Hi haven't posted for a while so here is the
Hive was a strong swarm that built comb quickly and was requeened last year
This Spring they started building strongly and were given a second brood box.
They swarmed - swarm was hived and taken away.
Hive inspected (weather had been foul and v cold) 20 or so Queen cells found on almost every frame.
2 nucs made up with 2 frames of brood with 3 Queen cells left between each nuc.
Hive left to hatch out new Queen and 12 or so Queen cells removed - most had NOTHING in them
Two weeks or so later hive checked - a smell of baby sick??
Took all frames out - nothing - no larvae, no eggs, nothing smelling except the combs with nectar - these combs are on new foundation last year.
No dead bees, no dead mice or anything that might chuck up, no Queen, bees are calm and quiet except for a few buzzing around my head.
Next - checked the nucs made from this hive ten feet away - no smell - no eggs - no larvae - no Queen - bees calm and busy with pollen and nectar.
There is another nuc we housed from a swarm from this hive last week and we're waiting for time to pass to see if their Queen produces eggs or if this is another failure.
Sorry long story but,
Why so many sealed Queen cells empty?
Why have the Queen cells on the frames given to the nucs not produced any Queens?
Why the smell in the hive but not the nucs?
Why the smell only from the combs containing nectar?
The original swarm will be inspected in a few days - what are the odds that original Queen from last year isn't there or is duff???