So I put out a distress call, and a generous and much more experienced beekeeper-friend came over to help, bringing with her a frame of eggs/larvae/brood from one of her own hives. We stuck that frame in the queenless hive, hoping they'd jump at the opportunity to make a new queen for themselves (and thereby save themselves from oblivion), and we also treated both hives for varroa using Hopguard.
I then hit a string of weeks that consisted of either me getting home without enough daylight left to check on them, or rain (still not complaining about that one). Exactly one month later, I finally got out there to check on them...
...and those girls had let all those babies grow up to be workers and were still queenless. Still! So I had to requeen them, too...
...and then I moved on to South Hive (the sick hive with EFB) to see how their new queen was settling in.
|Here you can see the Hopguard strips still on the frames|
Right off the bat I could see their population was way better, and every frame I pulled had healthy-looking brood, larvae, and/or eggs. Then I saw Her Majesty herself- with her red spot all polished off- working hard for her new hive.
Once I saw her I closed everything up and left them alone. I'm still feeding them, but they're only taking about a quart every 3 days or so, and they're bringing in pollen like crazy, so I'm hoping they'll be able to get themselves ready for winter without much more intervention on my part. I'll keep checking on them, though, just to make sure.
And when spring comes, I'll be watching and ready... this time!