First time needing a queen
I installed two packages – into Vino Farm style deep frame, super insulated, 'Bee Barns" – about 2 and a half weeks ago. I'm in the Northern end of the NorthEast US. Install went ok. The packages had queen cages with no sugar plug which I didn't know until I was in the middle of the first install. So the queens were released directly. They seemed to settle in after a couple days and all seemed fine. Hive #1 seemed more vigorous from the start. But I left them alone, knowing the queens were released at install time. Kept 'em sugared up. But we've had warm weather and nice flow on.
Finally did a look-see on last Sunday – two weeks after install.
Hive #1 was indeed vigorous. Capped brood, larva, eggs, nectar, pollen on heavy frames. Lots of new wax getting built out.
Hive #2 had nectar/sugar stored and some new wax. No pollen. No eggs, no brood. Queen cups. No queen to be found.
So. Queenless. I was surprised how nonchalantly the queenless hive was carrying on. They didn't roar at me and were not aggressive.
Luckily, my local bee monger had a queen available for me Tuesday. Got her installed in her cage with a sugar plug. Will check on her tomorrow.
My question is: Hypothetically, Second guessing myself. Could I have solved this without buying a new queen? Could I have taken the queen from Hive #1 and put her in queenless hive #2? Hive #1 would make a new queen from the eggs present. Hive #2 would have a queen.
Or would all hell have broke loose and the workers from Hive #1 all might try to follow their queen to the Hive #2 or some such craziness? Maybe plug up the entrances for a couple days?
Thanks for reading.