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Good Day,

I am a newbie. I bought two established hives 7 weeks ago. They were both doing great for about a month. Then problems. I have one hive doing really well and another that all of a sudden wasn't. We thought maybe it swarmed? I was tasked by another bee keeper with going and looking for eggs. I didn't see any eggs but I saw plenty of larvae. I closed it back up. The top box was full and on Thursday there was increased activity and white wax on top of the bars. I added a super to be on the safe side. The activity dropped again. I went in today and working from the top down: the super is mostly ignored. The top hive box has six frames with lots of activity. However, the activity is intermittent. The other frames are mostly empty with some honey and no brood. The center 6 frames are only half full and not radiating out from the center. The brood is tight together but not centered. Its one one side of the hive and not the middle. There appears to be plenty of brood and on the bottom of one frame I found what looks like several aborted queen cells. Maybe they weren't? But it looks that way. Whatever they actually were they were torn open and the larvae exposed. The bottom box has one frame with an intact queen cell. The frames in this bottom box are almost 100% empty. There’s a lot of activity but it looks like the bees are cleaning up the old comb. There's no brood in the bottom. Just bees and some honey. Once again I didn't see any eggs just larvae. I didn't see a queen either but I may have missed her. I’m not sure where to go from here. The sister hive is thriving and has one full super with a second being worked on.

Pictures are of the frame with the aborted cells.
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Sounds like the may have swarmed, or otherwise requeening. If you wanted to make sure they do well you might consider transferring a frame of eggs/brood from the stronger hive to the weaker.
 

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If that is all the bees that are in it, you may have a hard time getting good queen cells but it sounds like you still have one good cell if you other hive is booming and you can afford some extra resources you may shake in some nurse bees or give em a frame of capped brood. Just be carefull not to rob peter too much to pay Paul. You cot any pics off your other hive? That may yield you some better answers
 

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I am thinking those torn queen cells were done when you separated the frames during your inspection.. I have never seen bees do that
kind of damage. with those sealed brood cells still in there tells you there was a queen in there less then 21 days ago. Protect that last queen cell.
It will hatch, hopefully, and you should have new eggs approx 20 days after that. If you have enough brood to spare in your other hive, I like
Harley's suggestion to put a frame of sealed brood in every 10 days or so until you get eggs from your new queen.
 

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if you want to know if you have a queen in there just put your ear to the box and compare to the other hive that is doing well. if there is no queen the hive will be roaring/humming. Other wise i agree with the above posts, if you need a queen add a frame from the other with as young of brood as possible.
 

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Since you saw larva you had a queen at least 9 days ago, unless it was all drone brood. At this point you need to confirm the presence of a queen or not. If you do not have a queen you will need to act. At our latitude there is not really enough time to allow the bees to raise a queen if you add eggs it will take 8 days before they cap a queen, then another 8 days for her to emerge. she will not begin to lay for somewhere between 20 and 30 days from the time the egg hatches in 30 days we will be in a dearth. and the hive will not grow well at that time. although the fall flow will provide ample stores for a wintering hive I doubt there will be enough bees to do the job.

Go into the hive and thoroughly check it for a queen or eggs. If you have neither get a queen right away and install her. you may also need to add some nurse bees in order to allow the queen to lay as much as possible and have bees to cover the brood.
 

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if you want to know if you have a queen in there just put your ear to the box and compare to the other hive that is doing well. if there is no queen the hive will be roaring/humming. Other wise i agree with the above posts, if you need a queen add a frame from the other with as young of brood as possible.
Are you serious? Of course it is not going to sound the same. It only has a fraction of the bees. How much can 5000 roar?
 

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of course I can only speak from my own experience but yes I've found that even a small queenless have is pretty loud. its certainly not a catch all but if it sounds like they are ticked off for no reason then it may be another clue.
 

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I thinks that's light reflecting off liquid...
 

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I'm afraid I don't see any obvious queen cells, not even any queen cell cups, only crushed drone comb/brood on and near the Bottom Bar in your photos. The brood pattern looks good, though smaller in area than I'd like to see. Though due to camera angle/resolution/lighting, I cannot confirm the presence of any eggs. I agree that it would be expedient to eliminate extra real estate/combs in this weakened hive, and do a thorough and careful examination to confirm the queen status of this colony. They may have swarmed earlier and have a young queen who has just begun laying recently.
 
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