I am new to beekeeping however we cleaned out an existing hive and within a few days a swarm has moved in.
They were obviously attracted to the existing drawn comb and frames of honey.
We have a national hive with double brood box and one honey super.
The swarm colony is strong and we have bees on each of the brood frames, supplies of nectar and pollen.
A week after the swarm moved in we inspected the hive and the bees are very calm. Unfortunately we were unable to locate the queen and no eggs are present.
We are not sure of what action to take if any? I did read that prior to swarming workers will stop feeding the queen to reduce her size to assist with flight. This could explain why we did not identify her.
We will inspect the hive next week. Should no queen or eggs be present please suggest some options?
Also how much time do we have to act as we would not like to loose such a strong colony of European honey bees.
We are located in the UK and will be coming into summer soon. At present we have a lot of swarming activity.
Would a large colony swarm without a queen? Any advice provided will certainly assist with planning our next move.