I have a colony lost their queen over the winter. We placed a couple of frames with eggs, larva and capped brood in the hive and they built queen cells. When we checked 2 weeks ago the queen cells had been removed from the frames so we assumed the new queen had hatched. We inspected yesterday, but found no eggs and didn’t see the queen.
My question is should we try adding frames of eggs again or should I buy a queen? There are still quite a few bees in the colony. I’m not seeing any sign of laying workers yet
We'd recommend adding another round of frames with eggs.
Even if you were to buy a queen, you want to make sure they're queenless (otherwise they could reject the purchased queen or the queens could fight each other and one get killed and the other damaged).
If they pull queen cells out of the new frames, they should be queenless and at that point, you can decide to let them re-queen themselves or get a new queen.
We believe that during your first round of eggs, they were in the middle of trying to produce a new queen. She may have killed all others, but if she fails to mate or got killed during one of her mating flights, they could have gone queenless by now.
With the second round of eggs, you will be able to confirm and make an informed decision.