The brood pattern in my flow hive is extremely small and patchy.
I have a single flow hive, since November 2018.
The hive established quickly and produced maybe 30 kgs of honey in the first Summer season.
Capped brood has been declining for six months, I belatedly realise now.
As a new beekeeper, I thought that this may have been seasonal over Winter, and waited for the brood numbers to increase in Spring, but this has not eventuated.
I have inspected for possible AFB, however the patchy brood pattern is the only symptom I can observe.
Caps are not chewed, sunken or greasy. No scale, no ropiness with a matchstick test (only whole healthy pupae under the caps).
I have seen the Queen recently, and there are eggs, small and larger larvae.
No queen cups or supercedure cells at all.
Forager numbers have also declined (no doubt due to poor number of brood cells hatching).
Should I buy a new queen?
Is it an option to simply kill the existing queen and let the hive raise their own?