I checked a hive this weekend. This hive had been very strong; filled a deep and a medium. I had already put on a second medium. I inspected this weekend and found:
- no queen
- way more drones than in previous inspections
- plenty of capped brood and larvae
- no eggs
- supercedure cell with telltale pried-opened end
I checked on Friday and again on Saturday. Never saw the queen.
This hive showed no sign of supercedure desire the last time I opened them (abt 2 weeks ago). My thinking was that this was an old queen that was making too many drones, and the workers replaced her. My other hive also superceded during the same two weeks, but I found the new queen and some eggs just fine. Another thought was that it swarmed, but I seriously doubt it. I never saw queen cells hanging off the bottoms of the frames.
At what point do I need to be concerned that the new queen didn't make it back from a mating flight? When should I check again to make sure she's back and laying again? I don't want to overstress this colony. Is there anything I need to do?