Last week I reported that after an inspection, I could not find my marked queen, or any eggs in any of the comb, either. A few of you suggested I wait a week or so to see if the colony raised a new one. Well, I'm glad to say that they apparently did. I went into the hive earlier this morning and, as I was pulling the sixth frame in the top box, I caught a glimpse of a l-o-n-g, smooth and plump abdomen running around the bottom of the frame to the other side. No mistaking that! At that point I proceeded with caution, and did not poke around the mass of bees piling up on the frame, for fear of injuring her or spooking her away. But I looked at where I initially saw her, and there was an area of comb with eggs. I also found eggs in an adjacent frame, too. I closed up after investigating the hive, knowing that things were well back on track. The colony seemed quite a bit mellower this morning than any other time during the past couple of weeks.
The colony has been busy in many ways this week. Last week, the honey super I had placed on top of the hive was virtually untouched, with very little comb having been drawn. Today, all the frames had drawn comb, and much of that had nectar (but no capped honey yet). So I placed another super of foundation on top. I placed it on top instead of between the brood chamber and the honey super because I didn't want to run the risk of separating the queen from the brood box.
Yeah -- when I found the queen and the eggs she was laying, she was in the honey super. I'd like to get her out of there and put the queen excluder in place, if that's possible or necessary. Only two frames have eggs laid in them; the rest are filling with nectar, so maybe I should leave well enough alone? Or, does anyone have a sure-fire method of making sure the queen is down below the honey super? If I do it, I probably should do it pretty soon. And also, if I do exclude the queen from the honey super, should I extract a few frames of honey from the brood box (if they are still there -- there were three full frames in the upper box alone) in order to give the queen more laying room?
Regardless, I'm glad to find out my colony is still strong and queenright!