I haven't had a chance to go back and check the first hive , but we did have to requeen another cranky hive and we thought we would take advantage to experiment with the old queen before she met her maker. She is definitely an old queen -the hive has been hot for 2 months and when we removed her (great fun!) there was no signs - checking every frame - of supersedure.
We kept the queen by herself and added a drop of honey to her container. She had no trouble at all feeding herself. I've added a video link and pic
I'd reckon if you were a remote viewing, time travelling alien who had been in Hawaii 30 years ago, you could have seen a young Barry Soetoro making himself a sandwich in his kitchen. Move forward to today and the now Barrack Obama has all his meals and drinks delivered to his desk. As an alien trying to make sense of the difference would you assume he's unable to make his own lunch?
I reckon we undersell the queen by repeating the "common knowledge" that she is unable to fend for herself. I know our little experiment is outside of the cut and thrust of the bee hive, but nothing has physically changed of the queens feeding equipment to make it impossible to feed herself. I think we just observe the expedient activity of bringing food to her rather than the queen wasting time running off to find honeyQueen Bee feeding herself