First time I have ever had bees so I'm a bit curious as to why one of my hives at night usually between 7 and 8:30 when it gets dark always clusters outside the hive all on the landing board.
Last Saturday I checked for queen cells inside hive and did not find any. This is the stronger of the 2 hives I have, both were started from 3 pound packages started April 3. The hives are cypress wood and I used wood stain from home depot. Did not want to have white painted hives. I put the first honey supers on May 21. Second honey supers were put on both hives June 20.
I have 2 deeps for the brood boxes (10 frames each deep using pierco frames so is easier for me to spot eggs) and also 2 honey supers (10 frames each) on now. First honey supers are full and capped honey I have not pulled them off hive yet. Am not using a queen excluder. I put excluder on one hive and it slowed them down so took it off. There are no eggs in the honey supers, queen is staying in bottom 2 brood boxes. They are drawing out the comb on the 2nd honey supers now.
The first box brood capped brood and covered with bees all the time. Half the other frames are pollen, honey, and eggs, larvae uncapped.
I'm not sure if this is normal behavior to all be in a giant mass like above pic. They have an empty frame in the bottom brood box where they have not drawn out the comb. They do not appear honey bound. I am also confused with splitting a hive people say they have to be moved 2 miles away if you do a hive split. This is not possible since I do not have land 2 miles away and basically are in my backyard. Is it even possible to do a split within the first year? I have only had these bees since April 3 2014. I do not want to make them too weak to survive winter.
Here is my queen took me a while to find her since she is not marked. Both hives are Italian honey bees this hive is very docile and not aggressive.
Thanks for any help. Nectar flow is still good in my area, central NC, from the amount of bees I see going in and out of the hive and on all on the flowers. Just don't want a hive to swarm and if I should split how would I do so without moving the split 1 mile away most I could move it is 100 feet away.