Do queens move away from the brood nest when they shut down?
I've got a few queens left in nucs and wanted to requeen some hives. I went through a dozen hives and couldn't find a single queen. Normally I don't have a problem. About half the time I find the queen on the first pass.
The queens have all shut down, only a scattering of sealed brood. No eggs or open larvae.
So, I'm wondering, do the queens move to another part of the hive after they shut down? I only went through the bottom box. In most cases the second box was plugged out. Could they have moved up into the honey area?
Or perhaps it is just because she shrinks down and is harder to find.