I want to post this scenario, not for advice, but just as a learning experience for everyone. After all, it is good for us to stretch the grey matter (or ganglia, or mushroom bodies, depending on your species).
OK by way of background, I was an academic doctor, as was my husband. Our job was to teach medical students and nurses/technicians etc by proposing very difficult problem-solving scenarios to them. Some of them were based on real cases, and some were a bit of a stretch from reality to make a point. The intent was to increase confidence and skills in solving a particular problem.
With that concept in mind, I would like to put forward the following problem. Please bear in mind that this is intended to generate productive intellectual discussion, with no absolute right or wrong answers. It may be hypothetical, or it may be real. It doesn’t matter, your opinion can teach many people how to think about bee issues.
You have 2 hives in an urban setting. It is now early spring, and there is a minor nectar flow. One hive is very gentle, but not very strong. The other hive is very strong, but very hostile and has been that way for more than 9 months. You are in an Africanized honey bee area, so raising wild-mated queens is not an option, and is discouraged by your local city regulatory authorities.
Your neighbors have complained about bees, so you decide to re-queen the aggressive hive. You order gentle queens from Hawaii (no Africanization there) and one arrives on Wednesday.
On Tuesday (the day before she arrived), you went through the whole hive twice (2 brood boxes = 16 frames) and didn’t find the queen. On Wednesday, your new queen arrives late in the day, but in good shape with attendants. You give them a drop of water, and drop of honey that is from the hive they should be about to populate.
On Thursday, you search for the queen in the established hive again. You don’t find her.
You can’t let the old hive live with such aggressive tendencies. But you don’t want to let your nice new queen die. She will die within a day or two if you don’t do something. So what do you do?
As I said, no absolute right or wrong, I am just interested in people learning from each other.
Just to make it more exciting… you have 3 more days to solve the problem, or your purchased queen will die. Two weeks after that, your neighbors may file a law suit to have your bees removed. Other than moving the bees away, what are you going to do to be a hero?