Got a chance to go through the hives this evening and overall I was pleased with what I saw. Found all the queens and for the most part everything looked good.
These girls are doing very well. They've been working hard on the top medium super and there's only a few frames left that aren't drawn. I believe I've be able to get this hive to draw out another medium super and fill it with a little feeding and a good fall flow. I found the queen in the top deep super and she looked good. Lots and lots of eggs, open and capped brood in the top deep. It was getting dark so I didn't go into the bottom super.
Another laying machine. They have started to work on drawing wax in the top deep. I found 2 frames FULL of capped brood and lots of eggs and larva. Very pleased with these girls. Hopefully they'll be able to get the deep drawn and filled as well as a medium super before it starts to get chilly.
I'm a bit concerned about this hive. I found one queen cell on the side of the frame. I'm not sure if it's been there since the last inspection but I did remove it. It wasn't capped, but I think the girls may be telling me something about the queen. She was laying pretty decent at first but has slowed down it seems. I found 1 frame of capped brood (both sides) and did see eggs and larva. It's not as much as compared to the other hives though. I've read the buckfast queens will slow down their laying during a dearth so I'm hoping that's the problem. I've been feeding again since Monday and plan to keep doing it until it starts to get chilly. Hopefully that jumps start her into laying more. We'll see though. I'm going to keep an eye on this hive for sure. I don't believe I have enough time to get another queen here and the hive going before it starts to get chilly so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I'm also planning to send a note to Dr. Russell and get his opinion on things tonight. I'll report on what he says. On a positive note... They are doing well on drawing frames. They should be ready for another deep super in a week or 2.
I'm starting to see the amber peach coloration in the bees from this hive. Still a buncha mutts left from the extra brood I added. I can't wait until the majority are this queens progeny. She's laying very well and they have some capped stores. There's 3.5 frames left to be drawn and they should also be ready for another deep super in a week or 2.
I've again changed feeders after having a BUNCH of drowned bees in the pet waterer feeder I was using. I also noticed the more honey-b-healthy I add the more drowned bees I get. It's all probably in my head but when using it at half strength there's not nearly as many drowned bees in the bowl when it's empty. Anyway since I have trouble killing the bees while trying to help them... I made a little stand up out of egg crate and punched some holes in the lid of 3 quart mason jars. I've been using this to feed since Tuesday of this week (Monday I used the pet waterer) and it seems to be working well. With the pet waterer the bees, jackets, ants, wasps, and bumbles would go through 3 gallons of 1:1 in a day. With the jars it's cut back to 3 quarts. The limited access is the reason but 2 dead bees per day (my highest count so far) versus hundreds helps me sleep at night.