Finally got into my hives after 10 days since dumping my bees. The temps were mid 50's and sunny so I didn't want to spend to much time but needed to check the status of the queen.
Hive 1: Queen was free and I found her (she is marked) on the 6th frame in from my first frame I pulled. I put it all back together and shut her up as soon as I saw her. I wanted to check for eggs but it was to chilly for my comfort so I just made sure things looked passable and reassembled the hive. I pulled the queen cage and made sure they were all spaced evenly in the middle of the box. I dumped the feeder out and filled it with fresh feed with some Honey B Healthy.
Hive 2: Queen was free but I could not find her. I only pulled five frames and decided to put it back together. I figured next Sunday I should see capped brood. The bees were not aggressive and I saw no queen cells so either they off'd her, or they are getting along okay. I again did not take time to search for eggs due to the cold. The bees were calm and in no way aggressive so I took that as a sign that they are comfortable and the queen is somewhere in the hive.
Observations and Questions:
1. Saw plenty of pollen on the bees coming into the hives. They have not touched their pollen patties at all. I placed one per hive. Should I just pull the pollen patties or leave them assuming they will get to them later? They are finding pollen somewhere so I don't know if they will go to the pollen patty any time soon.
2. They had built up some deep comb on either side of the queen cage. It was not very sturdy but I just pressed the frames together for the correct bee space and left it alone. No burr cone on the top to scrape at all. Will that deep comb be okay left alone? Should I have taken it out?
3. I did not use reducers as my two hives are the only two on the farm. I found out that I will be getting another beekeeper keeping some swarm hives near mine though soon. I am thinking I should go to reducers due to that fact. What are your thoughts? My hives are no where near ready to fend off a stronger colony.
4. I have thought about adding a boardman feeder to my hives in addition to my top feeders. They don't seem to use the top feeders much and I am wondering if its the feeder or the bees just have another source. Would two feeders be overkill?
Thanks in advance for any advice or help.