Did a quick inspection of the three backyard hives yesterday. Three weeks ago I saw some supercedure / emergency queen cells in the Brown hive, so I was interested in seeing if there is a new queen. The bee inspector last week said he saw larvae.
I checked the honey super, and found some frames like this:
Of the 9 frames in the super, I would say 5 are ready to extract. The other 4 have some capped cells, but not enough finished for extraction. I think I'll pull the finished frames next weekend, as there are some in Sutton which are ready as well. Maybe next weekend will be the "sticky weekend" with some honey extraction!
Digging down into the brood chamber, I was pleased to see capped brood and larvae. Click on this picture to blow it up:
A couple of frames later I found the queen. She was a lighter colored unmarked queen, which means she was new (the previous queen was a darker queen, with a mark). So I snagged her, grabbed my trusty dusty white paint pen, and now she is sporting a white dot, which is all the fashion in Dudley!
The Pink hive continues to ignore the honey super - it is bone dry. I decided to take out the queen excluder to see what will happen. If the queen gets up there and starts laying, that's no problem - I can put in the excluder to make sure the frames are emptied before winter (I would prefer not to go into winter with bees in a honey super).
Again, I was lucky enough to see the queen:
Remember I marked her with an orange dot, because I wanted to be able to tell her apart from the white dotted queen I tried to introduce into the hive a month or so ago in case it survived.
This hive is still in one brood box, and I need to start the hive on a second brood box in order to get it strong enough to make it through the winter. I checked, and the bees had filled out a few more frames with some good brood, and put up some honey as well. I also saw the queen:
I opened up the entrance to the medium size on the entrance reduced. I'll probably put the 2nd brood chamber on next week when I pull the honey from the other hives.
So it was a good inspection, with a winning hand - three Queens!