I had a small swarm at home today. When I finally got to a queen she was jet black. I trying to figure out where she came from.
1. Hive #1 is now in an OB hive w/ Italian queen and the numbers are still the same and no Q-cells--not this one.
2. Hive #2 was large, from a cut out. I looked in on them first thing. They were quieter than normal and the numbers seemed lower. I just removed 2 old frames on Sat. to get rid of the old cutout comb and there was one Q-cell in the middle of the frame. I did not check the other two old frames.
3. I did a cutout Sat. and brought back loads of old comb and honey in a bin and put it in the pasture to be robbed. I killed 95% of the hive by not knowing how to vacuum. The ball formed today over this bin. There had been no sign of balling or queen activity before noon today around these combs.
So where do you think this queen came from, you have all the info I have. Oh, my queen in hive #2 is marked. I did not have time to look for her, but I was under the impression that the old queen left and the new one stayed?