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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone else noticed this effect in the Spring? Long pauses in queen laying for 3 to 4 weeks.

We are just starting to bloom here with Dandelions coming out, some trees are flowering and but mostly in bud stage. I have had two hives come out of winter, one stopped laying a couple of weeks after the other and both with 1st year Saskatraz queens. It looked like they stopped laying or became drone laying queens or disappeared. I have seven other hives simply booming with bees and ready for a Spring flow; nectar is coming in now. I verified that today, plus lots of pollen.

The first queen only had capped drones in mid-March and a few capped workers - too cold to find the queen. I waited - no chance of getting a new queen, did not add a brood - too early and too cold. The first warmish day came along and I went in again, about 2 weeks after the first intrusion, I found larva - closed up quick. Today, April 14, was a nice day and the hive is expanding quite well - added a super.

The second was laying in mid March and then stopped. By late March I checked again - nothing, lots of bees so I added a small amount capped brood from another hive to stop drone layers. Eight days ago I added a second frame withe eggs and capped brood. Today I found "eggs", larva a couple of days old, no emergency queen cells and a possible new, small cluster of capped worker cells. I was flabbergasted! Either I had had a hell of a "pause" or I moved a queen in from my booming hive eight days ago. I seem to be disabled when it comes to finding or seeing queens. I did check the frame 3X and let it contact other frames before moving it out completely and over to the deficient hive in a warm, 95-100F, pouch.

I will check the donor hive the next warm day. It is full of bees. I had only checked for swarm cells today and it had lots of capped brood but I did not look for larva or eggs. You know what "assume" does to you.
 

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February through March is the starving month for where I live, are your hives good on stores? Queens will stop laying if they get hungry before they starve to death. If you had some warm days, enough of a nectar flow may have started to pull them back up from a low food situation. Throw a candy board on next winter as an insurance policy against spring time starvation if you have that problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
"March is the starving month for where I live" - I weigh my hives, provided 80 lb plus stores on Nov.2, checked several times over the winter, all nine hives have 30-50 lb. of stores plus i have visually checked for capped honey frames in mid March. I also have experienced a drone laying queen followed by drone laying workers. On top of that my first pollen sighting was Feb. 2 whih is amazing for this location except we have some Witch Hazel blooms in Feb. Could it be a pollen-forager issue? Both queens are Saskatraz. Seven other hives are booming and I mean booming.

To see the pause once this year was new and a surprise. But followed by a second one I know was laying in early March, stops and restarts after a month??
 

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is this the first time you have had Saskatraz Queens? Are any of the booming hives Saskatraz?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have had some Saskatraz for the past two years. I have trouble getting them to take as replacement queens but they install well via nucs ( my experience). The one I installed in the Spring of 2018, in a hive that was missing a queen or stopped laying, took well and saved the hive. Summer of 2019 produced over 200lb - it was my best year. She is doing well this Spring too.

Installed in a foam nuc they seem to explode. They also seem to keep the inside humidity very high compared to other hives.
 
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