Re: Virgin Queens?
I've often wondered if bees can "forecast" the upcoming season. Some years they swarm like crazy, & others - not. All conditions (on my end) pretty much the same, I've seen 8 hives in the back yard throw any where from none to 30 swarms. 'Also speculated that the "vacuum" in nature - devastation of feral colonies - may have provided more opportunity as colonies/swarms perceive an advantage (?) - my highest swarm year was right after the peak of CCD (in the news).
After 40 years of beekeeping, I've come to realize that the bees can fix most of my mistakes.