Inspection of supers raised many questions
Yesterday my Son in law was able to help with the hives...he is great at lifting
We decided to check the honey supers as we are about a week into our Blackberry bloom.
Some of the hives had what I expected..a dadant with some capped honey frames and others still open. Honey but not much else.
Other hives were not what I expected.
One had brood..drone and worker...plus lots of pollen and nectar, with a bit of capped honey in the corners but true honey frames only on the outer most frame. One frame was drawn like crazy comb with solid sheets of drone brood on both sides on both sides of the frame. When I cut it out the actual foundation was not drawn at all. This hive also has 2 deeps of drawn comb. I didn't check the lowest one but the other had capped brood. I do not use Queen excluders...perhaps I should.
The other oddity was a hive that on first look after I cracked the inner cover seemed to be boiling over with bees...and it was. The oddity was that vast majority of the bees in the honey super were drones...drones,drones and more drones. Again the only proper honey combs were on the outer edge and those were not fully capped. I looked at the upper deep brood box and it had workers and worker brood..no excess of drones there. I kick myself as once I saw capped worker brood I closed up. I think I should have also looked for eggs etc. . One other hive had this same sea of drones.
This is my second year...first year with over wintered hives. Last year my packages and nucs filled the honey dadants with honey...not nectar, pollen and brood.
Is this all happening because the hives have swarmed at some point?
Should I be doing anything to sort it out or will the bees do that over time?
We took off 28 frames of fully filled capped honey from the dadants to extract. We took nothing out of the deeps. I was suspicious that one hive being Queenless as saw no open brood..perhaps waiting on a virgin...so gave them a frame of eggs.
I have so much to learn..these established hives seem quite different from packages and nucs.
Thanks on any insight into these hives and direction on how I should manage them and how to avoid this next season.
On a better note the 14 "baby" hives I have set up seem to making queens and growing their families...slowly but surely.
Janne....first hives April 2013, 19 hives, treat, plant zone 8b, at sea level, latitude 49.13, longitude 123.06