Michigan Confirmed Queenless
A couple weeks ago, it was unseasonably warm. I was able to do a hive inspection and noted that I couldn’t locate the queen but I saw a small patch of eggs. It concerned me at the time.
It was warm enough yesterday to do another inspection, around 60 in Michigan in November! Upon opening, I noted the population was way down. Only enough bees to cover 3 frames. There were small patches of brood on those couple frames but it appeared they had been abandoned. Emergency queen cups were under construction. And an alarming number of dead bees on the bottom board.
The queen is gone. I’m not sure if she died or absconded. The population drop seems like a swarm but in November that would be suicide. Regardless, I don’t know what to do with this hive now. There are a fair amount of resources in the brood box. The remaining bees will obviously perish. Is it ok to leave the hive empty over winter? Is it too late to requeen with a purchased queen? Would the population even support a new queen through the winter? Thanks.