Thursday. One and half hours with the bees today. Yesterday I didn't have enough time to check the top box of hive 1 for queen cells, so I went back today to finish the checking. No queen cells found. Yayyy! The new hive I created looked like it was doing OK. The bees were very busy laying down foundation on the new frames, i.e., making cells out of beeswax which they apply and mold with their mouths. There were hundreds of them with their mouths up against the frame walls, working away at it. I decided not to pull out any of the frames just yet. Just let them get settled.
The other two hives (1&2) looked fine, but I don't know enough about bees to tell whether they are queenless or not. Hopefully they were not without queens and I didn't screw up and all is well. Apparently, if in a few weeks I find a lot of drone cells being made and no worker cells, that would mean they have no queen. Apparently, when there is no queen, some of the workers take over the queen's job of laying eggs. Unfortunately, since they are not fertilized, they can only lay unfertilized eggs (which are haploid, i.e., one set of chromosomes), and haploid eggs become drones. A queen carries within her the sperm of several drones she mated with before she settled down with her hive, and her eggs are fertilized by this sperm. So most of the eggs she lays are fertilized and are therefore diploid (two sets of chromosomes - like us), and develop into female worker bees. She can also lay unfertilized eggs which develop into drones. Anyway, so I guess we will see.
Having just explained that, now I am wondering how the new queens in the new hive are going to get fertilized. Will they fly off and mate in the air (which is how bees do this) and then come back to this hive?? And will they fight it out until there is only one queen? Hmmm. Another question for Adam. He must be getting really fed up with me.
In the meantime, I am so done with bees for the present! Fifteen hours with the bees in 5 days! I'm pretty sure they are done with me too! I will now leave them to get on with it in peace!