I did an inspection on my hive today, and was generally happy. The two splits I made two weeks ago both had eggs in cells, so the virgin queens mated and started their job. The two new hive (this year) had plenty of capped brood, so I moved two frames from each into the walkaway split, which was still rather small. But my hive #1 -- the one I let requeen itself this spring -- is a puzzle. While the bees have been busy bringing in pollen and filling the supers, there was no brood, capped or uncapped, in the upper brood box. And whan I checked the lower brrod box there was nothing. Just empty, clean cells on black comb. I didn't find the queen anywhere either. It's like the queen just disappeared, without leaving eggs or brood, and the hive continued on without her. I reversed the boxes and placed a frame of very young larvae in the active box with pollen and honey, to see if they begin making queen cells.
But what would cause a queen to stop laying and the hive not to replace her while fresh eggs are still in the hive? I searched closely for cells with any eggs and found none, so there isn't a laying worker in there yet. If the hive does start making queen cells, I suppose I should requeen with a bought queen in order to get the hive back on track before cold weather sets in. There are still at least two boxes of bees in there.
If the hive doesn't start making queen cells, what does it mean? What should I do?