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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Odd situation in one of my hives.

Spotty brood pattern. Classic shotgun brood pattern. No diseased looking uncapped worker larva. One of the drone larva was discolored slightly, looked like EFB.

Varroa aren't an issue.

Eggs were scattered around like a laying worker colony, and there was a patch of solid brood from a queen.

I found capped worker brood that appeared to have starved in the cell, the dead worker brood had its tongue out. It was fully developed.

Any suggestions on how to quickly find a queen in a large colony? I spent too long trying to find her, with no luck.

No pictures, because it was basically just a shotgun brood pattern with healthy uncapped larva.
 

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"Varroa aren't an issue," why are they not an issue?

"Patch of solid brood from a queen," if capped was it worker cappings? Were the scattered eggs one to a cell or several to each cell? If they are one to a cell it can be a failing queen, or the workers can be eating the eggs after they are laid.

"Capped worker brood that appeared to have starved," what is the nectar flow situation in your area and what is the colony stored food supply look like? Pupa that die when exiting the cell is usually a sign of a severe virus problem, but it can also be a sign of a colony in a starvation condition.

How to find a queen is simplified by using excluders to divide the colony in boxes and checking in 4 days for the box with eggs. If you have only one excluder, shake the bees from the other boxes into the bottom box and place the excluder on top of it. The queen must then be in the bottom box.

"Shotgun pattern with healthy uncapped larvae," can be queen failure, can be very hygienic bees removing larva before they exhibit disease, it can also be bees eating eggs, or larva they can't properly feed, or umpteen other things I can't think of at the moment.

Back to varroa, varroa mites are always an issue. The damage they do last far longer than their high numbers in a colony. If they have reached a high enough population the viruses they transmit can replicate in the brood and adults without the mite to vector them. Even if you have treated for mites, if it was done too late, the damage is done and the colony may not be able to survive.
 

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Is there nectar and at least 20#'s of honey in the colony? Are they starving? Pollen? Large population? If you have workers that died with there tongue sticking out where are the nurse bees that feed them? Did you consider there is no queen?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I give up on this colony. No luck finding a queen with an excluder, etc etc etc etc.

..frustrated. Only option is to either shake them into the grass and let them find a new home, or hope they make a new queen or swarm cells etc.

I guess I can stick a frame of eggs in there, but I'm frustrated right now.

Maybe they had EFB?

No other colonies show signs of EFB, and this one had a couple of odd looking drone larva, but nothing obviously EFB.

No signs of PMS.

Horrible egg pattern, total inability to find the queen.

Plenty of food, and pollen.
 

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I give up on this colony. No luck finding a queen with an excluder, etc etc etc etc.

..frustrated. Only option is to either shake them into the grass and let them find a new home, or hope they make a new queen or swarm cells etc.

I guess I can stick a frame of eggs in there, but I'm frustrated right now.

Maybe they had EFB?

No other colonies show signs of EFB, and this one had a couple of odd looking drone larva, but nothing obviously EFB.

No signs of PMS.

Horrible egg pattern, total inability to find the queen.

Plenty of food, and pollen.
maybe you should try to find someone to lead you on this journey
 

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I give up on this colony. No luck finding a queen with an excluder, etc etc etc etc.

..frustrated. Only option is to either shake them into the grass and let them find a new home, or hope they make a new queen or swarm cells etc.

I guess I can stick a frame of eggs in there, but I'm frustrated right now.

Maybe they had EFB?

No other colonies show signs of EFB, and this one had a couple of odd looking drone larva, but nothing obviously EFB.

No signs of PMS.

Horrible egg pattern, total inability to find the queen.

Plenty of food, and pollen.
These symptoms are very familiar to me. I usually see this awhile after mid summer formic treatment. Haven't seen it this year, but haven't done the formic either. One reason is that it's currently unavailable locally, and cant bring it in.

It's a failing or failed queen, brought on IMO by viruses and or the formic treatment. Either way, the hive is a goner. When I see this, I reduce the hive by removing excess combs, and then perhaps do a paper unite with a healthy nuc. The nuc always goes on top, and frames can be rearranged after a week or so.

In this situation in my environment, one has to act quickly before the hive is destroyed by the small hive beetle. Good luck.
 
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