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No Brood No Eggs what should we do?

We recently did an inspection before preparing our hive for winter. We have 1 brood box and 1 super.
On inspection the super was full but the brood box had no brood or eggs and a lot of honey.
We suspect that that the hive is without a queen.
It looks like the number of bees has dropped off.
Is it too late to requeen?
Is there anything we can do to save the hive coming into winter?

Liz

Hello and welcome to the Flow forum!

Thank you for showing us your general world location, but Victoria is a huge state with lots of climates, so if you can give a local city, that would help a lot.

That is normal for cool temperate climates. The queen stops laying in late Autumn.

Not necessarily true in a cool climate. She may just have stopped laying. Are you members of a local bee club? If not, I would recommend it.

You may want to consider insulation or a hive top “quilt” (use the search tool at the upper right of the web site to see more posts on quilts). Otherwise a bit more info in your profile will help us to help you.

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@Dawn_SD is right, it is hard to advise as Victoria has such a big range of climates. So maybe the hive has just reduced in bee numbers with Winter coming on as is the nature of bees. In Summer you might have every frame in the brood box full of brood at various stages of development and in Winter the brood cluster might be less than one frame, just big enough to keep the colony going.
On a warm day with no wind do another inspection for larvae and if you see that then you still have a laying queen.
Buying a queen this time of year is not likely you will find one. If the hive is queen-less find your local bee group and someone there might be able to help you out with a frame of eggs and young larvae.
Cheers

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thanks @Dawn_SD and @Peter48 we are in Emerald so it can get cold.
We used a blanket last winter and will do the same.
we have also reduced the entrance.

Fingers crossed they will get through the cold months!

That part of Victoria can get really cold for a few months, My brother in the Southern Highlands in NSW has polystyrene sheets cut to size that he sticks down with duct tape to the outsides of his hives for insulation and is very happy with the results. Anything you can do to keep the colony warm is a positive move.
Cheers

yes @Peter48 we did the same last winter and planing on going out to do that now.

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What is the mood of the bees? Sometimes it’s a good indicator of whether they are Queen-less, as they tend to get very feisty if they are without a Queen. Was your Queen marked? Try looking for her on your next inspection.