I knew I would need to combine two queenless hives once their populations decreased enough to be manageable. I chose today. I knew that the one hive, despite my best efforts over the last five weeks, chose to not move up and take advantage of the space I was giving it and had swarmed. Probably 80% had flown the coop with a new queen. If not with the new queen, there were very few bees inside this box, which had once been my strongest hive.
So while I shuffled frames between the two deep hive bodies, I found a queen walking around. This hive was not queenless! I put her and one attendant in the new hive and watched her for a few minutes. She went from being alone, to being under a ball of 30 bees, to this scene of 10 workers surrounding her. She had a constant stream of ‘greeters.’
Now that they have a queen, I’m hoping that I quit getting stung in the thigh every time I open this hive.