I have a hive that is perplexing me.
This colony was started May 1st from a package with a marked queen, and did well thoughout the spring and drew out most the frames in 2 deeps. In mid July I noticed there were no eggs and just a few calls of capped brood, and I couldn't find the queen. I put in a frame of very young larvae from another hive, and the colony made over 30 queen cells.
Not really wanting to expand my number of hives, I left all the queen cells in there. When I checked last week, I saw a mated queen and several frames with eggs and brood in them. All was well again. Or so I thought.
Today when I looked, I again found no eggs, and could not find the queen. There was brood, from capped cells to little larvae almost too small to see. And there were about 5 swarms cell on the bottom of 2 frames, one capped and the rest being finished with larvae in them.
Could anyone lend me a clue as to what might be going on with this colony? There has been a reduction of foragers in the past few days, and the population seems a little reduced. I was concerned enough about the lack of foragers to feed them some thin syrup earlier this week.
Could these symptoms be signs that it swarmed, or could they be signs of attrition when no eggs wer laid for about a month, and foragers reverting to nurse bees? Would a colony swarm so soon after raising a queen? Was it a mistake to leave all those queen cells in there? The queen they raised was a little small, but I've seen smaller queens perform well. Other than these queen replacements, the colony seems to be functioning well.
Any suggestions would be welcome.