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Is smoking the hive making the bees confused about their new queen? Am I confused?

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Is smoking the hive making the bees confused about their new queen? Am I confused?

Hello! I hope your day is going well! I've had one hive for about 1.5 years. It sadly became queenless after a formic acid treatment last month. I checked the hive 3 times and could not find the queen and there were no new eggs/brood. She was a big fatty, so it was pretty easy to find her. So, I bought a new Italian and put her queen cage in the hive on April 5th. They seemed to respond well to her. I let her out of the cage on the 8th and there was no eggs/brood for weeks by that time. All the queen cups had been removed. There did not appear to be a laying worker. I have a mesh bottom board and I've been peeking underneath intermittently throughout the week and everything seemed to be normal. Today (the 16th) I opened the hive after smoking and as soon as I did and opened the hive the bees appeared to be balling something! I picked up the ball and my queen was among the bees, but did not seem to be what they were focused on? The queen left the little cluster without issue about 3 minutes later as I'm getting done inspecting the first brood box I hear a little tooting/piping noise! This is the first time I've heard a queen do that and it was at the last frame I still needed to inspect. I picked up the frame and found her among a dense area of bees again, but it again appeared that she was not the focus of their attention. They seemed to be trying to sting another worker that had it's abdomen half-in a cell? The queen was able to leave and I saw her wandering about without any issue/interference a few minutes later. There was some capped brood in the bottom brood box and some eggs. I'm like 'hey cool, that seems a little quick', but I'm happy there's brood because there was none for a few weeks. I figure if my queen has been in the hive since the 5th and released on the 8th they probably wouldn't still be trying to kill her? And Now I go into the top brood box and there's like…LOTS of capped brood that wasn't there on the 8th. This seems a little fast to be getting capped brood from a newly released queen right? I'm new and slow at inspection, so I had to smoke the bees again and then found the queen in a ball again, but it was a little tighter although she was again able to get out without difficulty or being chased. I didn't see any other queens in the hive.

  1. Would my queen still be alive 7 days after being released if the bees didn't like her? Is my smoke confusing them because her pheromones' are not strong enough in the hive yet?
  2. Does having so much capped brood so soon after the queen's release mean that they raised a new queen in the hive while I was waiting for my mailed one to arrive? I know temperature can effect the life cycle – it's been just below 90 F/32.2 C?

Sorry for the long story! Just worried about my little queen and pretty new at this. Thank you for any advice you can give!

submitted by /u/Sunshine_Prophylaxis
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