Final manipulations to split the strong hives.
Starting on the left and going round clockwise.
Hive 5 (green) - Empty Top Bar Hive
Hive 6 (green) - Empty Top Bar Hive
Hive 1 (blue) - Queenless (recently split double brood box)
Hive 2 (red) - Queenless Nuc
Hive 3 (blue) - Queen right (artificially swarmed - removed 5 frames)
Hive 4 (blue) - Queen right (split from hive 1)
Hive 7 (blue) - Queenless (split from hive 3)
I started with hive 3 and found the queen to ensure she would be kept in hive 3. I then artificially split this colony to create hive 7 by moving 4 frames with plenty of sealed brood, eggs and larvae and also shook in two additional frames of bees. The reason for adding the bees from two extra frames is to ensure when all the older foraging bees return back to hive 3 more than enough young bees remain to tend the brood and naturally rear a new queen.
Colonies 1, 2 and 7 all have suitable eggs and larvae to rear a queencell to replace their old queens. I will now leave these colonies alone so not to upset or disturb them until early June when they should each have a new 2010 laying queen.
I then opened hive 4 and found the queen in this hive, this means hive 1 is queenless and answers why they were overly defensive the last time I opened this hive. Today they were calm and bring in plenty of fresh pollen and signs of nectar as well.