Hi folks. Could use some help on what to do with this hive. The following are notes from my hive diary
First off, it's spring coming into summer here in New Zealand - so bear in mind my seasons are the opposite to northern hemisphere.
4 October caught a reasonable sized swarm and hived with 2 frames drawn comb and 8 foundation. (NB - new to beekeeping, and only one other hive at this time, so drawn comb scarce). Queen not sighted, but swarm settled well. Fed with dry sugar.
13 October. Inspected. Half of foundation frames partly drawn. Nectar and pollen storage started. No brood or eggs. Queen not sighted, but plenty of activity and bees.
26 October. Added feeder with second box of frames. Does not appear any stronger. A bit more comb drawn, but not a lot. Quick inspection, but no obvious brood.
4 November. Still no change. Detailed inspection. No brood or eggs. Only one box partly drawn. Some pollen and honey storage. Given 1 frame of brood and eggs from Hive 1.
13 November. 1 box now drawn and six frames full of pollen and honey. At least six queen cells sighted, at least 4 fulland capped. Hive distinctly stronger.
19 November. Mostly out of brood. Given frame of brood from Hive 3.
29 November. Very little entrance activity. Plenty of bees in drawn box. Bottom box still basically foundation and bees only transiting. out of brood. Queen cells not evident - may have been torn down.
1 December. Hives 2 & 3 moved 6 km to town location.
2 December. Hive 2 given a frame of brood and one of stores from Hive 3. Sugar feeder removed.
11 December. Inspected today. No new brood or eggs. Still appears queenless. No new queen cells. Plenty of activity in one box.
I now have 15 hives - two very strong, this queenless hive, and a dozen new young hives that are getting established. I dont' have any queen cells anywhere.
I don't really want to combine this hive if I can avoid it. What would you do to get it queenright?