Do I have a queen?

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Joined
May 15, 2022
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Location
Northumberland
Hive Type
National
I captured a swarm on 5th June and they happily climbed from a sheet into my hive.
They have been busy since with many flyers and I can see pollen being taken in.
I did my first inspection on 14th June and could see lots of open comb filled with honey but no brood/eggs nor could I find a queen.
Is it possible I have caught a virgin queen who has since mated but not yet ready to lay or am I queenless?
I dont appear to have lost any bees, they are staying with me which is why I am hoping I just missed her.
Its my only hive so I cannot take a frame from elsewhere.
They are a very placid lot who appeared to ignore me during the inspection so I would love to keep them.
What do you think? Wait, or buy a queen?
Please be gentle
K ;)
 
Is it possible I have caught a virgin queen
probably - so the best thing to do would be to leave well alone and not clatter around in the brood box for a few weeks
 
If it was a virgin in the swarm you collected I find most are mated and laying in ten days, and particularly with the fine weather we’ve had. After that I’d say your chances are dropping rapidly!
 
probably - so the best thing to do would be to leave well alone and not clatter around in the brood box for a few weeks
I captured a swarm on 5th June and they happily climbed from a sheet into my hive.
They have been busy since with many flyers and I can see pollen being taken in.
I did my first inspection on 14th June and could see lots of open comb filled with honey but no brood/eggs nor could I find a queen.
Is it possible I have caught a virgin queen who has since mated but not yet ready to lay or am I queenless?
I dont appear to have lost any bees, they are staying with me which is why I am hoping I just missed her.
Its my only hive so I cannot take a frame from elsewhere.
They are a very placid lot who appeared to ignore me during the inspection so I would love to keep them.
What do you think? Wait, or buy a queen?
Please be gentle
K ;)
9 days is a short time for a virgin queen to have arrived, gone out for multiple mating flights and returned to settle in to start laying so I'd say your conjecture is entirely possible. As JBM says, leave them alone for a while and you might have a pleasant surprise (and be 50 pounds better off😉)
 
If it was a virgin in the swarm you collected I find most are mated and laying in ten days, and particularly with the fine weather we’ve had. After that I’d say your chances are dropping rapidly!
I've had them wait 3 weeks before laying and still proceed to raise strong colonies. Obviously this requires successfully evading swallows and other predators while out on the mating flights during the viable first few days.
 
Give her time , not uncommon for VQ to be heading a swarm.

An A/S I did mid mid May had a new VQ emerge on 24th May, I saw some eggs yesterday so three weeks isn't unusual . Longest I have waited to see eggs is some 5 weeks from emergence.

The tell sign a Q is in residence is the overall happy hum/demeanour of a colony and the signs on the combs , a nice arc of pollen /nectar around a central patch of cleaned cells awaiting for her to lay.
 
Thanks all for your assurance ;) I will wait and see what transpires. I was worrying I might deplete the workers to a point where a new queen would not recover the situation.
On balance of your replies I will wait until fri-sat next week before inspecting again, meanwhile I hope the super I added at first inspection gives them enough room until then.
Fingers crossed the bee gods are kind.
K ;)
 
Quick update, and to answer my own question YES I HAVE A QUEEN
This mornings inspection revealed six frames with drawn comb, some capped cells near the top frame (stores?) And lots of open cells with larvae visible and if I strained my eyes some tiny eggs, single and upright in the centre.
I could see some drones, not many but again, no queen... but she must be there somewhere. No QC's.
Still a very calm crowd who took no notice of me.
All closed up again until the next inspection in say 9 days?
I'm proper happy today
K ;)
 
I did another inspection yesterday and was pleased to see many positive signs and saw the Queen for the first time but did not try to mark her.
On the outer edge of the "nest" i found two of these, actually pointing downwards on frame, look like queen cups... should I be worried, should I get rid of them?
Advice please...
K ;)
20230706_095520.jpg
 

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