After a frantic May with endless worries about losing the queens in swarms, queen cells hatching, more swarms and endless waiting for signs of laying......June has be quite peaceful.
We ended up with one extra hive from artificial swarming, taking our meager total to three. Two of the three hives had a long period without a queen so it has taken all month for the masses of new brood to hatch and get to the stage of maturity where they can fly and begin produce honey. All that time the baby bees have been eating the winter stores and cleaning up the empty frames we extracted honey from.
The brood production in each hive looks very healthy; in one hive we have 10 frames of brood and so far, no queen cells but they are storing pollen in with the honey so we may need to give them more space.
In the other two, the have space but are both producing queen cells each week. In one, I think they are behind schedule for drawing up wax to provide space to lay - althought they have 5 frames of foundations sitting there - so we are giving them sugar syrup to help with wax production. The other is just a really large colony which might be trying to split. It is probably a bit late in the season for an artificial swarm but we can probably be lead by their judgment; so far this year they have been smarter than us!