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I ask the question in the title because one of my hives was almost w/o eggs on Saturday when about 2 weeks previous there was all sorts of fresh brood in there. I didn't do an exhausting search to find the queen, but it seems odd that she would go missing/die/etc in such a short time, so that's why I'm wondering if she maybe stopped or drastically slowed down her laying.

Thoughts?

TIA
 

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To me it seems like a common sense thing to do. There is no point in expanding the population or even keeping the numbers up in the hive if there is nothing to forage on.
 

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I'm seeing the same thing. Hives are tapering back on brood.

The queen will also shut down completely if the stores in the hive get below 10 pounds or so. If you ever see one hive without brood when all others have brood, a shortage of stores is a potential reason. I've found if you feed them they bounce right back.
 

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I've noticed that my Russian hives do this all the time. It's one of their ways of fending off the varroa mites. They can lay up the entire brood box in a matter of just a few days if needed, but they take brood breaks on their own all the time. If the pollen & nectar isn't coming in to suit them, they shut down till it is needed. Some say that is also one of the reasons that the russians keep the queen cell going in the hive all the time. Just about the time the queen cell is ready to emerge the queen goes and tears it down and starts laying again. I've got 20+ colonies of russians and 90 % of them do this. I've had italians do similar but never completely shut down like the russians do.
 
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