I went out and opened all 9 hives this morning. The packages look good. Lots to bees and some new comb. I saw brood in all of them. That’s 5 new hives that are working. The queen boxes were empty and they looked like they had no trouble getting out.
One split seemed to be working well. The queen was released, and it was very active with lots of bees. I closed it up without checking for brood. Since there is nothing I can do if there is none, only time will tell.
The other split failed. The queen was dead in her cage and it looks like the bees went back to their original hive. This hive had not been taking syrup so I had already guessed it had gone bad.
The seven good hives have taken 10 gallons of syrup in these last 5 days and are ready for more. I have an extra top feeder now and I can put it on one of the splits. I suspect the racoons get any syrup left in the front feeders over night, because I find them scattered in the morning. You have to fill front feeders before noon.