OK.. This is kind of a long story but please be patient because I really need some advice.
I packaged a new hive one month ago â€“ Hive #1 (Marked Queen) (2 deeps)
I packaged another hive one week ago â€“ Hive #2 (Queen not marked) (2 mediums)
I packaged a top bar hive one week ago â€“ Hive #3 (Queen not marked) (topbar)
Hive #1 has had poor brood pattern and since week one, I have not been able to find the MARKED queen.
4 days after installing the packages for hives #2 & #3, I returned to release the queens. The release went well for #3 (topbar) but I never saw where the queen went for hive #2. When I peeled back the screen, she was there one second and gone the next. I waited right there to see if maybe she flew and would come back to me. She did not return so I assume she fell or flew into the hive. I closed it up and left.
Today, I gave each hive a decent inspection and finally found a queen in hive #1 but it was not my marked queen. It was a great big pretty UNMARKED queen and she was just a laying. Brood pattern looks much better but I did find a small, peanut looking cell halfway down one frame. I also found a queen 3 frames over but it could have been the same one if she was fast.
I could find no queens in hives #2 or #3 but I am not good and finding them yet anywayâ€¦
I am still not real sure how to inspect the topbar so I will just give it a while longer before I go in much.
Where did this queen come from that now resides in hive#1?
Is it possible she was the queen from hive #2 or #3 and just flew in and took over?
How long should I wait before re-queening hives 2 or 3.
Could hive #1 have raised a new queen in one month?
What about the small peanut cell halfway down the frame?
Can a hive have 2 queens?
I thought 3 hives would not be too much to handle as a beginner but now I am not too sure.
Can anyone help with some answers????