With what I've learned since Spring I now realize I should have done this sooner. The colony showed signs of being weak from the first inspection. Unfortunately I didn't know what I was looking at then. It came out of Winter with a weak queen. It seemed in May that a new hive bred queen swarmed with half the hive. I was ready to buy a queen then but the colony made a new queen before I did. Chalk that up to inexperience. They did well after that so I thought all was fine. Alas two months later the colony was showing signs of weakness again. I don't know what happened but something did. They had plenty of room. Two hive bodies & two honey suppers. The top of which they never fully drew out. I've seen no evidence of diseases or pests, except for the recent minor Wax moth infection. In the end though I still have a colony that may not make it through Winter.
So I ordered a new queen. Italian, and marked. I'm not sure about clipping them. Still reading on that. She got here a day before I thought she would. Good service from Rossman. A drop of water, a drop of honey. Pop the candy cork and in she goes above the few brood left.
Was there a Queen in the hive? I took out every frame and looked for her. Not only did I not find her but I found no evidence of one. A handful of capped brood and a few uncapped. No new eggs. I'll check on the condition of the new queen on Sunday and remove her cage.
Crossing my fingers.