Remember how we had 2 queen in one of our Russian hives? Well, they seemed to have sorted things out and the queen with the large white dot killed the newer queen with the small white dot. So, that solved itself. However, one of our other Russian hives is queenless--that queen was alive when we installed it, she was the most active queen we had. But there are no eggs and after searching for her three times we've concluded that something happened to her.
So, we decided to combine the queenless bees to the colony with one killer queen via the newspaper method. The box with the queen and colony is on the bottom. We put a piece of newspaper on top, then the box from the queenless colony above the newspaper. Above that is a box with a feeder pail. The idea is that the bees from the queenless colony and the box with the queenright colony will chew through the news paper over the next day or two and in that time the queenless bees will absorb the queens pheromone and everyone will get along. So, we've gone from seven hives to six but it's all good.
Our bees are ignoring the pollen patties that we provide as a supplement and seem to be hard at work gathering pollen from dandelions. Many were returning with thick yellow baskets on their legs--yay!