I inadvertently created a walk-away split on July 18th when I removed some brood from an established colony to make a nuc. I would have much rathered that the mated queen I gave the bees hadn’t been killed by the bees, but that’s another story.
If we return briefly to the beginning of this story, 18 days ago on July 18th (A Requeening Gone Bad), we learn that a mated queen was added to a split about 23 days ago and five days later, the mated queen was found dead in her cage along with several open and capped supersedure queen cells. I didn’t touch the hive until today when I noticed a few bees bringing in pollen. Foragers don’t usually collect pollen unless they have a reason to do so, and that reason is usually to feed a queen bee and her brood. So I decided to take a peek inside and low and behold, I found a new queen scooting around one of the frames looking for a place to lay.
And with any luck, I didn’t squish her during today’s inspection. I carefully put her frame back in the hive, but she was moving fast and could have easily gotten away from me.
I added another deep full of drawn comb and pollen to the hive, plus a feeder. It will take some tricky work to build this colony up so it’s strong enough to survive the winter. I plan to add some frames of brood from another colony as soon as possible (I didn’t find any fresh eggs today). With any luck, this new naturally mated queen will start laying soon and become a good layer, and we’ll be off to the races.