!