After realizing my hive was queenless, and had one used emergency queen cell, I searched unsuccessfully for a new, young, unmated queen.
I decided to order a caged queen, and inserted it into the brood chamber 48 hours ago, but with duct tape over the candy cork.
When I entered the hive today, I expected to have a clear answer as to whether there was a new young unmated queen in the hive, but no such luck.
I expected that if the bees were calm and not at all around the cage, then I could take off the duct tape as there would be no other queen in the hive and they would accept their new queen.
Or, if there was a new, young, unmated queen, I expected many many workers to be balling around the cage furiously, and acting really aggressively toward me.
What happened instead was there were about twenty bees on the cage, and the bees in general were slightly agitated, but certainly not crazy aggressive.
I took off the duct tape, but now I am questioning myself.
My question is: should I expect to see dozens of bees all over the cage in a big ball if there is a new, young, unmated queen in the hive? Or were those twenty bees on the cage enough to confirm the presence of another queen?
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Thanks for any help you can offer!