So today I had my first 1 week inspection of my new flow hive. A little back story, last saturday i installed a 3lb package. The bees were probably in the box for at least a week by the time I installed them. Not certain of the exact amount of time. I installed the queen per popular directions by suspending her cage in between 2 frames. I am using an 8 frame flow hive brood box with black plastic foundation. I have an inner cover on top, and then a Manns top feeder that has been feeding them sugar water all week. I put the inner cover between the feeder to hopefully reduce any burr comb building under the feeder. So now for the inspection details.
1 - removed roof
2 - removed feeder and set aside to make sure not to trap any bees in there feeding, practically no comb:grinning:
3 - removed inner cover. Huge bit of comb they were building that was attached to the inner cover, which then fell off into the space between the frames where the queen cage was suspended. Queen had been released so I removed the cage. Now here is novice issue #1, I could not get the comb out that has now fallen to bottom. Tried to grab it but very squishy and breaking apart easily. Also covered with bees.
QUESTION - is it imperative to remove this? I left it in after my inspection. Hoping bees will just clean it up? It was a very large piece of comb. Maybe I need to go back in and get it out?
4 - proceed to inspect inner frames. Girls have been busy drawing comb. I was surprised to see wavy comb, but i suspect this was because there was so much space between the 2 inner frames where the queen cage was suspended. See couple photos. It was hard for me to see eggs. But after zooming in photos, I am pretty sure I see them. Still no sign of queen. I also see honey and nectar and pollen. Also looks like there might be a few capped brood cells. No sign of queen cells. A see a few distorted cells and a few larger cells maybe drone cells?
5 - All in all I am pretty happy after reviewing some video and photos, as I am pretty sure I see eggs.
QUESTION - For all the smart folks. Did I make a big mistake by leaving the comb down in the bottom of the hive? Should I go back in tomorrow and remove it or is that more stress for the bees?
QUESTION - What is the shortest amount of time that I can go back in without causing stress?
NOTE - I did not smoke them, they were very tolerant of me. I had the frames in and out a few times looking for queen and examining.
QUESTION - I also did something else in retrospect that might be stupid, due to an awkward moment, worrying about this comb on the bottom. I took a frame full of bees and put in into a frame holder on the outside of the hive while I worked to try to get the comb out. Was this stupid? Is it ok to have the frame full of bees out for a few mins? The temp outside was about 85 degrees. Bees didnt seem to mind.
PROBLEM? - When I installed the package, I also added 1/2 pollen patty to top of the frames. There was a small bit left, but I noticed some sort of larvae on it. Maggots? What could have done this? I have been fighting black ants all week so is that possible?
All in all i fee good an successful. Lot of great activity and progress after a week, but I am a nervous wreck about leaving this bunch of comb in the bottom of the hive. Also a bit nervous I missed her majesty.
All feedback is most welcome I have thick skin and eager to learn so be honest.
Thanks for reading. I have a lot of great video and pics of the event here are a few, let me know if you see eggs