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A week ago I introduced a new queen to my hive because i hadn't seen new brood in a month (although the super is so heavy I can't really check the bottom boxes). I was pretty sure they were queenless because since the hive swarmed, both hives have been doing poorly. I made sure there was no queen in the swarmed hive, then I placed them together. A couple days later I introduced the queen in the super. When I checked today, the queen cage was empty (but I placed the queen cage facing down so her corpse could have fallen out).

In the box above the super, I observed a really crap pattern on one frame. It looked like the bees had built it really quickly because there were towers with the eggs and the rest of the frame was flat. I saw lots of drones. I know theyre not laying workers cause I saw some worker cells, but I can't tell because the frame looked like it was built super quickly. I can't tell if this is just a crappy queen or that the queen just doesn't have anywhere to lay. What should I do?
 

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get an empty super the size of your frames and put them in it till you can seperate the hive to do a proper insection. if you dont have an empty box, a cooler will work. good luck,mike
 

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From the time that they initially swarm you have one week before that point that the old queen is probably not laying. Then if they swarm just as the cell is capped, you have a week for the queen to emerge, maybe a week for mating and maybe a week until she starts to lay again. So that is about of month of being broodless.

A swarmed hive not having a queen is pretty rare in my experience, although they look different than a laying queen. I would say that you have a queen (so the killed your new queen) and she should be laying about a month after swarming. At first laying may not be perfect. But she will learn quickly.
 

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You really need to get in and do a proper inspection to answer your questions. By worker cells, do you mean capped brood? Sounds too early for that if you put a caged queen in just a week ago. Really, there just isn't enough info available now.

Where is San Ramon do you live? I live there too, near Alcosta/Pine Valley.
 

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A week ago I introduced a new queen to my hive because i hadn't seen new brood in a month (although the super is so heavy I can't really check the bottom boxes).
You may have gambled the price of a new queen and lost by not checking the brood boxes.

I'd suggest that you take the time to do a proper inspection when necessary by removing one frame at a time and putting them in an extra box temporarily as suggested. In my opinion, heavy boxes can not be a reason to not inspect when necessary. (Re-queening is a time when inspection is necessary.) Get a helper if necessary.

Consider switching any deep brood boxes to mediums so your future beekeeping will be more enjoyable and productive while being less strenuous. It really makes a big difference.

Wayne
 
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