I managed to check the hives today, and, found that four of them are going great guns. Lots of bees, and, quite a bit of cheerful humming going on. I did not pop the lids, though…as I was losing the light.
However…alas, one of the hives was completely empty. The only bugs in there were a bunch of wax moth larvae, and two dead bees. No capped cells, no nothing. This was, to put it mildly, quite a surprise.
This particular hive was one that had died over the winter, though, so, I had popped a package into it a couple of months ago. It also ran into problems, in that after a week, I checked it and discovered that the queen had not made it. She was still in the queen cage, dead as a doornail. I probably bounced the box too hard or something.
However, I had re-queened a few days later, and, thought there were plenty of bees still in the hive. I saw a lot of activity, too, so had hopes things were going to pick up. When I checked today, the queen cage had been opened up, and apparently she had been released ok.
There was a lot of pulled comb, although some of it was pretty old and dark, none of it seemed to have any problems. So, I am going to order some new foundation, and replace the old, ratty looking stuff, and, keep the box in reserve for later on. Perhaps in late summer, I will split one of the other hives, especially if they keep getting stronger….