I have had my hives for about nine months. Started with five, now have three. Anyway, two of them have been building lots of comb and storing honey BETWEEN the frames of the first and second story hive boxes. When I go to inspect the hives this causes problems because the honey spills out and bees get quite excited and somewhat mean. Also it's hard to get the boxes apart and I fear starting robbing. Is this a normal thing? What should I do when it happens?
Are all of the frames in the brood boxes full of honey? If so, it sounds like you need to provide a super for your bees. It is normal for them to do that when they have nowhere else to store nectar when there is a flow in progress. It is definitely not desirable and you should try to prevent it by providing plenty of space for them.
Thanks for a prompt reply. I just removed supers that were empty about a week ago (the deep had new frames with only foundation on them). The bees had already begun this construction of honeycomb between hive stories and I removed some of it at that time but it was late afternoon and the bees were cross and I decided it would be better to do it in a morning session. The second story hive is indeed full of honey, but if they needed more room, why were they not using the shallow super (not even to process) or starting to draw out comb on the new frames?
Bees will also build "bridge" comb when you have violated the bee space. The bee space is generally considered to be 3/8". Anything significantly greater or less than that causes the bees to fill in the space with comb.