A few weeks ago I learnt one of the members of my association had ordered two queens however one of the colonies that was due to be requeen suddenly failed to nosema meaning they had a spare queen. I offered to give them some bees so we made up a four frame nuc from the colony I have just taken over.
This was the first time I'd had a chance to look inside the hive, so I was shocked to see it was brimming with bees even though its a double national colony. The super was 3/4's full of capped honey already and plenty of bees as well so I've added another of undrawn comb to keep them busy until I can get back to check for the first signs of queen cells before I split the brood boxes to make up another colony.
We also went to see our other colony to inspect them, my fears were correct they are struggling and we only found a small patch of sealed brood and eggs. Although they still had plenty of sealed honey some of it looked pretty crystallized and at a guess only about 1000 bees in total. So we returned home and made up some feed and grabbed a nuc and went back to the apiary and moved the Dartington hive 20 ft away then frame by frame transferred them in to the nuc using the same process as shook swarming as most of the brood frames had mould. I poured a fair amount of the feed into the top portion of cells of two of the frames.
Now its a waiting game, we'll give the colony a couple of weeks to see if they survive and hopefully the queen will begin to lay a frame or two of eggs.
Pictures to follow