Early spring I open mated about seven queens here from four colonies. Some of them superseded at the same time as well. I know there's at least one feral hive close by.
Some of the new queens are doing fantastic, but some the brood is very spotty, while some are just a little bit spotty and some not at all.
The worst one looks like this (not my photo):
The spotty cells have eggs, larvae, pollen, honey..
I'm a beginner so I don't know if this is really inbreeding or something else. Obviously the queen can't lay in a cell with pollen or honey.
How much spottiness is alright and when is it a cause for concern? And is this different in the early stages of colony establishment?
And if the solution is to requeen.. can I raise a new queen from my own yard? I have records of which queens came from which hives.
Would I be better off pinching the under-performing queens and combining with others, and hoping for better luck next year?
Money is tight and I'd like to avoid buying queens.
What are your
experiences with this kind of situation?