Both hives checked.
The 2-queened hive is really pumping - having one queen in each FD and placing a QE in between was a great tip, as now I can better see what's going on.
The new queen is laying up a storm - the old one is still laying but not as well. The hive is full of bees and the bees are 'holding hands' big time - they are even hanging below the hivedoctor base. Despite this, there is still space to lay and to store honey. Hopefully checkerboarding emptier frames to the middle will help so that the bees don't do anything silly before the varroa strips are coming out in 2 weeks' time.
There isn't a lot of stores in this hive but there's still pollen, capped and uncapped honey in there and the new grubs look nice and wet so it looks like the build up is being fed from the incoming nectar/pollen. I still have the granulated sugar at the top, which has been taken in but not very fast. If I don't have to feed syrup I'd rather not, as there isn't a lot of room for more build up really - just need to make sure the bees don't starve if we get poor weather. Ideally this hive would just stay this strong but not run out of control for another 2 weeks, at which point a super is going on the top.
Also forked out a few drone pupae to check for varroa & matchstick-poked a few capped brood cells. No varroa found and no ropey goo, so that's good. I saw a few bees with a relatively black-looking (hairless) thorax - they seemed to be acting normally so maybe they are just old and worn out rather having chronic bee paralysis virus...but who knows.
The other hive is doing well at a more measured pace - I guess they only have one queen so it only makes sense. I'm happy with their progress also, though - a good amount of stores, uncapped & capped honey and brood. The top box was getting really full so moved some empties from the bottom FD up to give a bit more space. Again, I mainly want to keep things under control until super time, at which point frame-drawing should keep the girls too busy to even consider swarming (I hope).
Carefully hopeful about how things are going - I certainly have a lot more bees than I did this time last year.