- production of many queen cells
- attempting to artificial swarm but messing up the timings
- swarming and loss of both original queens
- painful waiting for the hives to hatch queen cells and requeen
- queen cells hatching but after two weeks still no signs of laying in 3 out of four hives.
So, a month on from the first sight of queen cells, we finally have one new and very productive queen. On the other hives it looks fairly desperate; all the brood has hatched, the bee numbers are beginning to drop and the drones are pillaging the honey stores.
In an attempt to salvage something we have merged two of the others back together and added a frame of eggs to see if there is a maiden queen or if they start to develop queen cells. I am not sure they have time to grow a new queen from scratch we so we will also consider buying one once we see what they do.
This is definitely not as easy as it sounds in the books!