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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have three hives.

The first is doing well.

The second the queen is going gang busters. If there is an open cell, there is an egg.

The third, well I am scratching my head.

I'll go through it and there will be a couple of frames with just a little bit of broad here and there. Several frames with nothing at all. Then I will find one frame covered with eggs. A week later I will come back and it seems like the same though all over again. Also I've found one supersedure cell.

If they don't like the queen will the hive mass cannibalizing / destroy the eggs?

As for mites, I only had a single one visible in the wash I did about three weeks ago.
 

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Do the frames of eggs you noted turn into frames of capped brood or is the process aborting at some stage? Are there cells being uncapped? Is there stored pollen? Stored nectar and some capped honey? Mite count?

Give us a few clues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
There is both pollen and honey present in the hive.

As I stated in the original post, the mite count was 1 in the wash I did a few weeks ago.

I'll go though this hive and find multiple empty frames and think the queen has vanished, then find one full of new eggs and her present on it. Two weeks later, rinse and repeat. Very little capped brood and one frame full of eggs.

Let me get some better notes on the behavior over the next two weeks.
 

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That would have me scratching my head too. What I'd be tempted to do in this situation is pinch a frame of BIAS (Brood In All Stages) from the second hive you mentioned, mark it clearly, and give it to the problem hive. Make sure it has at least some eggs as well as newly hatched larvae.

That frame would then do 3 things: it would act as a 'test frame' from which the bees could rear a new Queen if needed; it would help keep up the numbers of bees, especially nurse bees; and with luck it might just help to identify whether the underlying problem lies with the colony or with it's queen.
LJ
 

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What happened to the supersedure cell? Maybe the bees have already noticed a problem with the queen.
 

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Sorry I missed your last sentence about the mite count.

Marking the location of the frame of eggs would be a good suggestion. If those eggs are not becoming brood there is a problem for certain. If there is adequate honey and pollen it should not be cannibalization. I have seen 15 to 20 pounds is minimal. Less than this the bees think they are starving.

European foul brood would have some of the symptoms of eggs not progressing to capped brood and also would show low mite counts, but there should be obvious signs. I, however, missed it till it was in a number of colonies. Can you eliminate this as a possibility?
 

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As I see it, there are two problems here, not just one. The first is that something strange is happening to eggs laid in the subject hive. The second problem is that we are almost midway through August, and so there is no longer the luxury of observing and collecting information over the next few weeks in order to make a diagnosis (which is otherwise a perfectly valid strategy) - which is why I suggested a somewhat more pro-active measure.
'best
LJ
 
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