Had a couple of nascent beekeepers with me and went through all of the hives this weekend - and got some bad news :(
First the good news - Hives 2,3 and the new split #5 are looking very good. Lots of bees, larva, drones, all looking good for this time of year. If all these continue to do well, I will be in the same state I was last year at this time - not bad.
Bad news - I mentioned that split hive #6 did not have many bees going in and out, when we looked inside we saw very few bees and no larva. I guess we never got a queen developed - could be I did not leave enough eggs and larva with them to create new queen, or she didn't find any drones to mate with or who knows. There was an open queen cell in the hive, so I will give them another week and then probably combine these bees in with the new split hive #5.
Worse news - It looks like hive #4 is in the same state as hive #6. This was my large honey producing hive last year. However, something weird went on with this hive last fall that I never could understand - this may just be a result of queen gone bad. I am surprised they did not replace the queen, but oh well. Again, I'll wait a wek than decide what to do with these bees.
But the new beekeepers seemed to enjoy the experience :)