Checked Andoria this past weekend. This was the hive that has had no brood at all for weeks, and the one to which I introduced a new queen last week. I was super excited to see capped brood and larvae this time! So I knew there’s a queen in there laying somewhere. I didn’t even go down to the bottom box to remove the queen cage as I should have; I was just so excited that they have a laying queen again, I wanted to disturb them as little as possible.
As I was putting the hive back together, I happened to see Her Majesty herself–but not the marked queen I bought! (The one I bought had a dot of paint on her, so I could identify her and know how old she is–the paint color corresponds to the queen’s birth year.) This is an unmarked–and HUGE–queen. Which means they DID raise their own queen, but I somehow missed all the signs. Though I didn’t check, they almost certainly killed the queen I put in there, since they already had their own. $30 wasted? Given that I really thought they were queenless and were about to die out, I say it was $30 well spent for peace of mind.