We saw Joachim at mass this morning, and we invited him over for our hive inspection later in the afternoon. He seemed pleased to come, and when he came, we opened up the Saint Benedict hive to inspect the queen cage. It looked good, which is to say, empty. A few bees were clinging to it, but not so many that we couldn’t see into it, so we took it out of the hive.
After waiting a bit we opened up the Saint Valentine hive, and once again saw many bees in the upper body, which is a deep. But no so many on the queen cage. Joachim, Brenda, and I all concurred that the cage was (probably) empty, so we removed it from the hive, but laid it near the entrance. After which we closed it up hastily.
We have a lot of questions about the Saint Valentine hive, but I felt like I had done enough damage to it yesterday. So we did not break off burr comb, or pull out frames, or do anything that might stress the bees.