Opened the hive and looked hard for the queen. Never saw her. The deep brood box has at least 4 frames of capped brood and a couple of frames of open eggs/larvae. She is still definitely at work in that box. The medium boxes above and below the deep had no brood in them. The bees are starting to store nectar in them, the bottom medium more than the center medium.
Lots of brood, lots of bees, lots of nectar/honey. Also saw some stored pollen.
Still trying to get the queen to move into a medium box so that I can eventually remove the deep… so that all of the bees will be on medium frames in medium boxes… so that I can eventually move all those frames into 8-frame medium boxes… so that I can eventually have nothing but 8-frame medium boxes on all future hives.
This photo is the configuration I ended up with.
Visited the hive of Anna Ward at her parents’ home and garden at 145 Chipeta Avenue in Poncha Springs. It was noon, and sunny, and 80 degrees.
Anna got the bees and the one deep hive box, from Grandpa’s Bees in Alamosa, about mid June. Hive box was old, in poor shape, and was not wide enough to allow any room to move frames in order to be able to get a grip on one and pull it out.
Anna said that she had seen the queen when she put the bees in the hive box.
Very little activity at the hive, maybe one bee entering each minute.
I removed the top and the bees immediately began stinging me. I was stung so many times on the right arm I don’t even know how many times I was stung. (I was wearing a veil, but only had on a short sleeve shirt and gloves. Was not using the smoker.) The bees even tried to crawl inside my gloves. A few bees chased me for about two blocks. By the next morning, my arm had swelled to about 150% its normal size, from my elbow to my knuckles. The swelling lasted four days.
Back at the car, I put on a jacket and lit my smoker.
Returning to the hive, I smoked it a little and then inspected the frames. Without even pulling them, it was obvious that six of the ten had no drawn-out comb on them.
I pulled the four center frames and, other than a few capped drone cells, there was nothing happening.
The hive had very few bees in it and was obviously queenless. Unhappy bees.
Checked the hive. All three boxes. Didn’t see the queen. All brood activity is still in the original, bottom, deep box. Only about two frames of brood this time.
They’re putting nectar and honey in the second box (below the queen excluder where I was hoping the queen would move up so that I can eventually get rid of that deep box). And the top box, above the excluder is probably 60% full of nectar and honey. It was quite heavy.
I added another super on top of it with one foundationless frame that was about 2/3 drawn-out and nine 100% beeswax frames.
Shot a video which I hope to add to this post.