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One of my overwintered hives may be queenless. Here's the chronology:
- 3/1 Hive cover blew off in storm and lots of rain soaked hive thru inner cover
- 3/8 Saw queen
- 3/15 Saw capped brood
- Today (4/11) saw no brood or larvae, no sign of queen.

I don't believe the hive has swarmed, and would find it hard to believe it did as it had tons of room and I'd seen no signs of swarming after the rain issue.

The hive doesn't have the queenless roar I've heard before, and they're fairly calm. So I'm either queenless or they've replaced the queen and she's not yet laying. If it's the latter, I could still have a couple of weeks to go before the new queen starts laying.

I can get a new queen fairly easily but wouldn't want to go thru the effort if they're already under way making their own new one. I know I can put a frame of eggs into the hive and see if they make QC's, is that the thing to do now?
 

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One of my overwintered hives may be queenless. Here's the chronology:
- 3/1 Hive cover blew off in storm and lots of rain soaked hive thru inner cover
- 3/8 Saw queen
- 3/15 Saw capped brood
- Today (4/11) saw no brood or larvae, no sign of queen.

I don't believe the hive has swarmed, and would find it hard to believe it did as it had tons of room and I'd seen no signs of swarming after the rain issue.

The hive doesn't have the queenless roar I've heard before, and they're fairly calm. So I'm either queenless or they've replaced the queen and she's not yet laying. If it's the latter, I could still have a couple of weeks to go before the new queen starts laying.

I can get a new queen fairly easily but wouldn't want to go thru the effort if they're already under way making their own new one. I know I can put a frame of eggs into the hive and see if they make QC's, is that the thing to do now?
That's a tough one,

This time of year, in our area, I expect to find lots of brood. If you saw capped brood on 3/15 and none today, that is almost 30 days since you last saw the queen and brood. That would be plenty of time to swarm.

A frame of eggs would be my choice. Every queenless hive I have seen (which is not a lot, thankfully!) has exhibited the "queenless roar" and have been runny.

It's really not having enough space that curbs swarming. It's opening the broodnest. Did you do any swarm prevention?

Shane
 

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This sparks a question about the colony I rescued out of the tree stump.

My buddy cut the tree down (chainsaw) about 2' above the hive uncovering a very small rot through the center off the tree (about 1/2" by 4") with a few bees coming out to check out the new "top entrance".

That night I went back to check them out and there was a roar going on. I had no idea what was going on, small concern that somehow the queen was killed or abandoned ship.

Well, we went in two days later, cut open the tree (well ripped it apart with an excavator) and found no young larva, no eggs, lots of drone comb/brood, some worker capped brood.

We abandoned all the comb and vacuumed up 3/4 or more of the bees from various crevasses in the hollow of the tree.

After installing the hive I found eggs days later and a week later spotted the queen.

Long story short (too late):
Why did they have that roar?
 
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