Queens present- almost no brood and very little pollen

Hi everyone,

Hoping for some help! I have two hives at a client site that were thriving about 3 weeks ago when I last checked them (tons of brood, good laying pattern, lots of stored pollen, capped honey, etc). Today (9/14/22) I went to check them and there is almost no brood, very little pollen stored, barely any bees, but the original queens in both hives are still there. It looks like both queens are laying a little, but it’s very spotty. Could this be because of mites? I did a mite check on them a few weeks ago and mite population was low. Im wondering if I should try to replace the queens in both hives or maybe combine them both? I know it’s nearing the fall so laying rate and bee population may drop but this seems staggering and I’m afraid neither hive will survive the winter. Any tips would be greatly appreciated!


Hi Jenn, could be mites. Just as bee populations dip at this time the varroa numbers rise, and then colonies crash. It seems early for that but not completely out of the question. Could there have been a large pesticide spraying event nearby? Might be why you only see the small numbers of house bees, and the queens.

Best I can think is to do a mite check asap and an OA vape sequence if that’s the issue - if not then look for clues for other problems and combine and/or condense them into nucs. Feed heavy syrup until it’s too cool. Put them side by side and use plenty of insulation plus winter patties. And we’ll cross our fingers! :pleading_face: