sudden queen loss after apiguard treatment (NC-USA)
First year keeper here. Started with 2 new packages and took on a nice swarm from a friend mid spring.
Just inspected one package hive and there's no sign of queen anywhere (no brood/eggs/etc). Lots of bees/resources, but no queen.
2x 8-frame deeps & 1 medium honey super. Was a new package and we were surprised they filled it, so left super for them rather than harvest.
6/19: sampled for mites, 3.2% (took 2 weeks to count, hence treatment delay)
7/4: normal inspection looked great
7/9: normal inspection looked great, honey super pretty full, lots of pollen/honey throughout
7/11: removed honey super (shook all bees off each frame, moved super to another hive), fed 2 gallons of 1:1 sugar water
7/13: removed feeder, full dose of apiguard
7/17: quick check to confirm apiguard tray empty
7/21: 2nd full dose of apiguard
8/3: no sign of queen. No eggs, brood, nothing. Plenty of resources (pollen, honey, nectar).
Throughout, the bearding/external activity looked completely normal, if slightly on the heavier side. The other two hives are both doing fine with similar treatment.
We moved the two deeps on top of a single deep separated by newspaper. Will feed in 2 days once they merge. We figured it was too late in season to try to make a new queen and neither of the other two hives really have brood to spare.
Hoping you all might have ideas if what we did wrong.