With the swarm leaving the hive, it raised the question, “Is there still a queen in the hive?” There was only one way to find out. A hive inspection.
Donning my bee suit and gloves, off I went to search for a queen bee. The removal of the lid, prompted a couple dozen bees to come check me out. As I went through the top deep super, bees began to fly up and around me. As I removed the frames, the activity level increased. Bees were running from one side of frame to the other or going airborne as I picked up the frame. After looking through six frames, I still had not yet found the queen.
When I opened the bottom deep super and removed frames, the bees in this area acted differently. Instead of flying around, they ran around in groups. I started seeing bees that were bigger that the ones around them, those were the drones or male bees, but still no queen bee.Then I caught a glimpse of one bee that a group had stayed thickly clustered around, that was the queen bee. After re-assembling the hive, I began the long walk back to the house. Several bees who were still mad at me for disturbing their home followed me all the way to the door.
As we sat around the table eating our dinner, they questioned me about whether I found a queen bee or not. I told them about my inspection of the hive. The conclusion we still had a queen so the hive should continue to thrive and be productive especially since the bees seemed to be healthy and happy.