I was going to email the bee guru (Pioneer Preppy) but I thought I would post instead in case another new bee keeper has the same disasters as I seem to be having.
I set out this morning determined to find the queen in my second hive. Four days ago when we checked the hive it was so skimpy compared to the other hive that I thought the queen was gone. What a difference four days can make.
I searched high and low for the queen and never did find her. There are many tunnels such as these that she can hide in.
We found a couple of frames that had a lot more comb and brood cells capped.
I had my biggest thrill when I saw this....Fresh bee eggs and they are laying right in the very bottom where queens deposit them. If you enlarge the photo you should be able to see the tiny white sausage shaped eggs in the open cells. What a relief...now I don't have to worry about ordering and introducing another queen or steal eggs from the other hive so another queen could be produced.
Now for my disaster... We decided since we were already at the hives to open up our "good" one just to see if we could find the queen. There is so much activity in this one and more frames are drawn with lots of capped brood cells so we know she is there but again...lots of tunnels and hiding places so we did not see her.
After we looked at a few frames I hung one on the frame holder. It was full of bees, more than half drawn out with comb and lots of capped brood. I heard a loud angry buzzing and looked down and the entire wall of wax, brood and bees had turned loose from the frame and hit the ground. OK...I have not seen or read about this situation. Why did this happen? We didn't know what to do. I picked it up and laid it on the frame it fell from and then placed an empty frame on top of it and put it back in the hive. I don't know if the bees will repair it or not or if it is one mass on the bottom of the frame now.
This is a photo of a small piece that broke off of the large piece when I tried to pick it up. Papa Bear didn't get any pictures of this as we were panicked trying to get the brood cells back into the hive. Now I am panicked about the queen in this hive. If she was on that falling wall of wax and hit the ground, is she alive? If she fell off has she been here long enough to find her way back into the hive? These bees are going to give me a stroke!
We did get to see something very exciting...at least to us. When I was holding one frame of brood we saw several baby bees chewing holes and emerging from their cells.