I recently inherited a 10 year old bee hive and since I am only in my second year of bee keeping I have no idea what I am looking at on this frame. Is this a form of mold or some other hive problem I should be worried about. In the upper right corner of this frame there appears to be a cluster of irregular cells that protrudes very far from the frame. Can anyone tell me what this is?
The cells in the top right of the frame are capped honey, the other capped cells are brood.
Do you know if any frames have been replaced over the last 10 years? That one looks very old and dark.
They are up to 15 years old and need replacing. I just have never seen capped honey be that dark and irregular. Here is a more clear picture. image|375x500
It could be an irregular shape because the frame is warped, or the comb could have been damaged and they just rebuilt it that way. Was the frame next to it warped in the other direction as if it is maintaining the bee-space?
I also don’t know whether these are waxed and wired frames or foundationless?
The dark colour of the honey will be because the frame is so old and has been reused by the bees so many times, the cells will have reduced in size over time restricting the size of new bees being reared.
The cell cappings of honey will also darken from bees walking all over it constantly being in the brood nest and all.
You should begin cycling those old frames out ASAP as you can get a build-up of disease pathogens (AFB), pesticides etc over time.
After another inspection you are correct. The frame next to it was warped In the same manner. I will begin cycling out some of the Oldest frames first. Thank you.
How many boxes does your hive occupy at the moment and are they eight or ten frames?
Currently the hive is a double deep ten frame set up with bees on 80% of the bottom frames and 60% on the top. I removed two of the darkest frames yesterday that were not being used and replaced them with new ones.