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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Our bee club installed 4 new 8-frame hives at our ag extension complex 3 weeks ago. I checked the hives about 10 days ago and filled the hive-top mason jar feeders. All was well. I found all 4 queens and eggs and larvae, pollen and nectar. The bees were drawing comb fairly quickly. I inspected them this evening before our bee meeting. All the hives had 3-4 deep frames nearly covered on both sides with capped brood. The outside frames were filled with nectar and pollen but were not fully drawn. In one hive, I found 3 frames of capped brood, but no eggs and no larvae and 15 or more very small supercedure or emergency cells, all capped and several button cells uncapped. I opened one of the cells and found a purple-eye queen, which I'm thinking is 12 days of development. I'm assuming the queen died or was injured, but I know I didn't harm her when I last inspected the hive. She was a marked queen and found her easily and I know she was still alive when I slid the frame back in. I could not find her today. I'm going to let it go and see if a new queen appears in the next week or so.

it is a puzzlement.....
 

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sliding a frame back in is a sure way to kill a queen, especially if there is any burr comb.
It is best to have a couple of frames removed and when placing the frame with the queen on it, set it on the frame rest a couple of inches from the next frame. Then slid the frame in place...oh yeah queen facing out.
Then do the same with the next frame, and gently slide into place, from the side. If the queen is on the frame, never slide it in from the top, too much of a risk.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I've been doing this for quite a while and have never killed a queen before, especially when I'm looking right at her when I reinstall the frame. I always pull at least two outside frames. These are new 8-frame hives with no propolis and no burr comb.

I went back in today and lo and behold, I found a new queen. She was tiny, but still a queen, unmarked. The original queen was marked with blue paint, so I can't figure out what happened unless there were two queens in the hive, and the younger one killed the older one and then mated, because I found the marked queen on the 10th, queen cells on the 20th, and a small queen today, the 21st of May. The timing just isn't working....
 
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