Last year was my first attempt at making queens on a scale larger than simple splits. I used the nicot method per Grant's instructions and came out with 23 beautiful queens from large cells. When the cells were capped i put hair roller cages over them and let them hatch in the original hive where they were raised. Once they hatched I transfered them to nucs with mostly a fram of brood, frame of honey and 3 frames foundation. All 23 were accepted by their new nucs but then things turned bad. After about two weeks i noticed only about 5 or so of the queens were in their nucs. I thought, ok, maybe the other are still out mating. As time went by, i noticed those other queens never came back and i also lost a couple of the five. So i then had 3 queens that started laying but never really took off. All 3 nucs eventually just died off before winter even got here. I did not feed and i know i should have but there was honey in all the nucs. Several of my other colonies also met their demise from what i can only conclude is CCD. One week they were there and literally 7 day from getting back from vacation there wasn't a bee in the hives. Is there something i could be missing? I've heard that dragonflies eat bees and we have tons of them around my place but could they really do that much damage? I really hate having a 0 percent success rate and i'm bound and dertermined to do it right this year. Things i have learned/observed/questions:
Feed Feed Feed new nucs
Could the dragonflies affect virgins on flights? if so is there a good control for dfs?
Everyone knows we had a major drought, was it just a bad year for queens/hives?
something im missing?