I have been a beekeeper for 2 weeks now. I need reassurance.
-Hived 1 pkg bees in topbar hive April 23 on Easter.
-Checked to see if queen was released 3 days later = yes
-Seemingly doing their bee thing. Mortality rate is low, not many dead bees at all. Went through 2 pollen patties and slowing down on syrup. Finally something is in bloom and it's warmer so they seem to be foraging now and I see more bees with pollen on their hind legs. Started with 6 bars, 4 have straight comb. Did not add any new bars yet.
-Looked for eggs on 8th day = no eggs.
-Looked for eggs on 13th day = yes.
This morning on day 13 I did see eggs:
-Multiple eggs in MOST cells, middle and outer edge.
-In the 2 inspections I had, I for the life of me could not find the queen and I spent a long time looking this morning. She is a marked queen. Good lord, how can one miss a big bee with a bright white spot on her?! I wouldn't put it past me since my eyesight is pretty bad but c'mon now. But then, I am a newbee and I also don't recognize the behavior of the hive around the queen either.
-The were behaving like they were accepting the queen when I hived them though
-Many of the cells have syrup in them
-The eggs appear to be on the bottom and sort of in the middle, as opposed to the sides.
I have read many posts indicating that multiple eggs may not mean a laying worker hive. The eggs are in the middle and not on the side. Many of the cells have syrup so maybe she's rarin' to go with no room. I don't know the state of the queen - if she was packaged as a newly mated queen. Or if she just plain needs to get her plumbing in order. I don't hear a "roar" that people describe. They don't seem to be aimless. I don't feel comfortable not seeing the queen yet though.
What would you advise:
1. Should I just hang tight and wait another week for capped brood?
2. What other things or signs might I need to look for in a queenless hive? It looks like I have one supercedure cell(?) see photo.
3. At what point do I decide I may be in trouble?
4. How do I remedy having many cells with syrup? Just remove the syrup feeder? I thought they would just stop taking if when they didn't want it anymore. I still have days in the low 50s and with raw rain, and finally as of 3 days ago red maple and forsithia is blooming so something is out. I have noticed they have begun to forage.
In particular, look at the first 2 pictures
Picassa has a good magnifier to zoom in on the pictures.
Oh, and here's a bunch of pictures on my Day 8 inspection. I can't see a queen at all in these pictures. Of course she may be elsewhere.