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 35 years, I've come to realize that the bees can fix most of my mistakes.