On day 4 after placing queen inside of hive in her queen box, something was just not right about the hive. Having a sick feeling inside due to the notion that there may still be a queen inside that is just hiding, I opened the hive and located the queen cage. The candy had been eaten out and nearly all of the queens attendants were dead and the queen was in sad shape. I removed the cage and placed it in her original shipping box then put my NEW (as in I never needed them before) eyeglasses on, put my veil back on and inspected the hive. So, STUPID ME. Oh yes, the old queen is VERY much alive and well, there were eggs and larvae of various sizes in development as well.
I felt very stupid, it is amazing what you don't SEE when you think you CAN SEE and a sad lesson that says I should realize that I am not 20 years old with the eyes of a hawk anymore.
Closed up the hive for a while while I examined my new queen in her cage. She was pretty beaten up, limping and crawling. She had probably been stung by the bees in my hive. I took her out of her cage and placed her in my hand, feeling pretty sorry for her. I again placed her in her shipping container, got another empty brood box and loaded it up with frames less one frame. Opened up my hive and removed a frame full of brood, brushed the bees off and took it over to the new brood box. I placed the new queen on the brood frame where she crawled about. I watched her for quite some time. long enough to see some new bees emerge from the capped brood cells, they pretty much hung out with the new queen and showed her no agression. I inserted her brood frame into the new box and added a frame of honey and pollen and closed the box up, then inserted two entrance reducers for security over night hoping the new house bees and the box would keep her warm enough that she would be able to hopefully heal.
The next day's carnage.
When I went outside, I suited up and went to my backyard to inspect the new queens box and brood. What I saw was nothing short of what looked like warfare. The bees from my first hive had managed to REMOVE the entrance reducers and were buzzing around the box, inside the box, and when I opened the top to inspect, there were hundreds of bees inside, robbing it out. There were "bee fights" where I could see several bees grappling with other bees. I desperately began looking for the queen, she was no where, this one would be easily identified by her marking. No luck. Sadly, I opened up my first hive and returned the brood frame and the frame of honey to the original colony and closed everything up. Feeling pretty down, I went back to my patio and geared down. Ya know, I really liked that little queen, she was truly beautiful.
Hard lesson to be learned, really. I probably sound silly, but I am attached to my bees, even that new queen. Screw the money I spent on her, easy come, easy go, I am more upset about the queen being gone, dead I imagine. So, I thought I would post my folly, hopefully, two things will come of this, a learned keeper can shed more light on this, and second, a new beek can avoid such a happening by me posting about this event. Now to go back to my beeyard and refill their water supply as it has been warm.