Hi All, my wife and I are first year beeks from Idaho. I have been reading here for months and thought it time to say hello. We ran into our first question this afternoon. Here is a basic rundown.....
We started two hives from packages in April.
Hive 1, is quite a bit slower than hive 2 but filled out about 9 frames in the first box and a second brood box was added about a week and a half ago. they have just started working that top box.
Hive 2 also had it's second box added about two weeks ago, and as of last week were working the top and had a few frames of brood going. These were just quick looks while filling the feeders.
Today, we were due for a through inspection. Started with hive one, it looks good although they only have about two frames in the upper box pulled, but we did see eggs, never seen the queen, but didn't look to hard either because of the eggs.
Hive two, the upper box has six frames of brood in the upper box, one is completely solid with only about 20 cells of honey in the corners, the girl is doing a fine job I thought. Then on the next frame, I found about 5 or 6 queen cups, no worries I thought, they make them, there were no eggs or larva in them so I moved on. Then on the next frame, I found two capped queen cells, about 1/3 to 1/2 the way up the frame, hmmmm.
So I looked for the queen, which I located in the upper box doing her thing, laying.
I then looked into the bottom box, which is basically empty. Lots of bees and they are keeping some stores down there but there isn't much for brood, maybe a few patches about 3 inches in dia.
So this is what I did. I rotated the boxes on hive two. I left the capped queen cells alone. I have read to often on here that smashing queen cells is a pretty good way to end up queenless, especially capped ones. Looks to me like the girls are looking to replace their queen, but for the life of me, I am not sure why, this hive's population is far ahead of the other one and she is laying outstanding patterns. We have had a big bunch of rain and rather cold days, not sure if they are blaming her for that or for not coming back to the other box. Any advice is very welcomed.