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I have a hive that's been a bit of a problem this spring. It was doing well till the lid blew off of it in a storm in Feb. I think this killed the queen and much of the brood. On April 13 I added a frame of brood and eggs. No signs of a queen so on May 7 I introduced a marked queen. On May 21 I took a look and saw an UNMARKED queen (presumably the marked one was killed) but no brood. Today (June 1) I decided to combine the hive with a swarm I'd caught recently. I went thru the hive beforehand and found the unmarked queen, but still no brood, larvae, or eggs (at least as far as I could see). The queen looked fine.

I took the frame with her on it and another frame of bees and put it into a nuc before combining the two hives. Is it possible that she's simply infertile? It's been six weeks since I introduced the frame of eggs, so two weeks after she should be laying. Weather has been fine so I doubt that she was delayed in her mating flights.

Thanks?
 

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I have a hive that's been a bit of a problem this spring. It was doing well till the lid blew off of it in a storm in Feb. I think this killed the queen and much of the brood. On April 13 I added a frame of brood and eggs. No signs of a queen so on May 7 I introduced a marked queen. On May 21 I took a look and saw an UNMARKED queen (presumably the marked one was killed) but no brood. Today (June 1) I decided to combine the hive with a swarm I'd caught recently. I went thru the hive beforehand and found the unmarked queen, but still no brood, larvae, or eggs (at least as far as I could see). The queen looked fine.

I took the frame with her on it and another frame of bees and put it into a nuc before combining the two hives. Is it possible that she's simply infertile? It's been six weeks since I introduced the frame of eggs, so two weeks after she should be laying. Weather has been fine so I doubt that she was delayed in her mating flights.

Thanks?
Your hive sounds somewhat like mine. This was a new package with mated queen that I installed around April 24. A week later there was some, but not a lot of capped brood. Around May 20 there was NO worker capped brood but tons of capped Drone brood. I thought I had a laying worker hive, and no queen, so I had figured on a shake-out which I had planned on doing next week. 2 days ago I took a look just to confirm that a shake-out was the ticket. I saw a few remaining unhatched capped drone brood, no other open or capped brood, and SURPRISE a big fat queen.\

I do not know whether that was the original queen, or a superceded queen. I marked her just to make a record of what I had on May 30. I now plan on giving this group another week to see if they will have things sorted out. If nothing changes, and there is no apparent laying worker brood or eggs, I may add a frame from another hive that has young open brood. Otherwise I plan to shake these girls out with their old home removed.

Phil
 

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I have seen this with Russian stock. They will shut down completely during a dearth.

I spent a whole summer trying to get a bunch of Russian colonies "queenright" and killed a fair share of seemingly barren queens without a stitch of brood. I realized my mistake a couple years later when we had an early spring. I had one particular colony with a marked queen in early April full of bees & brood. 2 weeks later I returned with a mated queen to split the colony. No brood, lots of bees and the marked queen. I did not split that day. When I went back a couple weeks later with late spring flow underway she was full of brood. Now I wait for population decline or drone layer before folding them up.

I have not seen it so much myself but have heard reports that even supplemental feeding will not get them going. My experience has been that patience is required with Russians and buildup.

Something to consider if you possibly have Russian stock. It would seem plausible that these brood breaks contribute to their mite tolerance.
 
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