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Hi all... I am looking for some advice / ideas...

About a week ago I noticed the bees in one of my hives started looking very agitated crawling all over the front of the hive as if frantically searching for something whilst making an angry sounding buzz.... I suspected a missing a queen.

A few days later we had another really warm weekend so I had the first proper inspection of the year. As suspected, no queen, no uncapped brood, lots of capped brood, quite a lot of drones and about 4 capped queen cells around the edges of the frames that looked like swarm cells (I left these as they are).

Prior to this the bees were in great shape, large numbers, lots of activity, plenty of stores and room to expand into. This would have been queenies 2nd season, I did notice the varroa count was quite high which I am treating now. I cannot be certain what happened to queenie, it has the signs of a swarm, but seems far too early in the year. I ordered a replacement queen that should be arriving in about 5 days time.

... but.... two days ago the bees all settled down again and are acting as if normal again. So I am wondering if a queen has hatched and this could be why they are so much happier again? I have not heard any piping.

... now I am wondering what to do when my queen arrives? it has been too cold and wet to do another inspection.... Im not sure if I should still put the new queen in here when she arrives (although there could now be a new one in there)... or should I try and start a new nuc with the new queen that is delivered.... what would you do???

Advice appreciated.
 

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I would not put her in without doing an inspection. Most likely you have a virgin in the hive by now and they will most likely will not accept your caged queen. Do an inspection and look for a virgin or look at the cells to see if they hatched. If you see a few of the cells chewed out on the side you have a virgin in the hive. If that's the case you can make a nuc with the caged queen for insurance incase the virgin doesn't get mated.
 

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All sound advice from johng, however bear in mind that virgin queens can sometimes take several weeks to mate depending on the weather and they can move really fast on the frames making them hard to spot. When the new Queen arrives a simple test in the attached video can be applied to determine if your hive has a queen or not.

http://youtu.be/RX3BgnOkozs

If needed making up a nuc to hold the arriving queen for several weeks is an excellent idea and you might just end up with another hive in the process. :applause:
 
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