After losing a queen a couple of weeks ago, last week we requeened one of the hives with a new Italian queen, having first removed all of the queen cells. This week, we carefully inspected this hive for the first time since introducing her. Thankfully, she appears to have been accepted and has already started laying.
We had also given up on one colony, which demonstrated suicidal tendencies – disposing of new queens after losing theirs early in the year, then failing to raise a replacement of their own when they had the opportunity – and had all but died out. We got to the point where we really did not want to try to requeen again and risk losing yet another valuable queen, so therefore abandoned them to their fate, choosing instead to start a new colony. This colony, formed from some spare brood frames from the long deep hive, and a new queen, has been doing well for the last couple of weeks, so we moved it today into its final home. All went well, and we now have four happy colonies once again.