It's been a month since my last post, which in June is an age in beekeeping terms... Things, quite predictably, have moved on...
Hive 1: Well, this hive is still Queenless, I'm not sure why but I had to drop a donor frame of eggs in it from Hive 2. The good news is that there are now 4 or 5 capped queen cells in the hive and I hope in a couple of weeks there'll be a new laying queen.
Hive 2: This is still quite strong. Supers remain full or filling - I must pull one soon. I've donated eggs to other hives from this colony and they seem to be doing ok. Need to consolidate the deeps.
Hive 4, Artificial Swarm: This nearly collapsed. I had a case of sacbrood and I lost the queen. However, I have successfully donated a frame of eggs from Hive 2 and the colony now looks good with a nice strong brood pattern. I have removed a deep and some old frames of comb.
Hopefully the broodless periods in Hives 1 and 4 mean it's hit any varroa mites hard and their numbers are down! Every cloud has a silver lining I guess!
Hive 3: This is the swarm hive. The queen excluder was pulled a couple of weeks ago and there is brood throughout the supers and deep. It's a healthy mess, and a feisty one! I did not spend long in it as they were a bit too pissy today!
So I'll wait a couple of weeks before going back into Hive 1.
Hive 2 needs to be consolidated into 1 deep and to have a super pulled. I need a nice warm day for this; the bees were a bit tetchy today.
Hive 4 is ok and I'll leave it alone.
Hive 3 needs sorting out. I think I'll need to isolate the queen in a single deep and let the supers clear.