I dropped by the farm today to see how things are going. Not so hot really.
The last time I was here it seemed the nuc was ready to swarm so I split it. I took the queen and some capped brood and moved them to a new spot on the stand.
I left 2 frames of young brood and the queen cells with a frame of stores and an empty frame in the same location so they would collect some of the returning foragers.
The main colony looked pretty good.
Today, the old queen was gone, the brood was hatched. There are no signs of laying workers. In the 4 frame split, I was unable to find a queen or eggs but again no sign of a laying worker.
The main colony is a sad story. When I opened the lid, this is what I saw:
This is the bottom board:
An when I tried to smoke them off the frames:
All very sad. The fields around them were sprayed with 2,4-d and paraquat 3 weeks ago. I don’t think that was the problem as I closed the bees during the spraying. I’m packaging a sample to send to the Beltsville Bee lab to see if they might be able to tell what happened.