Hive 1, the small swarm, is behaving in the usual agitated manner you get with colonies which have been queenless for a while. I don't need to open that one to see what state it's in! Hive 2, the former 'foreign' colony, has nice patches of flat-capped worker brood, and lots of eggs and young brood. So all's well there. Hives 3 and 4 both have decent sized, but slowly shrinking, broodnests.
The only concern is that none of the hives have as much in the way of stores as I'd expect this time of year. I've been hearing of other peoples' colonies starving in the vile weather; mine are nowhere near that bad, but will need feeding as a precaution. I wouldn't normally expect to do that with an established colony, but after two terrible summers it's as well to be cautious.
I extracted what honey there was the other day, a miserable ten pounds. That's ten pounds more than I got last year, which was even worse in that respect, but at least it brightened up in time for the bees to gather stores for themselves.
How to Pickle Walnuts - part 2
1 day ago