My first year beekeeping and it has been a blast learning and trying to understand how and why things work. I couldnt imagine how people got started before awesome online help.
I need some help figuring out what happened to my bees in a queenless nuc w queen cells.
About 10 days ago, one of my new hives decided to make a couple of capped queen cells.
Here's that discussion --
Anyways, I took the frame with the 2 queencells complete with bees, plus another frame of honey/pollen/bees and an empty frame and put it in a nuc, gave it a feeder and went on vacation. I was expecting to come back from vacation in 2 weeks and find a laying queen.
My brother was monitoring things and said he looked into the nuc today and said about 3/4 of the bees were gone, all of the frames were packed with sugar water with no room for brood, no queen was found, there was no more capped brood, and at least one of the queen cells had small holes in the side. He gave up and assumed everything failed and just put everything back in the main hive. There was no sign of robbing.
I'm pretty sure there wasn't enough time for the queen to mate and return.
What could cause the bee population in the nuc to fall so fast within a couple of days? Is it possible that a queen hatched, killed the other and then swarmed because there was no more room for brood?
Could the bees in the nuc decided the queens were un-viable and moved back to the original hive sitting next door leaving the hatched nurse bees?
what if he gave up too soon and there was a virgin queen on that frame and he just put everything back in the host hive? Would the host bees kill the virgin queen? Still doesnt explain where 3/4 of the bees went. hmm.
Looking for thoughts and theories