Location: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
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kerrie@fosterbees.com.au

An Interesting Hive

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An Interesting Hive

Good news, gang, we have a mystery on our hands.

I was tending one of my hives several days ago and became concerned when I could not find any eggs. I haven’t been doing this long, but I’m usually a pretty decent egg-spotter, and my worries were only exacerbated when, upon closer inspection, I could not find developed larvae, either. All I saw in the way of young were two patches of capped brood (in a tight laying pattern).

I was all but certain it was not laying worker syndrome, both because I didn’t see several eggs clustered in a single cell anywhere in the whole hive and because there were no frames of spottily-laid capped brood.

Fast-forward to today, four days later.

I went to check again before ordering a new queen or transferring a frame from another hive, and lo and behold there are still no eggs. No larvae. No spotty brood-laying pattern. There were a very few capped cells left waiting to hatch, but few enough to make me suspect that indeed, there is no next generation on the way.

Enter: more worry.

So now I’m here. I can’t figure out what’s going on, and I’m even more baffled by the fact this is probably my most docile hive. If there were no queen at all, I should expect them to be less happy to see me, no? Perhaps even openly hostile. Buuuut, I don’t tend in anything but a veil anymore, and I didn’t get stung, either. They were quiet, too, and I was listening as I approached the hive. There was no “roar” characteristic to a colony without a monarch.

Any and all ideas would be greatly appreciated. This feels like one of those places where I’m completely out of my depth. Many thanks in advance!

submitted by /u/Kozuszek
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