It can look different but this is not a dependable way to know your hive is queenless.I would check the hive for the queen if you suspect it is queenless.It you can not find her look for eggs.If there are eggs in a nice patern she is there.
If it has just recent gone over to queenless (Q-) then I don't think you'd see much difference between that hive and a Q+ hive.
But I do know after they have been Q- for a few days, if you lift the inner cover and LISTEN to them, they'll let you know.
Q- hives have a certain sound, a roar as I call it. The pitch comes up, gets louder and then does not subside. The bee may even be a bit runny and quite defensive. I'd wear a veil. If it's been Q- for a while, you'll see a difference in entrance activity.
I just had one queenless. I think it was queenless for several weeks. I started noticing lower activity around the entrance. I noticed drone brood scattered in no obvious pattern. When I opened the hive, instead of working like busy bees do, they seemed to just look at me dazed and confused. I know, that seems silly. Also noticed the hornets and yellow jackets were picking on them. My strong hives absolutly do not tolerate those other pests. Hope that helps.
Todd Zeiner Clayton In
For the first couple days you will not notice a difference. After all the brood is capped, and no new brood to care for, the bees scatter throughout the hive, instead of having a central core on the brood. Bees are everywhere, angry, and running about. "Roaring". As time goes by----couple more weeks, worker bee layers start laying multiple (many) eggs in single cells randomly throughout the hive. Nothing like the queen, who lays a nice pattern, single eggs, in the core of the hive. The queen lays one egg centered on the bottom of a cell. The laying worker lays many eggs all over the bottom of the cell. All larvae from worker layers become drones (bullet shaped pupae when capped)
Once you have workers laying, it is very difficult to requeen----If you have many hives, it is better to move the supers and brood chambers off the hive stand and brush or blow all bees out, allowing them a fighting chance of being adopted into a queenright hive. After a week, start a new hive using brood and bees from several other hives along with your cleaned up scraped down/ repainted-repaired supers and a new queen in a cage.
A forum community dedicated to beekeeping, bee owners and enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about breeding, honey production, health, behavior, hives, housing, adopting, care, classifieds, and more!