OK- I am mentoring another beekepper- which is a bit of a joke considering I am a newbee myself… However I do what I can.
I inspected my friends hive yesterday and could not read the signs…
basically the hive is fairly full of bees- a good covering on every frame. there is a lot of capped brood in a very nice solid pattern. Every frame has capped honey stores at the top- and a fair amount of pollen too. There are many larvae of various sizes. I only saw one small patch of eggs on one frame. Didn’t see the queen.
However- there were queen cups (10?)- most empty but a few with liquid in them. Also there was one large perfectly formed and capped queen cell. just one. There was also another empty queen cell that appeared to have been ‘torn down’ with a large torn gash. It was fully drawn out…
I am tempted to say they are about to swarm- but I would have expected more capped queen cells- and maybe not the torn down one? At least not at this stage?
what’s going on?
We added 3 fresh frames of foundation to the brood box and 4 to the honey super (it’s a long horizontal hive).