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Discussion Starter #1
Upon inspection yesterday, I discovered my new hive (installed June 1) had very little capped brood and about five swarm cells. I removed them.

I can't find the queen. She's not marked. I'm a new beek.

The bees seem happy and busy, fetching pollen and honey to and fro. they've made a good amount of new, natural comb - but I do notice new comb building seems to have stalled now.

The lack of capped brood and the swarm cells make me think the queen must have died. Do you agree?

If I can't find the old queen, is it "safe" to requeen? Not sure what choice I have.

Thanks!
 

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It seems that your queen problem was almost taken care of by the bees. My guess is that you should find a queen soon. Can you get hold of a frame of open brood to place in the hive to avoid any workers from laying?

Are the bees as happy today without the queen cells?
 

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lack of capped brood? Is there any open brood? If you don't have any open or capped you have been queenless for a good while. If thats the case I would buy a queen quickly.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the replies! I have been giving them sugar water but they have shown ZERO interest in it. I thought that was a good sign, since they must be getting nectar.

I can't find larva. But it's hard for me to see.... with the netting in front of my face, my not so great eyesight, and my inexperience. I am pretty sure though that there was no larva, just some capped brood, some honey and lots of what I THINK is very dark brown pollen.

The bees did seem to be fetching to and fro this morning when I left.

I have ordered a new Queen who should arrive on Wednesday. My population does seem to be getting smaller, natural die off I think when the workers are so busy this time of year. I hope I have time for the new Queen to hatch new workers....

If I am wrong and there's a Queen in residence, the two will just fight it out, right?

Thanks folks!

PS, just a general question I can't find in my books: If the queen died before she had a chance to lay ANY eggs, do the workers find a way, as a "laying worker" to lay an egg and raise a queen?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
brac, I saw capped brood, swarm cells, but no open cells with what looked like larvae. It would have been my first view of larvae though. I imagine they are hard to miss.
 

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New Hive installed 13 days ago-Was this a nuc you installed? Those are not swarm cells you saw. They are emergency cells. Install new queen ASAP since you cut off all queen cells.
 

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...just a general question I can't find in my books: If the queen died before she had a chance to lay ANY eggs, do the workers find a way, as a "laying worker" to lay an egg and raise a queen?
Workers can only lay drones (male bees). They cannot lay a fertilized egg because, in layman's terms, they have not mated and don't have the right equipment. The presence of a queen in a hive suppresses the worker bees' laying, but if a hive goes queen-less for long enough, they start laying. A laying worker situation is not a very good thing. If this happens, they will often reject a bought queen and it is very hard to get the workers to quit laying. There are various methods for dealing with laying workers, and many threads on this forum talk about it. I'm hoping you don't have to deal with it, and I haven't had to yet either.
 

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This is an opportunity to learn from mistakes you've made. In the future, I strongly suggest that you DO NOT cut out queens cells BEFORE you understand what is the true state of the hive. If you need help evaluating things post here first, or even better find a local mentor to help you through these issues. This is particularly true if you have trouble identifying brood and eggs. Cutting out queens cells is a drastic measure and should only be done for very specific purposes and requires a good understanding of the state of the colony.
 
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