Thursday, September 1, 2011
I inspected Hive 3 and found the deep to be full of honey - most of the other hive's deeps were busy with brood and some honey but not full.
Next, the supers were full of honey too, capped and uncapped. And the real teller: No brood of any kind. No capped cells and not a larvae in sight. Also, there were two more supers with drawn comb that had nothing in them. There were lots of bees in the hive. I pulled most of the frames in the deep and did not see a queen.
It was enough for me to conclude the hive was queenless. The bees were in good spirits and the lack of brood was actually a relief - better than seeing only drone cells like with hive #2. A drone layer can really complicate requeening.