What We Expected
After a little more than a week away, we expect the queens to be laying. With the first 5-7 days of laying activity, we hoped to see a good mix of eggs, larvae, and the first capped worker brood.
What We Saw
Wood Hive had lots of frames full up with stored sugar water and only a couple small pockets of laid eggs. Those eggs, however, were laid in multiple in the cells. They were in the center, however, so it’s hard to definitely point to laying workers. That said, we did not see a queen. They were very busily buzzing, which in comparison to the others became noteworthy and a sign of not being queenright.
Green Hive and Witch Hive were a dream to see. The bees were very calm, almost silent when we opened the frames. We pulled out the middle frame and saw a beautiful spread of fresh eggs, healthy larvae, and the beginnings of capped worker brood.
We came to the conclusion several days later that most likely the Queen of the Wood Hive was not mated when we got her (like she was supposed to be). Therefore she did her mating flights as soon as we let her out and a week later started laying hastily in to the cells. Being able to reach down to the very bottom but also laying several per cell.
What We Did
Given Green Hive and Witch Hive were spectacular and required no action on our part. However, given the likely (but not completely proven) queenless state, we gave a frame of open brood from the Green Hive to the Wood Hive in the hopes they’ll a) make a new queen if necessary or b) give a little more of a boost in case the queen has had a slower start.
What We’ll Do
We’ll leave them alone for about a week.
We the Green Hive and the Witch Hive just need to continue onward and in about 3-4 weeks, we’ll give them each another brood box.
For the Wood Hive, we’ll see if they’ve made queen cells for a replacement queen, and if so, give them another frame of open brood from the Witch Hive. If there’s regular workers and the presence of a queen, we’ll leave it as is.