Hi everyone! My name is Emmy and I am a first year beekeeper in NC with a lot of questions that I hope you can help me with. I installed my two hives about two weeks ago on Sunday April 21. Both are using Pierco frames not foundation. I have been feeding them sugar water with an outside jar feeder. This seems to be doing the trick...both hives have been going through about a quart of sugar water every three or four days. I went back into the hive this Monday to check things out. I was impressed by all the work they had done. Both hives had worked on about four or five frames. Not really sure what I was seeing. I know that none of the cells were capped but there were some with darker stuff in them and some with a light amber color. I did see the queen on one of the frames so I quess everying was okay. They seem to be working on the cells in a pretty organized fashion...the frames were all covered with either filled cells or the comb had been nicely drawn out. Does it sound like everything is all right? What is in the cells and how can I tell which is honey and which is brood. My other major question is about space and when to add another brood chamber or start adding supers. I was planning on going back into the hives two weeks from the last time. Are they going to run out of room in the brood chamber by then? Do I need to add another brood chamber or just start adding supers for honey? Any advice would be appreciated!
Hello Emmy -
Welcome to the BB and beekeeping.
Your second question first. Here is a topic thread that covered this question before. http://www.beesource.com/ubb/Forum2/HTML/000071.html
I would suggest you first get a minimum of 2 deep brood chambers filled with bees and comb before attempting the honey supers. Main goal is to get the hive strong enough to winter successfully. To do that, you need bees.
Your first question: Sounds like the bees are doing just fine. I'm not a fan of entrance feeders but if they are working for you, then no problem. The darker cells, if they are capped, is brood. Kind of brown/tannish in color. Open dark cells would be dark pollen. The cappings that are white or very light in color (usually around the edges on frames with brood) is honey. Take something and pick off some of the different colored cappings so you can see what is there. A good way to learn and see firsthand.