I helped a new bee keeper inspect his hive today. He couldn’t find the queen on his last inspection and wanted to mark it today. He also had concerns he didn’t seen a good brood pattern last. Today we discovered this frame:
All other frames were void of eggs, larvae. There were some frames of capped brood (pattern was fine). Bee population was still strong and plenty of stores in the super.
I suspect that the queen may have been killed in the last inspection (2 weeks ago). To reduce the chance of swarming we knocked out a handful of queen cells and left 4 healthy looking ones.
However, one of the queen cells we knocked out contained a fully developed queen - possibly a day away from emerging, this is her after we helped her out of the cell:
This is her feeding herself on a frames of capped honey from the super:
I couldn’t bring my self to euthanize her, so I introduced her into a split I created yesterday. The colony appeared to accept her and started feeding her (can you spot her?):
I’ll report back in a few weeks time on progress of both colonies.