It's been a while since the last post, and there have been two hive inspections since then.
During the inspection that took place on June 18th, we observed one healthy hive and one weak hive. As always, we started the inspection with Hive A, which had two brood boxes and one honey super. As we opened the hive, we noticed a significantly smaller number of bees in the hive. As we moved into the brood box, we could not find any eggs or larva- this means no queen. Because of the declining population, we removed the brood box that had not begun to be filled, and expected to add it again once we have a laying queen. We also moved a frame out of Hive B that was filled with larva and eggs into Hive A to help them create a new queen. We moved on to Hive B, which looked completely healthy with surplus honey in the honey super. We added a super to this hive to give the bees more room.
On 7/1/17, we did another inspection. We were happy to see fresh eggs and larva in Hive A, so we do think that we have a healthy queen. Because she started laying again, we put the brood box back on the hive to give the bees more room. The hive overall looked much healthier than the last visit. Hive B was so crowded (in a good way) that the bees were spilling over the side of the hive and all over the ground when it was opened. However, since the most recently added honey super wasn't full, we didn't add any more space. In two weeks we will probably add another super because the other two will be full.
Both hives look good for this time of year!
ABOVE: Frame of fully capped honey from Hive B
ABOVE: Notice that this has spaces in between the comb? This is called a foundationless frame, meaning that it doesn't have a thin sheet of beeswax in the frame. Instead, the bees build the comb themselves, with no guide.
ABOVE: Full frame of capped brood from Hive B.