I'm new to beekeeping this year and just installed my four lbs. package Carniolans on April 2. Prior to this, I did a lot of reading and video watching to make sure I had a working knowledge of beekeeping before jumping in. Here's a timeline of how things have developed.
Day 1: The installation went fine. No problems. I have (had?) a marked queen.
Day 6: I left them alone for five days and then went in to see if the queen had been released. The candy plug was gone and the queen cage was empty. I couldn't find the queen in the hive but I understand that's not unusual.
Day 11: Went into the hive again and saw good new comb and eggs. Some of the combs had two eggs in them and a few had three. Again, I understand that it's not unusual for a new queen to get overzealous laying eggs particularly when she's waiting for enough comb to be built. Didn't see the queen.
Day 15: Saw more multiple-egg combs. No larvae yet. Didn't see the queen.
Day 21: Saw lots of larvae and capped brood but. . . The brood pattern seems somewhat spotty AND the capped brood appear to have domed caps on them rather than flat or just slightly convex. Still didn't see the queen.
So now I'm trying to figure out if I have a big problem or if I'm just being paranoid.
If I am queenless and have a laying worker, what am I supposed to do? Many of the articles/posts I've read talk about re-queening the hive and include advice along the lines of "take a frame or two of healthy brood from another hive and put them in your hive" to support you hive while the new queen gets to work. That might be great advice for someone with multiple hives but I don't and I don't know any beekeeper well enough to call up and ask for frames of brood.
Thanks for any advice/support/prayers/divine intervention you can offer.