OK - sorry, first time on the forum. Not really sure of protocol. I'm in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina. and darned happy to be here. My bees are beautiful, Italian girls.
I'm a fairly new beekeeper - 3 springs, but have been attending bee school each January.
I have just two hives currently. I lost one this winter, a Kona queen that never seemed able to establish herself properly, but laid some of the prettiest, most even brood I've ever seen.
My questionable lady - she's a swarm queen from summer of 2004, and was fairly robust last summer, but the colony barely made it through the winter. Currenty, just two softball sized patches of brood. Other hive is going gangbusters, with 6 solid frames of brood (plus the one I co-opted for the weak hive) and a shallow super full of uncapped honey already gathered.
My thought is to use the brood from my prolific queen to keep the weak hive stable, since there is queen right, until I can procure a replacement queen - which probably won't be available in our area until May.
But my other curiosity is... would a worker begin laying with a queen in place? Could my queen be laying multiple eggs? And, if so, what would be the reason?
Thoughts? Anything else that might help here?