I was doing an inspection this evening with Viola, getting the hives ready for the oil seed rape (OSR). I opened one of the hives to see that the bees had got up through the crown board and started to draw out some brace comb.
I made a massive mistake in bee-keeping, I didn't fully check under the crown board and the roof for the queen. I carried on with my inspection quickly and didn't see the queen while looking through the frames. I removed the brace comb and then realised that there was some of it drawn out in drone cells and freshly eggs laid in them. I had tried to shake of the bees and mistakenly covered them in uncapped nectar & honey. I went back through the hive looking for the queen and found her safely on a frame of brood. I was sure that I had lost the queen somewhere in the grass.
Lesson learned - ALWAYS check anywhere in the hive that a queen can move around on, especially under the crown board.