Here are my 4 hives as of May 12th 2012:
1.The Black Rock: Started from a 2011 split of my original The Others hive. They initially killed 2 introduced commercial queens, then, after being queenless for months, accepted a queen from the secondary swarm from last years new package hive ‘Oceanic815′. Or, the queen came off of the frame of brood with a queen cell on it that I transferred after the first swarm, weeks before I placed the secondary swarm in the hive. The bees are more active earlier in the day than the other hives, and they are a darker color.
2. The Others: This is the original surviving colony from 2010. My other 2010 colony, FlashMob, did not make it through the first winter. They do not have their original queen, as this hive has swarmed a few times.
3. Oceanic815: Stared in 2011 as a 4# package. Built up very quickly last year and had a few swarms last year. One started a new hive, and the other supplemented The Black Rock and provided a queen.
4. 4th hive does not have a name. Stared from a swarm from the new package hive last year – 2011.
Status of hives as of May 11:
1. The Black Rock is the busiest hive. Early risers. Queen spotted. Lots of eggs, lots of capped brood, a little honey. I removed a frame of capped brood to build up one of the weak hives.
2. The Others Busy hive. Queen spotted. Eggs, lots of capped brood, a little honey.
3. Oceanic815 Queen spotted. Sparse population. A few eggs. A little brood. Lots of honey. Lower brood box is empty with some mold. We reversed the brood boxes.
4. 4th hive No queen spotted. A few eggs. Very little brood. Sparse population. Lots of honey.
So all 4 survived the winter. This is a victory. And all have new eggs. This is good.
Click on the picture to view a larger photo so you can get a better look. He’s really quite enchanting.