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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a first year beekeeper. I have a single hive that I started with a nuc that was installed the last weekend of April. (I'm in upstate NY and we had a pretty long cold spring!) The colony did great! They began drawing out the frams quickly once we had warm weather. Once 8 frames with drawn I added a second brood box which they began to also draw out. I left the bees to their own devices for a little more than a week and upon inspection notice no eggs or brood and could not find the queen. I did also notice a few queen cups. In a panic I ordered a new queen and introduced her. 4 days later they had released her but I could not find her or any eggs. I also noticed more queen cups and a couple supercedure cups. The middle 3 frames of the bottom brood box are also full of honey which I have read is an indication of a queenless hive.

What should my next move be?!
 

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Not very experienced, but your post has not been answered, so I will offer some advice. More specific dates/time frames would be helpful, but based on what you say, it appears that your hive swarmed or you rolled the queen and killed her while inspecting. I would guess they they were in the process of making a new queen or had a virgin queen when you introduced one and they killed her. From this distance, I would advise that you wait 2 weeks and then look in the hive. Were you able to see eggs when you first got the nuc? I ask because many, myself included have a hard time seeing them. They may be there and you can't see them. You have time to correct things, best to let them show you what they are doing before taking any action. J
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply! I hate to think I rolled the queen. I’m always super careful whenever I enter the hive. I did see eggs a few weeks ago, I know they can be difficult to spot but I’ve been able to spot them. If they had produced a new virgin queen would they stop building queen cups?

The folks I purchase supplies from asked if they had swarmed as well. The hive had been very active at times which is why I introduced the second brood box. If they have swarmed, aside from the additional space I provided for them what could have been done to prevent the hive from swarming?
 

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Were these queen cups or empty queen cells(from an emerged queen) It sounds like your hive swarmed, they were replacing the queen but she had not begun to lay yet. however, a week is not even enough time for a queen to emerge. Is it posable there was a queen cell there during the previous inspection? If not then maybe a rolled queen. Was there brood in the cups. In an emergency supersedure (when the queen is lost) they draw queens from existing larva. I think A thorough inspection and assessment is called for. There may be overlooked brood or something that will help. Pictures would help others asses possibilities. As overlooked or misinterpreted signs can make a big difference in what avenue to follow.
 

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What should my next move be?!
My typical response would be ‘do nothing’. In this case I’m not so sure. You stated that the hive went from eggs and brood to no eggs or brood in a little over a week. This isn’t likely. Next, regardless of what happened to your queen, if there were eggs to work with your bees will make a replacement. It can easily take a month for that new queen to have begun laying enough to make it obvious.
At this point, my advice would be to get someone more experienced to go through the hive with you.
 
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