Really confused

About a month ago I harvested around 21 kilos of honey from my hive at that time there seemed to be quite a good mixture of brood, pollen and honey in the brood box and a healthy number of bees. Recently I have noticed a drop in activity around the front of the hive. On today’s inspection there seems to be plenty of honey in both brood box and flow super but not much brood cells maybe not enough to fill two frames. Didn’t notice any Queen cells on inspection Is this normal?. Bee population looks quite healthy but maybe not as many as before I harvested the honey. Have not sighted the Queen on my past few inspections.
I am a little worried that the hive is queenless. Would it be advisable to purchase a new queen?
Any views or advice on this matter would be greatly appreciated have tried googling but the more I read online the more I get confused.

1 Like

I’d do an inspection and see if you can find eggs in some of the cells in the brood box. That will tell you a queen has been around 3 days ago. You should also have a go at looking for the Queen again. It seems pointless to buy a new one before doing that.

How many hives do you have? If only 1 is there eggs in your brood box?

I think that I will have to try and do a more thorough inspection of the frames.My eyesight isn’t too good, especially behind the veil. Struggle to see if there are any eggs in the cells would you wait a few days before doing another inspection or do one as soon as possible?

@Moby_Dick I can never see eggs while doing an inspection, so I take photos of every frame (both sides), then finish up and look at the photos on my computer, you can zoom right in on the cells and will see the eggs. Here is a photo from one of my hives


Thanks Karen, very handy tip. Couldn’t wait to get home from work today so that I could check the hive again. Actually sighted the Queen today so that’s put my mind at rest a bit. Plenty of larvae in there but again couldn’t see eggs. Will use that tip next time I do a hive inspection.


Hi @Moby_Dick, if you get shots of your brood frames and post them, more experienced beeks may be able to shed a bit more light on what’s happening for you.
Hope you find the answers :pray:

I do very similar, but I setup a tripod and record inspections with my phone as a video camera. I hold each frame up in front of the camera to see both sides.

I also talk to myself during the inspection :smiley: but doing this means I can make a note of what I want to take a closer look at when I watch the video, and what the frame order was, so I don’t forget.

Also means I keep my hands free, can play back the whole inspection, and I can also take still frames / photos from the video.

Here is an example still frame from my inspection yesterday - super easy to see the eggs

1 Like

@BeeMike that is a really good idea - I have a husband that takes photos for me, while I do the inspection :wink: But if you don’t have another person at the hive that is a great alternate.

Don’t forget to share some pics of your next inspection! We all love seeing how other hives are going.

I am still yet to see the queen in my hive. Perhaps I am blind (haha), or she’s always got her bum down in a cell whenever I look. But being able to see larvae and eggs always puts my mind at ease.

1 Like

Gee, this forum is always full of good tips. I don’t know what half of us newbie beekeepers would do without it. It is so helpful. It was such a relief to find the Queen in there. I had been worried about it all day whilst at work.


I seriously doubt I’d have made it past my first year without this forum :sunglasses:

Good you saw larvae and a queen - I say “a queen” because it sounds quite possible that your hive swarmed given the lower number of bees and more compact brood area you saw. It only takes 16 days for a new queen to emerge, so it’s not uncommon to miss seeing cells.