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I'm in my second season. My hive is quite strong, and swarmed already, but I'm noticing that there's hardly any brood. The colony is focusing on jam-packing the hive with honey (only 2 frames of brood in the box--and the pattern wasn't good). Despite the fact that the queen isn't laying a great patter, the bees aren't making supercede cells (only 2). Is this normal for an established colony, or does my queen suck?

If I need to replace the queen, how the heck am I supposed to find and pinch her? What should I do? Season 2 is becoming a nightmare.
 

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You're going to have to find the queen or some sign she's there. How long ago did they swarm? Do you see eggs? The virgin queen will take a couple of weeks to fly and mate and get established. if you don't find eggs and larvae soon, the new queen may have been killed or injured or didn't mate. If you don't have another hive to borrow a frame of eggs and fresh larvae from, you may have to search for the queen and replace her.

If you absolutely cannot find the queen or some sign of her by a frame-by-frame inspection, you'll have to resort to more drastic measures. You might enlist a more experienced beekeeper to aid you, but barring that, you can take an empty deep and place on a bottom board. Place an excluder on the bottom deep and place another empty deep on top of that. Gently brush or shake all the bees onto the excluder , placing the now-empty brood frames in the bottom box as you go. if the queen is there, she and the drones will be stuck above the excluder.

A young vigorous, fecund queen will generally lay a solid brood pattern across a whole frame. When looking for the queen, look on the frame where you have the most bees and the most new eggs. She is unlikely to be found on a full frame of capped brood, unless she's just passing by. Newly-deposited eggs will still be vertical or nearly vertical in the bottom of the cell. That means she has been there recently.
 
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