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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, one of our hives appears to have no queen (we cannot physically see her). We photographed every frame both sides and have meticulously looked for her on every photo to no avail (even zoomed up on the photos) However, the bees have built what is quite obviously brood cells and honey cells. They are capping off the brood cells just like our other new hive (with visible queen) is doing. We can see larva growing in some of the uncapped cells. Is it likely our queen has lost her green dot and our unexperienced eyes are just not seeing her? Or is it possible the larva are from some other source besides the actual queen we inserted as part of the package?
 

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If you saw eggs or very young larva, relax ; you probably have a queen. Sometimes she runs under a frame just as you turn it, sometimes she hides in the bottom of the brood box.

If you are looking for a marked queen and don't see one, but the colony appears queenright that may be because she was superseded or the hive swarmed.

The better question is why you were so desperately looking for her. If you try to find the queen every time you open a hive, you'll go nuts. You will also dramatically increase your chances of injuring her by moving around all your frames. When you are manipulating a hive, less is more.

As long as I see eggs and don't see signs of supersedure or swarming, I am 99% confident the colony is queenright and I finish my inspection and close up the hive.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank-you awebber96! That helps alot! Appreciate the encouragement! I personally believe the queen is there and we are just missing her!
We are brand new to this and are trying to learn as we go. I do, very much, hope to reach the point where hive inspections are done only on a rare, as-needed, basis. For now, these recent, in depth, inspections have been more for our own education than anything else. Our next inspections will not be intrusive like these were. Based on what we saw, I estimate that they will hit the 80%+ mark on foundation construction by sometime next week and we will add the second story deep boxes. During that operation we will observe from the top only and then close them up. Thanks again!
 

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It sounds like you are on the right path. If your inspections are helping you learn, that's great.

Your plans to add the 2nd box sound spot-on. Once that's added, though, you still will want to peek into the bottom box to asses what's going on there, check for brood and swarm cells, etc.

There is an old adage that it takes the bees a full day to "reset" after a big inspection. You want to keep disturbances to a minimum but balance that with the notion that intensive and frequent inspections are the only way to learn. As a new beekeeper, I too struggled with the impulse to want to pull every frame every few days to see what's going on. Try to trust that the bees know what they're doing and try to let them get on with their business is much as possible.
 

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Eggs, eggs, eggs. Besides whose to say that she didn't crawl to a previously inspected frame when you placed it back in the hive. I too was always excited to check everything out( I still am), but have learned to just let them "bee". Next question you will have is excluder or not:) Enjoy learning! juzzer
 
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