I checked my hives on Thursday to see if the new queen had been released. She had not so I broke open her cage so she could start her new life. The bees responded beautifully to her but they wouldn't get off her queen cage! I had to leave it inside the hive on top.
The other hive had been declared dead by a very experienced beekeeper. We had not seen much brood when we checked on it in March. Another beekeeper said not to worry, that it was still early. My queen was fine and to check again later. Well, this is one of those ask ten beekeepers a question and you get a dozen answers moment.
I picked one frame to look at out of the 20 in the hive and amazingly, shockingly, it was the exact frame that held the Red Queen. Not only had she made it thru the winter but was starting to lay worker bees. Her girls are in the picture.
I feel like a real beekeeper again - I have bees.