Question: I have a hive with zero brood – what do I do?
It's been rainy weather here lately in Australia NSW.
I last checked hives 2 weeks ago and one hive was suffering from chalkbrood.
Today when checking, there is ZERO chalkbrood evidence but also ZERO brood at all.
I can not spot my white marked queen either. It's possible they swarmed, because last time I checked there were half a dozen occupied, capped queen cells. However, today there is zero leftover evidence of any of these queen cells ever being present. No empty peanuts at all. I feel like I'm losing my mind.
It doesn't look like they've swarmed either because there is not a population decrease that I can notice.
Around the same time, we also found a queen and small entourage hanging out on the grass about 3 metres away from this hive. She was not my marked white queen.
We scooped her into a box and today I can see she's laying brood. She has some grubs and some capped brood.
Should I merge these two hives?
This is so weird to me that my queen has gone missing.
Should I do a really thorough inspection of the broodless hive again and see if I can spot a new, unmarked queen?
The broodless hive was pretty quick to let me know they were unhappy when I was inspecting them.
What should be my next steps?