For the first time ever we found no capped brood in either hive. We did see some eggs and larvae in the older colony which could mean one of several things: a new productive queen hatched and has just started laying, or one or more of the workers have started laying (they can lay unfertilized eggs, which will produce only drones) or, finally, there is a queen but she is not very productive. What we do know is that our hives are now in a precarious position.
Cherisse ordered two new queens yesterday and they will be ready for pick-up on Thursday. These queens ($25 each) will have already mated, and so if they are accepted into their respective hives, they should start making brood immediately. We might be too late. The bees won’t survive without a steady stream of new worker and drone bees to carry on. So despite an abundance of food this year, the hives might die; we will have to start over next year, hopefully wiser.