OK- so I had another thread about how my long hive was seemingly queenless:
Basically I inspected, there was no visible brood at all and I assumed the hive was queenless. I added a frame of brood from another hive and inspected again after 4 days. There was no sign of any brood on any frames except the one I added- and the bees had not built any queen cells.
The hive is full of bees- every frame is covered. Having assumed it was queenless I became confused when I heard about queens going off the lay for periods- and then further confused when I realized there may be a virgin queen in the hive. My gut tells me it’s queenless- but my brain informs me things may not be so simple. It seems certain that no egg has been laid in the hive for approximately 25 days at least…
Not being sure I would be able to find enough frames of brood from other hives over winter to give this hive I have panicked and looked to buy a queen. I found one today from NSW (Italian) at a good price- one of the last queens of the year. It is on the way in the mail hopefully this afternoon.
Given that I am not sure of the queen status of my hive my plan is to place the queen cage on the top bars and observe how the bees react to her. I guess if they react very well and start to fan their wings and feed her- I can assume they want her and are queenless?
However if they are not so welcoming- I am not sure what it will mean, and what I should do? At what point should I simply assume the hive IS queenless and requeen it?
If there was a new queen in the hive that hasn’t yet mated and/or started to lay- what would happen if I released the mated queen into the hive? Would they battle it out? Or would the introduced queen simply be killed by the hive?
I guess I’d like to know what others would do in my situation?