It has been disappointing week. I placed three queens and lost three queens. First, I was trying to start a nuc in my back yard. I managed to lure a modest number of bees into the nuc and placed one of my queens. There was an in hive frame feeder. The activity seemed to be steady but slowed down and then stopped. When I opened the nuc to investigate there were a bunch of dead bees and probably the queen in the bottom.
I went over to the bee yard this morning to check on my other three hives and one nuc. The nuc was dead and it appeared that the queen did not make it out of the holder. My 10-frame Lang has two deeps so there was plenty of room for expansion. I placed a new queen in that hive. It was moderately strong the last time that I checked. Today was a different story. Perhaps most of the bees were out foraging but it did not appear to be strong. I observed capped brood but no new eggs and the queen was released from her holder. I still could not find her. The next hive was a total loss. It had been moderately strong the last time that I checked. There was nothing there and only a few dead bees in the bottom which I cleaned out.
I now have one strong hive which I raised last year with a Buckfast queen from R. Weavers. It is an 8-frame Lang with two deeps. They are not crowded. I placed my FlowHive frames on top with the hope that they will work their way up.
Not sure what to attribute my losses to but I will be looking for some swarms to fill my nucs. I am building an observation hive and two new deeps and other accessories are currently being hot-waxed.