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I just went through a hive to pull the queen as a walk away split to help create a brood break in the main hive. At the start of summer, about 2 months ago we noticed the hive's population dropped. No problems were found. Two weeks ago, the population was rebounding. I wondered if they requeened, but we found the original, two year old queen and moved her with a brood box. The frames are covered with eggs and young larvae as well as capped brood. She appears to be the laying master she has been. What are the chances that she took a semi-brood break, but started laying again when crepe myrtles bloomed? This is an untreated hive. I didn't chemically treat her last year or do a brood break, but I did take frames, usually 2-3 at a time, for splits. She survived the mild winter and was gang busters this past spring. I'm wondering if a forced brood break is even needed. If I end up needing to recombine her due to the main hive not requeening, how effective was the split for mite control? I run all mediums, so I moved her in a full box and plan to put another box with five frames of comb and a feeder since very little nectar is coming in.
 

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I'm wondering if a forced brood break is even needed.
Jade:

I am a neophyte with only one winter of TF experience under my belt, so please discount my feedback accordingly.

Last season I had four (4) colonies: two (2) packages and two (2) caught swarms. I noted that the caught swarms both slowed brooding down significantly during our dearth while the packages did not. So while I would hesitate to suggest you change the management approach that seems to be working for you, do you have enough genetic resources in your yard to experiment with a parametric experiment of forced brood breaks versus no forced breaks to see how your mite counts (and subsequent survival) compare?

Again, I am really in no position to be giving advice just wanted to offer what little perspective I have if it is of any help to you.

Russ
 
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