This is my first year. I got a late start with a 5 frame nuc that I picked up the first of June. I have had a heck of a time keeping queens alive this year. I would get about 1 round of brood and then the queen would disappear. Let them raise one themselves and requeened with one about august. I put them up for the winter with a candy board on 10/16. I saw a few eggs at this time but could not find the queen. Anyway, I am wondering how can I tell if I'm going to have a queen this spring? Will the hive make it this long into winter without a queen? I did check on a warm day in December and the center 4 frames 2 boxes deep were covered with bees and about half of the candy board was still there. I did not check the bottom deep. I have a deep with 2 mediums on it btw. Today I can hear them when I knock on the hive.
I know I can't do anything now, but I'm worried that this last queen won't make it and I'm not sure what I will need to do this spring if that is the case. Thanks for any advice for a worried new father