Peeking through the window on day twenty-nine showed little change from last week. The syrup level was not down much. How much of this was due to finding outside sources of nectar and how much was due to a smaller population requiring less is unknown. There were neither obviously fewer nor obviously more bees. The comb was slightly bigger. Business as usual for the bees.

On day thirty we again pulled out the comb for inspection. This time we had a handy top bar stand, of which more in a future post, and our camera. But no better news. We sent the pictures to the helpful Richard Mendel, organizer of the Ann Arbor Backyard Beekeepers, and learned that, as has happened to many beekeepers this year, the hive is queenless and apparently had been for some time. This colony is doomed to dwindle away.

It is too late to requeen. The old population would not last long enough to care for a new queen until her first workers emerged. Likewise an entire new package would not have much time to build up population and stores for winter.

Doom.

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