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Full inspection on 18 hives yesterday. Last inspection on 4-15, all were booming with brood, pollen, nectar. After inspection yesterday, some hives completely normal, good brood, honey, nectar pollen, no sign of anything wrong. Others completely broodless, healthy looking bees, tons of food. Saw some of the queens in brood-less hives, they looked/acted normal. No shakes, no bees with deformities, no paralysis. Lots of activity in and out of the broodless hives. I am completely flummoxed!! This boom to bust coincides with the buckeye bloom, of which we have a amply supply. The part I don't understand is the where a portion of the hives are absolutely normal, and the other portion are seemingly brood-less.
Looking for explanations and advice here. After inspection yesterday I wanted to throw up!

Thanks in advance,

Laurie
 

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Laurie - The broodless colonies, where they backfilling the brood nest with honey? If so they may be getting ready for a swarm. It is said that about two weeks prior to a swarm the bees put the queen on a diet and she doesn't lay much at all. Did you find any swarm cells or otherwise queen cells during the inspections?

Another thought is, The bees .. What breed are they? Russian and russian hybrids will shut down brood rearing if they find that they are not able to get nectar/pollen in ample supply.. Just a thought..
 

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So what did you see in the frames where you expected to see brood? Empty cells, honey, pollen, or ... ?
 

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Laurie - The broodless colonies, where they backfilling the brood nest with honey? If so they may be getting ready for a swarm. It is said that about two weeks prior to a swarm the bees put the queen on a diet and she doesn't lay much at all. Did you find any swarm cells or otherwise queen cells during the inspections?

Another thought is, The bees .. What breed are they? Russian and russian hybrids will shut down brood rearing if they find that they are not able to get nectar/pollen in ample supply.. Just a thought..
Mostly Italians, I found some backfilling, a few empty queen cups. We actually had a swarm a couple of days ago which we captured. The hives have plenty of room. I also found just empty comb where brood should be. Kind of a mixed bag in these hives. No sign of sick bees at all. I'm leaning towards they might be shutting down as we are entering a dearth and or getting ready to swarm as we actually had one. I started feeding syrup, although the hive seem to have tons of food. They have not been drawing out the top box very fast at all, ..... I might have underestimated their food needs. First year, and right now I'm feeling really stupid.

Thanks for the replies
 
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