The young red queen was no longer there, she has been replaced by a new queen, presumably there was a swarm in the spring. There was a huge amount of wild growth in this hive and we should probably have given it some TLC a few weeks ago.
We removed 16 frames of honey.
Had a quick look at this hive today and was pleased to see a lot of bees returning to the hive from foraging expeditions.
We have only a very small opening at the entrance of this new hive so that the resident bees can fend off any robbers that might come searching for their honey. At the weekend there was definitely some defensive action taking place but Peter thinks this was just the workers disposing of some of the drones (it was a drone that was being attacked). Apparently this is normal behaviour in the autumn.
Checked on the new hive today and it looks really good. The queen had crawled out of her little box and was wandering around on the larvae frames surrounded by lots of other bees. This frame contains larvae of worker bees.
It was an "on the spur of the moment" decision to split this hive off but I think it was a good idea.
The queen is transported in a small plastic box with a few worker bees. The box is plugged with wax and honey, it takes the queen and the bees about a week to eat their way out but once you put the box into a hive the other bees with eat through the "stopper" from the outside so the queen is freed in 1-3 days (one day in our case). This gives the hive time to get used to her smell.
Today we split a hive using langstroth frames (in a double farrar box) from hive #8. The frames have a nice lot of larvae and food. We added some food cakes from one of the other hives (#6?).
The hive has a young, new queen that we bought from Janne.
We decided to take the whole hive up to the farmhouse to start a new site up there, It is a sheltered spot and close to the forest area which we cleared last winter so next year (or the year after) there will be an abundance of raspberry. In fact lower down the slope, next to the barley fields is a "suo" (peat bog) area where there are cloudberries.