Just last week I discovered another queenless hive. The bees had been busy filling the two honey supers and I neglected my duty to do a periodic hive inspection. Too slowly I recognized they had stopped filling the supers. A little investigation quickly revealed the hive to be queenless. If I had conducted the periodic inspections as I had originally planned in the spring I would have noted the queenless condition up to a month ago.
So do to my neglect I have lost the possibility of getting a honey crop from this hive. Hopefully by re-queening it now the hive will be able to strengthen itself enough to be ready for winter.
So after mentally kicking myself I have resolved that on July 1st I will inspect all of my hives. I will use this opportunity to verify that there is eggs and larvae in each hives. I will also at this time do a midsummer treatment for mites. Yes, it is a lot of work destacking and restacking a hive but the effort is worth it.
Current recommendations are to do a midsummer mite knockdown just before the bees begin raising the winter bees. This will reduce the mites and associated mite born viruses thus resulting in healthier winter bees. A mite treatment is also recommended after the honey harvest in August/September.
If you are planning on re-queening prior to winter now is a good time to locate a queen supplier and getting your queens on order.