The temp was in the lower 70's today so I dove right in because I wanted to see what stage they were in. i.e. stores, brood, ect. As soon as I was on my second or third frame it started sprinkling, then stopped. This is my only hive, 3 lb package 3banded Italian, 7 Jun 13. 2 eight frame deeps and one 8 frame medium. I've been feeding off and on for about 2 or 3 weeks. I started this because the bees were in the top and staying fairly active. I think it was a good thing because they were very light on stores. Then I read the concerns about liquid feed this time of year. The bees are bringing in mostly red pollen.
Top to bottom; The first box, med, had 3 or 4 sides about 30 percent filled and capped. Other than that still some empty non drawn out foundation frames there. Bees on them tho.
Second box; about 4 or 5 sides 50 to 70 percent capped brood also larva. Saw the queen, she waived, I waived back. Evidence of nectar (sugar water) collection and pollen on the rest of the frames. I saw quite a bit of drone brood down around the bottom of the frames. I also saw a couple of fake(?) queen cells. I am sure I saw a queen cell with a larva possibly in it. If I had to roll the dice and bet I'd say yes. I know I saw wetness in there as if nectar or something for feed. I tried the best I could with the sunlight and an LED flashlight but I couldn't be 100% sure. In retrospect, next time I find myself in this situation I'll use the bore light for my rifles.
The bottom box very little capped brood, some larva, but mostly nectar or empty cells. Still a lot of bees to this hive. I cleaned off the burr comb and looked at a half dozen capped and uncapped drone larva. I saw several varrora mites. Later that day I gave it an oxylic acid vaporizing treatment. I plan to do that for the next three weeks.
So now, I'm thinking in circles. Yeah! I can do a split, put it in a 5 frame nuke/swarm trap. Use the heating pad for starting seeds, insulate, and hope Frodo makes it to Mordoor. Then I'm like; naw, leave it alone, the queen will tear it down. (but what if newcomer shes kills my precissssoussss? and gets eats by bats when she goes on hers mating flight. OR; They gonna swarm next thing you know! Naw, not enough brood. Also I'm wondering if I should have rotated the two bottom boxes or at least swapped some frames.
Any thoughts (other than find another hobbie?) or suggestions?