I had a great experience this week. I went with some friends to pick up some old beekeeping equipment. They also told me there was an active hive there that I could have.
When I first got there I went to the active hive to see what was going on. It was set up in one deep and four mediums. Oops - that big of a hive would not fit in my car! So I went into it to see if there might be some empty boxes. So, the top box was in fact empty, the next box - empty, then I finally got a box that was pretty full of honey. Under this was a queen excluder and then the last medium box. This box was full of brood - yeah, so a active queen. Finally I went down to the deep and found it also to be empty. So, I took the deep off the bottom board and put the medium with the brood on the bottom, and the medium with the honey on top of that. I then put an inner cover on top of these two boxes with a screen cover over the open hole and let the box settle down for a while.
We then went down to a barn that was full of old boxes and frames. For the next several hours we scraped and cleaned boxes, frame, cover, etc. I ended up with a car full of equipment!
Finally back to the active hive. I took some straps and wrapped the the hive together. I had a hive entrance block that I inserted at the last minute and placed it in the car. Now hopefully the bees will stay inside for the 3 hr trip home. Actually the trip home took over 4 hours because I ran into some wicked weather and tornadoes. When I got home I had to place the active hive out in the rain. I did not want to keep them cooped up any longer. I checked on them the next day and they seemed fine.
So, I am going to label this hive #M to remind me of where I got it. If it does well, I may place this in my friend's yard for some variety :)
I also checked the other hives.
I am still not seeing any evidence of a queen on Hive #2, but they are putting up honey like crazy :?
Hive #4 still has no brood, but there is evidence of some empty queen cells, so I will give them some more time.
Hive #3 seems to be doing well, but no honey being put up :?
Hive #5 seems to be doing OK, I am hoping it is going to build up well soon....
A lot of question marks, but that is not unusual for me :)