Earlier today I attempted to do a brief inspection of a package I installed in a hive on March 31. I had placed the queen cage to allow the bees to become acquainted and accept the queen, and eat the sugar plug out to release her.
I did an brief inspection last Tuesday the 14th, while adding sugar water, and everything looked good. The queen was laying, and there was a mixture of open and capped brood.
Today, the second frame I pulled had 4 or more queen cups. I placed the frame back thinking I would come back to it and remove the cups. I then decided I had better find that queen before removing the cups. I usually have good luck finding the queen, and I only had 14 frames (2 medium 7-frame boxes), 2 of which were essentially solid stores. After looking at all the frames TWICE, I did not find the queen.
Being of reasonable intelligence it occurred to me that maybe these bees don't think highly of this queen, so they took her out.
Has anyone had a similar experience?