Hello everybody. I am a first time poster, and first time beekeeper. A few weeks ago, I installed my 2nd super (hope I got the name right) because the outer 2 frames in the first one were stating to become occupied.
Last night, I checked the frames in the new level, and almost all are drawn out and have honey in them. Even the outer 2 are being drawn out.
Only a few of the combs are capped, and it seems to me the upper frames are full of honey, not brood, which strikes me as odd for some reason (the lower frames are kind of mixed).
Now, I started with a nuc in early June, and I was sort of expecting I might not see any honey for myself this year.
It may sound stupid, but does this sound alright? Did I do something dumb? Although I seem to have plenty of bees, is the lack of brood in the upper frames a sign of a missing queen?
Assuming I'm just lucky (or skilled ), what do I do now? Should I wait for the frames to be capped before adding a queen excluder and a 3rd super?
Just in case it makes a difference, I have about 110 acres, including about 30 with clover/alfalfa hay which was just cut. I have been feeding 5 pounds sugar/5 gallons water since I installed my bees.
Sounds like you had (1) deep brood box, and added a second deep brood box.
Both of these brood boxes are filling up quick and it's time to add some more space.
Now it is time to decide whether to add another deep or honey supers.
If you want another deep for brood and winter you can keep feeding, but for honey you will need to stop once they start to draw the new frames.
It sounds like things are going well.
I guess I'm not sure what you have. But if you have a deep and added another deep and the bottom is the brood chamber and the top is mostly full, then your bees are looking pretty good for winter. Now you need to add supers. If they fill them, then you have honey for you.
Thanks for the info. I'll clarify
I started out with one deep (a box section - sorry for the terminology errors!), into which I put my 4 nuc frames and 6 new ones. Then I added another deep (box section) with 10 news frames (i.e. just sheets of beeswax). These are the ones which are almost all drawn out and have a lot of honey in them (even though only a few cells are capped).
I was sort of expecting this upper layer to be kind of like the lower layer - each fram being a mix of honey, pollen, and brood. Instead its, as near as I can tell, all honey.
So, based on comments so far, it sounds like this looks alright, or even good. I guess an unhealthy hive wouldn't be making so much honey! I guess I should add another deep soon. Would you recommend antoher deep for the bees so they can get through the winter (I live near Toronto, Canada), or start honey production?
Should I go with a shallow or a deep box for honey. Somebody told me I should use a shallow deep (?) for honey because they weight less, but I weigh about 260 myself and don't see this as a problem.
Thanks for all the help!
A deep full of honey is very heavy. Close to a hundred pounds. That's why I've gone to all mediums. I run four mediums for a brood chamber now.
From the bees point of view, yes I would add another deep and consider the three the brood chamber. Most people around here just do two deeps for the brood chamber and most winters that will be plenty, but it won't hurt to leave them more food and more room for spring.