newbie questions about new bees
I am brand new to beekeeping this year. I got a few boxes from another keeper, got them cleaned up and had them sitting in the backyard of my Seattle home while I made plans to get a queen, some misc pieces, etc.
I went outside one day to find that hundreds of bees had moved into the hives. My questions are:
How do I know if I have an active queen?
The bees are multiplying and seem busy so is that a good sign?
Should I take any further steps to get them situated in the hives or just leave them alone to settle in? They've now been here about 3 weeks.
They have moved into 2 bases which are setting pretty close to each other( about 16" apart). Would that make this 2 colonies or 1?
If I do introduce a new queen what happens if there is already a queen there?
Any advice would be appreciated.