Last night while I was home alone, I finally painted two hive bodies Mark allowed me to have. I couldn't find any real brushes for the first one (Bloom), so it's not as well done as I'd like. I was using one of those sponges on a stick. Out of frustration, I went through what felt like every drawer in the house until I found some actual paint brushes. I'm more pleased with the second one (Shine). Most importantly, I had fun and relaxed. It reminded me of being in high school, getting home on Thursdays and telling Mom, "I'm not going to art class tonight. I'm too tired." She'd say, "You are going to class because you're cranky!" I'd always feel better when I went. These hives in no way indicate that I had skill 20 years ago. Maybe Mark will let me have more so I can practice!
In bee-related news, Mark filled the feeders on Hives 4 & 5 on Sunday afternoon while I canned jam. On Monday, he looked for a frame of eggs to put in Hive 1 so they could grow their own queen, but had no luck finding eggs. Apparently they're reducing their laying in anticipation of the coming cool weather. So, the problem of Hive 1 remains unsolved. It's bugging Mark that we might lose that hive -- it's loaded up with bees, by far the largest population. He was told that some hives simply won't take a queen other than one they raise themselves, but the queen they had was one we introduced because the original queen was in the tree. So we'll look again this weekend for eggs and hope we can find something they can turn into a queen they'll accept, or, in lieu of that, we hope we'll see eggs in Hive 1, meaning there is a queen and she's laying.