I checked my hive (placed my nucs Monday morning) and they have been building more comb like crazy. I had to scrape the top again. But the 3 empty frames are still empty. Also there was a lot of stuff on the bottom board, is this normal? And lastly, is this the queen or just a chunky lady?
OK, please slow down. Take a deep breath. This is a new thread that you have created. We don’t all know what you mean by the “3 empty frames”. Photos help a lot!
Photos help a lot! How can we say when we can’t see what you see?
Looks like a boy to me. Drone.
Sorry, I meant the middle picture where you can kind of see the bottom board. Lots of crumbs on there.
- Your frames are not spaced correctly in the first picture— you have too much space in between the frames so you are getting bridge comb being built because the bees don’t like that much of a gap. I think the inside feeder is why you didn’t get another frame in there but you should smoosh all the frames and the feeder together so the greatest space is outside the feeder on the far right and some to the far left of the first frame. That will help drop the comb mess that you are about to have.
- Do you have a queen excluder you are laying down on top? You should as that will help with them not building comb on top of it and then the inside cover.
- The crumbs are to be expected— you may have that as a result of dropping the frames on Monday and the bees are cleaning up any damaged cells.
- The queen is much longer— that is definitely a male bee (drone); you can tell by the bulging eyes that are bigger than the ladies.
Have you reached out to a local beekeeper to help school you?
Those photos are very helpful. It would be good to get a closeup of the stuff on the floor. I agree with Tim. That spacing definitely needs fixing up asap. I agree, that bee is a drone as @Dawn_SD & @Tim_Purdie suggested
What I would do is remove the feeder, then gently move the frames across to where it sat. Then I would scrape any comb off the left side wall. Then one by one remove the bridge comb off the top bars before replacing them where they used to be. I would put a 2-3 mm gap between the side wall & the first frame shoulders, then put the rest of the frames with the shoulders touching, or as close as possible without squashing bees between the combs. If you can manage to scrape the comb off the sides of the top bars as you are scraping, that would be good. Then you might be able to return the frames with shoulders touching each other without squashing bees.
I generally leave a 3mm gap between shoulders in my sub-tropical zone, however I wouldn’t suggest that for where you are.
Thank you all for the replies! I do not have a queen excluder, but I can purchase one. I will try and get a close up of the crumbs when I am in there next. So should I remove the sugar water for good then? And yes, a wonderful lady volunteered to come on Friday to help me clean things up and check for a queen. I will get the frames closer together for sure!
The crumbs of wax on the bottom board are normal and the bees will tidy it up if there get to be too much there. Unfortunately the bees can’t reposition the frames or scrape off the bur comb for the correct frame spacing so there is a job for you when doing your next inspection. In your climate the frames should be shoulder touch shoulder. Scrape off any bur comb on the wooden part of the frames, especially the bridging comb,(Comb between the frames).
As the others have already the ‘queen’ in the pic is definately a drone.
Limit your enthusiasm to ‘get into’ the hive, once every two weeks is enough. Even lifting the roof or a quick look for say 20 seconds doing that will take the colony about 4 hours to calm down and get back to work.
You have got lots of good advice to work with but I would also find a local bee keeper to get help from, even ‘buddying up’ with a new bee keeper and helping each other is a good idea, and join a local bee group so that you will learn to understand what you are seeing.
When it come to the time to put a super on you should fit a QX or the added super could become a double brood hive. When your hive is just a brood hive there is no use in having a QX.
I forgot to say to put the sugar/water feeder back in. I suggested to remove it so you had room to move the frames across before removing the wax off them. I could see that comb on the side of the box needed removing first, then it was a matter of dealing with each frame before putting them back in position.
Also you can use a bee mat like we use in Australia. It’s a piece of vinyl flooring cut to sit on the frames with a gap all around it. It will stop bees building comb on top of the frames. Plus the bees have room to venture above it if they want to.
Lol you’ve certainly got more confident but you need to leave the bees alone for a bit now. Every time you open up your hive you potentially set them back 24hrs.
A good clean up of the burr comb, sort out the spacing of the frames (tight together, space equal on outer sides.
Leave the food your feeding on, top up if needed and then don’t touch for a week at least.