On August 11, I was expecting to house a queen from the Q7 round of queen rearing. I made up a 4 frame medium nuc from my orange colony (the primary swarm from the observation hive). When I went to pick up the queen, she was dead. Darn. The nuc was pretty strong with 2 frames of young brood, a frame of capped brood and a frame of stores so I decided to let them have a go a queening themselves.
On August 23, I fed and inspected the nuc. There were lots of bees and capped brood. There were also 5 queen cells that the bees were in the process of tearing down. I did not see a queen.
On September 6, I inspected the nuc and found all 4 frames full of either young uncapped larvae or eggs. I didn’t see the queen but left with confidence that she was there and doing well. I made a plan to move the bees to a double deep 5 frame medium nuc set up to attempt to overwinter them in that configuration.
Today, September 8, I put my plan in action. I preloaded the new set up with 3 frames of stores and 3 frames of open brood comb and headed down to the nuc. Imagine my surprise when I found the queen walking anxiously back and forth across the screened inner cover with her retinue below, following her every move and feeding her! I quickly captured and marked her. She’s a beautiful striped queen. I moved the bees to their new quarters and watched the queen run between the frames. Within 10 minutes everything seemed settled for the evening. What a close call!