Hi, I tried to do some checkboarding on 5 hives this year. Turns out I did a "partial" checkboard as I had little drawn comb in the mix.
Anway, from my inspections it seems that at least 4 out of 5 swarmed.
Now, Hives 1 & 5 have what appear to be steril queens. I have DRONE CITY in these 2 hives. Nothing but drone cells being built, no normal brood.
I originaly thought hive 1 appeared to maybe be queenless so I grabbed a frame w new eggs on it from another hive and put it in. One week later and no queen cells being made or even started, and futher inspection shows lots of drone only brood.
So I try to find the queens in both of these hives to squash, can't find them. (I don't know who has patience for this queen searcdhing, I sure don't.)
Hive 2 has no drone or new regular comb, just the tail end of some normal capped, so must be queenless now as well, zero new eggs or larva.
Hives 3&4 do have some eggs but very little. (is it just the time of year?)
So basically I have 3 hive that are not queen right, and the other 2 look like they can barely afford to lose anymore egg shuffles as they have little to begin with.
I'm assuming all this drone brood is not from laying workers, but ya know, could I be wrong?
So, how do I isolate these steril queens if that in fact is my problem?
(I do NOT want to buy new queens)
Next, how the heck can I have such a queen disaster in only 5 hives? Could the Cb I used somehow messed them up? Did this earily spring mess them up?