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First year, first hive. Got them in a 5-frame nuc in July. Seller said he had recently re-queened it at that time. There were some queen cells at first but they were never filled and are gone now. I've never been able to find the queen. I think I'm correctly identifying eggs and they look to be one egg per cell and centered. I have a top feeder on.
The issue is that the bee population seems to be shrinking each time I check on them (about every 2 weeks). They have barely pulled comb on any of the 5 frames that were not originally in the nuc. The photos are of the comb that seems to be brood or mixed. I skipped taking photos of frame sides that were obviously just honey and this set is missing one photo that came out blurry. I expected to see larva before capping and not just eggs, but I haven't seen any.
I just checked for mites today and found 2 using the sugar roll method. It was my first try at that and so I may have messed it up, but I also added a sticky bottom today as well to see what drops over the next few days. I've been hesitant to try the alcohol wash method due to the seemingly low population of bees. I have Apivar but did not put it in today because I only found the 2 mites.
There are hive beetles around. I've killed a few and added two of the plastic traps with chambers of mineral oil surrounding a chamber of apple cider vinegar. The traps caught 3 beetles over the past couple of weeks.
Do you folks see anything concerning here? Thanks!