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My son installed a package of bees 4/30. On May 4th he released the queen. At this time he noticed a lot of burr comb but didn't remove it then because the queen was released. Went back next day, 5th, and cut out the comb. I helped and we removed one frame to get access. We both saw the marked queen in the bottom box with bees around her. We think, great she's been accepted.

Yesterday, May 7, we went to refill the feeders and pulled the same frame because the bees are building comb between frames again and we read we should cut it out. While I was holding the frame we both saw "a queen". Thing is, we didn't see the marking. On the 5th the blue was very visible. Definitely a queen, we're not confusing her with a drone.

Three questions: is this the same queen but the marking is less clear after a few days, or was there a queen in the package and they've killed the boughten one? Second question: should we look for her again? I'm thinking we've messed around with the hive too many times already. Three, is this something I should worry about or just let the bees get on with it?

Thanks.
 

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Sometimes the mark can get groomed off of a queen. Sometimes there is a "bonus" queen in a package. Regardless of which happened, I don't think you have a problem. Stay out for a week and then go back and look for eggs and larvae. I imagine you have seen pictures but eggs can be very hard to spot until you know what you're looking for. Hopefully you will see some small white crescent shapped larvae in the cells and maybe you'll spot some very small (like a tiny grain of rice) eggs standing up in the bottom of some cells. Should be in a closely clustered pattern if she's a good, healty queen. Probably in one of the frames near the center of the box.

It is good to have a marked queen for several reasons but without experience, I would not attempt it. Too easy to hurt her.
 

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interesting, I did not know about the possibility of a queen having her markings removed thru grooming.

we started 2 hives last year, and we were sure the queens had been replaced because we did not see marked queens in late summer, but we didn't see any queen cells either. but maybe the queens had their markings removed.

and yes, its best to just let the bees be bees for a while. be sure to feed them sugar syrup ( i like the hive top feeders best ) I have 4 beginner beekeeping books, and found the Beekeeping for Dummies book is real good for learning about what to do in your first year of beekeeping.

we documented our first year of beekeeping with a series of videos I made for my website, GardenFork.TV ( full disclosure: Brushy Mountain is now a GF sponsor )
 
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