I was planning to do this tomorrow, but work commitments meant that I had to do it today. Actually, being a day early won't hurt.
Still, it has been raining persistently in Bath for a few days now, and I had to wait until around 4:30 before there was a break. I headed over to the hives, and had another check through hive #2 - I figured, with the weather being so bad, there was no chance any queens would be out mating today. Definitely no sign, so I am going to assume that the new queen did indeed swarm. Ah well...
I left a gap between the two busiest frames, and then left hive #2 open, ready to receive a frame which I'd decided to donate from Miriam's hive. The idea is that, given some eggs, the bees in hive #2 will make some of them into new queens, and this will return the hive to normal productivity.
I next opened up Miriam's hive. the first task was to find Miriam herself - as I'm going to be moving a frame from her hive to #2, I want to make sure she's not on the frame. If I accidentally move Miriam into the other hive, the bees in #2 will kill her - and I really want to avoid that!
I got 4 frames in, and spotted a frame with mixed brood (capped) and eggs. This will be ideal. I also noticed that there were two partially constructed queen cells - one small but empty, the other bigger (but still open at the bottom), and possibly with an egg inside. If there is an egg in there (which I couldn't tell for sure, as it was very overcast and the light was poor) then that would be ideal, as the workers in #2 will immediately grow it into a new queen. So long as Miriam isn't on this frame, this is going to be easy...
Of course, I then saw Miriam walking straight past the queen cells! This made life a touch more difficult, as I now needed to move her off the frame and back inside the hive. To do this I had to pick her up by her wings, taking care not to damage her. I managed to get her on the third attempt, though she then managed to wriggle free and started walking round my hand. I twisted around and gave her a clear path back to the top of the frames, which she followed. It was a relief to see her disappear into the comforting semi-darkness of the hive.
Now that Miriam was safe, I could finish the task. I brushed as many bees as I could off the frame (it's best to remove them if possible, as they may fight with the bees in #2), and then lowered the frame into the gap I'd left in hive #2. Then, push the frames together, close up both hives, and the job is done.
My next inspection is on Tuesday - I'm hoping to see at least a couple of occupied queen cells in hive #2 when I next open up, and this will ensure the bees will be able to get back going again later in the summer.