I went to check on the 4 hives I moved up North a couple of weeks ago and to add honey supers to them because the clover there just started blooming last week. Well the first hive I walked up to I saw had 0 entrance activity, so I thought Uh-oh they abscondedâ€¦ this came from a swarm that had been caught the same day I moved the hives up there and was from a small swarm so I wasnâ€™t expecting much from them anyway. Nevertheless I popped the cover and found that they were still there, but were queenless and had dwindled down to 4 or 5 hundred bees. Now ordinarily when you run across this youâ€™d just combine with one of the other hives, but Iâ€™m trying to build up my total number of colonies right now and could really care less about a honey crop this year. So I decided to try and save them... :roll: ... even though I know itâ€™s already right on the cusp of when theyâ€™re not going to be able to build up in time for winter. If they raise their own queen now by the time she gets mated itâ€™ll be right at the summer dearth before she starts laying. But if I have to feed them or whatever, then fine, Iâ€™ll do that. The only good news is that this farm is in a kind of micro-climate and has 100 acres of clover that just started to bloom and should continue for another month or (fingers crossed) two. Anyway, I went to the next hive to borrow some brood, and there was some entrance activity on this hive but not a whole lotâ€¦ opened it up and found that they are queenright, but donâ€™t have a lot of brood to spare. Nevertheless I did pull 2 frames, one had a couple hundred eggs and the other had maybe 50 to a hundred capped brood cells but no eggsâ€¦ that was all this hive could spareâ€¦ ughâ€¦ but Iâ€™m thinking no big deal because I have 2 more I can borrow fromâ€¦ So I go on to the next after adding those brood frames to the tiny queenless hive, and the next hive I go to has almost no entrance activity but does have a coupleâ€¦ so I open it up and find that this one also is queenless (also came from a swarm the same day I dropped them off up there, but came from a good sized swarm so I expected more out of them)â€¦ only this one also has a laying worker. UGH! There are at least double the number of bees in this colony than the first though, but I donâ€™t want to lose any colonies right now so Iâ€™m still not willing to throw in the towel and combine the two weak ones which is what I probably ought to have done at that point. So last hive, last hopeâ€¦ I walk over, normal entrance activityâ€¦ this is the hive that was SUPER-hot when I dropped them off and hadnâ€™t been before that so I was worried that the move had killed the queen, but when I popped the top they were packed in and nice and calmâ€¦ even though the clover had just started blooming, they had already filled and capped 3 frames on the upper super. Every other frame was SOLID with brood in both boxesâ€¦ it was the most beautiful laying pattern I have ever seen. Thank goodness for this hive. It was my savior for the other two. Now I had plenty of brood, honey, everything I needed to lend to the other two colonies. I pulled half the frames from the top box and split them between the other two colonies, making sure to give the one frame that had a few eggs in it to the one with the laying workers since I had already given eggs to the other oneâ€¦ Thank goodness for strong hives. I wouldnâ€™t have had a chance to save both of the other two without the last one. I added a QE to this hive and 2 honey supers as well as to the other queenright hive thatâ€™s not quite as strong. Iâ€™ll go back in a week or two at the latest to check on the ones Iâ€™m trying to save and to add another super or two to that strong hive.