Hive 5 - We believed it had swarmed as there was a swarm cell and what looked like a supercedure cell last week when we removed the remainder.
Today the feeder was empty and the colony visibly stronger. There was brood in the lower box but no larvae or eggs, confirming the loss of the former queen. The bees were starting to work the upper box. The supercedure cell was empty but the other queen cell remained sealed. No new or virgin queen seen. We must speculate that either;(a) We did not see a queen, and/or it is a virgin queen on a mating flight; (b) the queen cell we saw 7 days ago is about to emerge. The colony seem calm and industrious. We await the next instalment.
Hive 8 - Queen found in lower brood box and gently collected for a transfer upstairs. A much stronger colony with good brood pattern and no longer feeding on the syrup which was almost empty. The Queen excluder and eke placed on lower brood box and then queen placed in upper brood box. The normal entrance sealed with foam, and the upper entrance was quickly adopted by the bees.
Hive 9 - Already in the Bailey process, but without the eke. The queen seen in upper brood box, wand there good brood in all stages, a good strong colony. The queen is already starting to lose her yellow marker, so new paint new week, as she must be properly dressed.
Hive 10 - A very strong colony. Good brood in all stages and queen found in upper box. We noted that the bees were putting brace comb at the bottom of frames in the upper box to the queen excluder. The eke creates more bee space of course. However we cannot be sure that this the primary cause as we were unable to move the entrance upwards last time. We have closed that entrance now, and bees are entering above the lower box.
We looked at some the brood comb hanging off the bottom of the smaller frames, and opened a few. No sign of varroa!
Selection of photos below: