Today was a great day! I had my teacher/mentor Les Crowder come over to the house because my bees have been struggling since April. In late April the existing queen disappeared and a hive without a queen is a doomed hive. So I ordered a new queen and after the proper introductory period released her and they ‘seemed’ ok with her but after 2 more weeks there was a new capped queen cell and the new queen had ‘disappeared’. I thought they must have killed her and figured I did all I could do. Then I noticed the capped queen cell was opened but still could not see the queen. Still with no brood or eggs I figured the hive was failing. Then 2 days ago I noticed some larva but still couldn’t see if there was a queen or if one of the worker bees (called an intercaste queen) had tried to take over the job which doesn’t work-they still would be doomed. Today when Les came by he found a real queen, lots of brood and eggs and thought the hive will be fine! What a relief! They wanted to do supersedure queen (natural requeening) instead of an outside queen and the reason I couldn’t see her is she has stripes like the worker bees instead of the normal dark bottom. She is big and beautiful and laying well. Best gift from the universe for my birthday today!