Good, Bad News
It was 72 degrees and has been nice for at least a week, so after coming back from a trip out east I decided I needed to get in and see what was going on as well as add mite strips.
Bad news first. Hive #1 seemingly has no queen. In the top of 3 boxes, I found scattered drone cells along the bottom of several frames. No queen in sight. There were a few in the box below as well. There were still several frames of honey and bees were bringing in lots of pollen and even filling some cells with nectar. The number of bees was adequate. They still had not touched the pollen patties. I removed a couple old frames, rotated the boxes, put on the medication strips and closed it up.
Hive #2 was very healthy with most of the pollen patty gone, good brood patterns and a lot of capped and uncapped larva. I found the queen pretty easily in the middle box. I set that frame aside in a safe location and looked to find some good frames to start a nuc with. My plan is to go ahead and let them raise a queen and keep a nuc going since I really seem to have trouble keeping queens. The missing queen in #1 was the one we bought last summer, a Minnesota Hygenic. The one we reared in #2 is still going strong.
When I picked up the frame with the queen on it again, she scampered around the corner of the frame. I turned it over and looked but could not find her. I looked for quite awhile. I was holding the frame over a hive body, so if she dropped off I hope she dropped into that box. I never did see her again. My plan is to open that hive up again later next week. If anything has happened to her, there won't be any larva in the hive. If things are ok, I'll take hive #1 and dump all the bees out away from the hive, to get rid of laying workers, put in some frames with eggs/larva and have them raise their own queen. If that fails, hopefully I'll have a queen from the nuc to use.