So I put a package of bees in a Warre hive about a week ago. The box had angled bars and everything but, of course, my bees had other plans and they are pretty cross combed. They are not showing any bad signs. Good action in front of the hive and the building is going smoothly.(I have viewing windows so I can watch them grow without having to open up the hive) I am just curious if anyone knows how to check for laying if you can't pull out any frames? I understand that if everything is going well I shouldn't have to worry but it is just piece of mind if I can see the eggs. Also I really don't care that they are cross combed I didn't have any wax to make guides as this is my first hive so I just have to roll with it for now.
Since I did not see you in the welcome forum Please allow me to welcome you first!
If they are drawing cross comb you have to get them to straighten it out. Which means cutting the cross comb out and attaching it to the frames with Hardware cloth or whatever means necessary. You now have wax as some of what you remove will not be able to be reattached. Also you can buy bees wax Check the for sale section here or Ebay. The frames have to be removable according to most state law.
I understand where you are coming from but my state in the apiary act does not state that I most have removable frames. I have read over it a few times before getting a Warre as it can sometimes be a problem. I am going to be putting boxes in with wax guides as I go forward with it but for now I am going to leave the comb alone. I was just wondering if there is any signs of egg laying that I can see without needing to directly check the comb. Also if anyone from Oklahoma knows of anything I missed in the apiary act please tell me as I will do my best to follow it.
I think you're on the right track using the wax starter strips going forward. Some have luck with various types of wood starter strips, but it has been my experience the sure fire way to get straight combs is to use wax strips.
If it were me, if I saw pollen coming in regularly I would not tear up the comb they are building to look for eggs. Incoming pollen is not a sure way to know if there is eggs/brood, but in my experience it's a decent indicator. I would let them fill the box with whatever comb they have started and nadir a box with wax starter strips just as they have built the combs to the floor. If you nadir the new box too soon they will attach the combs to the top bars in the lower box. If they build out 3 full boxes before fall I would harvest the top box which should be your crooked combed box.
Also, if the box isn't totally filled with comb you could just smoke or brush some of the bees off and see if there is brood or eggs. The face of the larger combs will be easy to see as it won't be obscured by the smaller comb next to it. Just be sure when you set the box on it's side to keep the face of the combs perpendicular to the ground so they don't break off the top bars.
Thanks for the advice I didn't even think about brushing off the outside frames. They have almost filled the top box so I might be able to brush the outer comb and see if there are any eggs.
They are bringing in pollen at a good rate I even saw one bee drop one of its pellets and the bees trying to move it in the hive. They are also doing proper maintenance on the hive as well.(dragging things out and guarding the front) As I mentioned in the top post everything is going smoothly nothing worrying. It really is just my curiosity which is why I didn't want to mess with the comb or mess with them too much. Tomorrow I will see about it although not sure if I will have space, I will try, might use my phone to take a pic so I don't have to stick my head into it.
As a quick update, I was able to see eggs today on some newly built comb. I wasn't able to brush them the rest of the top box have been covered. Still, a little more space left but no room to get in and brush them. But today they had moved to the back of the hive so through my viewing window I was able to see eggs so I have a laying queen. Everything is looking good so I think I am going to leave them along for a while and probably try observing the first oreintation flight of the new bees sometime next week since that should be about right if my queen has been laying since it was released a couple of days after I hived them.
If it's any consolation, I have a few boxes that got away from me and are cross-combed. I'm slowly moving them up by nadiring, and will harvest them when ready.
I understand the removable frame concern, but I feel like tearing apart the hive to fix cross comb is not worth the stress on the colony. If an inspector ever came by and insisted to see inside those specific boxes, I guess i would just turn the box upside down and start cutting! I don't see that happening though...
My theory is prevent cross comb when you can (bending it straight while the comb is still fresh, using starter strips, etc), and if a box gets crossed and overlooked, then just move it up and out.
On the brood/egg thing, it becomes pretty easy to see capped brood on the bottoms of the center combs by turning the box on its side (keep the comb vertical or it will break!) and lightly smoking the bees to get a good look. You can spread the combs apart a little with your fingers to get a little better look. I can't see eggs without lifting out frames, though.