I have been a beek since last April when I brought two packages into the suburbs of the Bay Area, Ca. I split them and lost one hive over the winter to wax moths. I ended up getting a decent harvest from my two parent hives. My mentor called queen excluders "honey excluders" and recommended that I not use them. FYI I am running double 8 frame deeps with 1 deep as a super. I cruise the forums and read a bunch so I thought that I must be an expert right? Wrong.
About three weeks ago I noticed an incredible amount of activity with my hives. It have been 70 degrees everyday for a month now(sorry Midwestern guys). I decided to super up and take atvantage of the early flow. 3 weeks ago I put my drawn out deep frames on two of my hives and the other got a shallow for comb honey. No queen excluders of course. The first week was just a little capped honey and 25% filled. I skipped next week's inspection...not smart.
My inspection yesterday revealed the outer frames capped with a clear sweet honey. When I got deeper I found perfect brood patterns in my honey supers. Every box was just stuffed full of bees. Saw some capped drone brood for the first time. I wasn't sure what to do. I had one queen excluder that I put under the comb super. I made sure the queen wasn't above it. Will it still be edible after brood has been in it? I know it wont be perfect.
The other two hives I broke down and examined the brood chambers. It was invasive and the bees did not like it. I didn't care. I wanted to see why they choose to nest in what was supposed to be my portion I found the bottom box to be very dark and stuffed full of pollen, nectar?, with some larva. Not a real true moon pattern. Wish I had snapped pics now. The box above it was a typical moon pattern that was looking strong. I lost a bunch of larva in the burr comb, not really sure how to clean that out to save the wax.
I reversed my bottom boxes on the supered hives and added on more deep to the strongest hive bringing it up to 4. I know I need to do some swarm prevention measures and I have read this is a good step. How many more before I need a top entrance? That officially is all the woodenware I own. I feel that I might be time for another order. My mentor told me that the new recruits in my honey supers will be utilized for the main upcoming flow. They will then fill in with honey. Should I just keep adding boxes till I have a skyscraper in my backyard? Order some excluders and do the same thing to my other hives?
Thanks in advance for any tips guys. I am learning that this is a hobby that forces you to learn from your mistakes. I still have plenty more to make.