I am a first year beekeeper and got a double nuc with strong queen this spring. I installed it one 10 frame deep and one shallow (that is what I was given and had no $ to make or buy boxes.) I then made two mediums and put them on as the bees drew comb. So the hive has one 10 frame deep + 2 9 frame mediums (one with all the comb drawn and one with foundationless frames I put on today) and one 9 frame shallow with all frames drawn. The shallow is on top and then inner cover and telescoping outer cover.
I saw some large black ants on top of the inner cover and tried to kill all I could. The bees got rather "agitated" and let me know it. I did not see any ants in the frames or other supers. I did not remove any frames from the deep as I am afraid of rolling the queen. I have not seen her since I hived the nuc but the bees are acting normal and I don't see any queen cells on the frames of the shallow or two mediums.
My hive stand stand has 4 2' legs made of a 4x4 and 2x4's nailed to them for the hive to rest on. I have a SBB.
If I have done something stupid let me know. It's my first year and I have a thick skin. Also, I REALLY need these bees to do well as I have no money to get more if they abscond or die.
What do I do about the ants? Is there a way to keep them out of the hive?
When do I pull frames of honey to harvest? Is it too early to do so now? I live in SE Virginia zone 8a and I know clover and dandelions are blooming and the bees are pulling in pollen left and right. Some pale yellow some bright orange and some bright yellow.