I thought that the bees in Hive #1 would probably survive long enough for me to get my two new colonies and--well, when I poked my nose in the box Saturday, all that was left was a clusters roughly about the size of my fist. Not enough--and they sure weren't going to make it until the other queens had enough space to start laying.
Alright, maybe I ought to back up to Thursday, April 28th. My new bees arrived on that date, in the AM. I got them installed, despite cool and damp and returned to cooking up a storm for my sister's wedding. Essentially, I forgot about them for the most part until late last week when I finally got around to lifting the lids on a warmer day.
I think it was partly due to the cool and wet weather we have been having that they had not built quite as much comb as I was expecting, but I saw no brood, though I did see some honey in what little comb had been constructed. Observing the inner bowls of the new hives, I sadly decided that the other bees weren't going to survive long enough, so I went ahead and robbed the three frame of honey out of that hive.
I have therefore, been draining honey in a rather messy, hap-hazard, on and off, fashion since Saturday afternoon.
The set-up looks like this: