New swarm with queen, no brood after about three weeks

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RogerIvy 

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We had a very big swarm stop by in the tree above our hives. Loads of bees.
Managed to catch it in a nuc box, delays in shipping new hive so they stayed in the nuc box for about two weeks (not ideal I know, I eventually made my own hive out of desperation). When we moved them into the hive there were about 4 frames of mostly drawn comb.
They have been in the new hive for about a week. Really strong. Very busy. Have drawn comb on foundation in about six frames.
Found the queen today and marked her.
Inspected all the frames.
We didn’t see any brood. Not obviously brood anyway. Couldn’t see any eggs/larvae.
Should I be concerned? Anything I can do about it?
TIA
 

Finman 

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Until you see a swarm queen lay eggs, best leave alone for three weeks. Marking may not interfere with mating flights, but no need to take that risk.
If a swarm queen is old, it starts laying after 3 days.

If the queen is a virgin, it starts to lay after 8 days.

No reason to wait 3 weeks.

In this case it is better to give a larva frame into the hive. It is not rare, if the queen is lost during mating flights.
 

Finman 

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If the queen is 3 weeks old, soon it is not able to make mating flights. I suppose that you have had out there good weathers. It might be violated too.

Does the queen have a big abdomen?
 

ericbeaumont 

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if the queen is a virgin, it starts to lay after 8 days.No reason to wait 3 weeks.
You may be right, Finman, but that's a best-case scenario.

We've had a few rainy and cloudy days in the UK and that may delay mating.

Unless you have a real need to check early, not much is gained. If you reckon there's an issue, Roger, give them a frame of eggs. Sometimes it kick-starts a queen to begin laying.

Swarms always work hard to bring in stores because the window of opportunity to do so between now and the end of the season is narrow.
 

RogerIvy 

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So ... we wait until the weekend to see if there is brood?
(one week after the previous inspection)
 

ericbeaumont 

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wait until the weekend to see if there is brood
Just re-read your first post again, Roger, and realised that you've waited three weeks already.

I had a couple of odd events in which the queens looked fine, but had clearly done nothing for some time as the cupboard was bare of brood, even though nectar to feed them was coming in. The queens were coming out of winter and presumably had mated poorly the previous year; what was strange was that they weren't even laying drones.

This shows that nothing is certain in beekeeping; if the weekend is the first opportunity you have to check, then so be it, but no harm in taking a quiet and quick look today.
 

RogerIvy 

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Here are a few photos.
With my order being delayed I didn't even have decent foundation to put in, so used a 2cm strip meant for a Langstroth frame. This seems to have pointed the bees in the right direction for now.
Inspected again tonight, didn't see any brood. All the frames look very similar. Saw a few drones.

aIMG_5311.jpeg

aIMG_5315.jpeg

aIMG_5316.jpeg

aIMG_5321.jpeg

aIMG_5329.jpeg

aIMG_5331.jpeg
 

RogerIvy 

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There’s larvae and sealed brood visible in bottom photo at least!!!!!…..
I had wondered if it was ... I'm still too new to this to know the different variations of brood. In other hives it is so obvious. Maybe being such a big swarm their first priority was stores.
 

gwt_uk 

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I had wondered if it was ... I'm still too new to this to know the different variations of brood. In other hives it is so obvious. Maybe being such a big swarm their first priority was stores.
Yes def larvae and I think I can see eggs
 

Wilco 

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I had wondered if it was ... I'm still too new to this to know the different variations of brood. In other hives it is so obvious. Maybe being such a big swarm their first priority was stores.
Their first priority is make comb to put stores and eggs in!

Have edited photo:

1. This shows eggs
2. This shows young larvae
3. This shows well developed larvae
4. This shows one larva having their cell capped and one already sealed.

aIMG_5331.jpeg

Based on that and the relatively sparse capped cells, she's been laying for at least 7 days. Probably not much more than that.

It may be that she was a virgin, took a couple of days to mate and a few more to mature and start laying. While there are no brood to feed, stores are not being used anywhere near as rapidly as when there is brood, which is why it can seem like a lot of stores building quickly.

Congratulations, you have BIAS (brood in all stages). Your other photos seem to indicate the queen dunking her ovipositor into cells (laying eggs).

Lesson: believe in yourself/trust your gut.
 
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