I got the last of my garlic in yesterday, and I've dealt with one of those bee colonies, whoch cearly had a drone layer for a queen. That's an unmated queen which only lays unfertilised eggs, which develop into drones. The bees were making doomed attempts to raise a new queen, and a lot of cells were being uncapped to reveal chalk brood, a fungus disease which infects the larva. All the capped cells had the domed cappings typical of drones.
I moved the broodbox aside, and replaced it with one of the small colonies I'd put in a nucleus box. this went into a full-sized box. Then I just shook all the bees from the original colony off the frames, and fet the frames back in till I had a box full. The bees found their way back into the new colony, but the queen, hopefully, didn't. I'll check everything's OK in the next few days. That just leaves one more to do, and that'll give me two golonies headed by my own queens, and two by the bought queens. I'll see what comes through the winter, then raise more queens next year.
23 hours ago