A little history:
I started beekeeping in the 80's with about a dozen hives. Had a great time, we had excellent yields in those days. Mostly the bees took care of themselves, I raised a few queens, but mostly to replace the occasional deadout. Overall the bees were pretty easy to care for.
In spring of '99 the mites hit Colorado hard. They took out most everyone I knew. One fellow club member lost 195 of 200 hives.
With that and some life changes I got out of the beekeeping game for around 10 years.
Now, the last 7 years or so I have been back at it. It's much different now, more difficult.
Anyway, I have noticed far more queen problems lately. Several times over the last few years robust, healthy, productive hives have gone queenless. My neighbor, who I help with her 2 hives has had this happen several times in 3 years.
Last year one of my backyard hives' queen stopped laying. This year at our out yard 2 hives just went queenless for no apparent reason.
And a co-worker whose son has a couple hives said out of the blue last month, "my son has so many problems with queens."
My guess is something to do with mites
Isn't it always?
Anyway, what do you more experienced beekeepers think?
Are you seeing similar problems?
These are young queens, some first summer, others in their second.
They have nice brood patterns, productive bees.
I use oav to control mites.
Is it just me?