He's actually been to my hives before. A few years ago, he came out with our local inspector.
This inspection he was really pleased with the amount of bees and how I am managing the hives. The queens are doing well, still laying a few eggs and there are gobs, yes GOBS of larvae. Yay!! The more bees there are now that are larvae or newly emerged, the more bees to keep the queen warm over the winter.
While we were poking I got to actually see Magenta! She is soo much lighter than her daughters. I was really surprised to see such a difference. They must take after their dads.
Mind you, I've been helping them out with some extra pollen which can push out the date that the queen stops laying in the fall. What can I say - I am ever optimistic about fall and that there will be plenty of warm days like today.
On a sad note, yesterday when I was in the hives (and got stung!), it was clear that True was gone. Long gone too - her hive has nasty wax moths. Yuck!!! So I took down one box and will put the frames it the freezer to kill the moths. I will take the honey off in a few days and then I will let that hive die out.
In the spring, I will split our remaining hives - so that we can have a new hive and a daughter queen from one of these hives. In the spring we will determine which hive is strongest and if they can remain strong if we take some bees out.