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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Did my first complete inspection on a package I hived 3 weeks ago today. Queen had been released by Day 3, so I was anxious to see if she'd been a busy girl. I'm happy to report that she certainly has. :thumbsup:

I had started them on drawn frames and have been feeding them 1:1 with the homemade HBH. They've been sucking down the syrup like nobody's business so I had high hopes.

I had to wait until the temp today passed 60, but at least not the howling gales of the past couple of days. We're getting several days of showers starting tonight, so I wanted the girls in a good mood. Except for one unhappy resident, none of the rest even noticed me.

First observation outside the hive was a moderate amount of traffic going in & out. I still have the small side up on the entrance reducer as we got frost last night. No traffic jams yet. I'll continue doing visuals every day as temps are expected to near 80 by the weekend. Hopefully, this was our last frost of the year.

After popping the top & removing the inner cover/bucket feeder platform, I saw a LOT of bees roaming around. Pretty much were covering the frames even on the tops. I'm running a 10-frame deep for the brood, so here's the run down:

Frames 1, 8, 9, & 10 were empty comb & no bee activity
Frame 2 was mostly nectar. The cells along the top of the frame on the brood side were being capped.
Frame 3 had a spotty capped brood pattern on the brood side, and nectar on the far side. (I'm thinking HRH started here)
Frame 4 both sides were about 3/4 full of capped brood, and best of all, I saw the Queen. Fat, golden, and busy.
Frame 5 was almost edge to edge capped brood on both sides. Only a few empty cells scattered about for the heater bees.
Frame 6 (both sides) was about 3/4 full of half capped brood & half larvae, with some nectar & pollen around the edges.
Frame 7 was almost full of pollen & nectar on the brood side, empty on the far side.

Altogether a very satisfactory inspection for 20 days or so. So the next question is when to add additional brood space.

I have plenty of drawn/partially drawn foundation & extra deeps. Temps are supposed to be up & the weather sunny again, so I'm thinking of taking a quick peek this weekend to see what they're doing with those currently empty outer frames. If they've started filling at least 2 of them, I'm thinking they might be ready for Deep #2.

If I want to pull a frame of brood from Deep #1 to Deep #2, would it be better to move capped or uncapped? And should I pull more than one frame? Given what the hive looks like now, what positions should be pulled & replaced with foundation frames?

And yes, I'm still feeding them all they want. If/when I throw on a honey super, I'll stop feeding for a while.
 

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Personally I never break up the brood nest. They will move up, especially if you have drawn comb up there. If you add another box and they don't move up as fast as you want, you can move a frame up, but I move a frame that they are currently drawing without brood.

The issue is that if you let them move up too soon, they will never draw out the other frames in the bottom box. I let them draw out 8 frames, move the outside (undrawn) ones in one or two spaces and add the next box.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm hoping to make a split in a couple of months, especially since I've discovered that the happy little queen appears to be Cordovan. Beautiful, solid, golden, reddish brown. So I'll be watching those brood boxes like a hawk now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Re: 1st Inspection on new package & questions

I'm running a 10-frame deep (all drawn comb) for the brood, so here's the run down:

Frames 1, 8, 9, & 10 were empty comb & no bee activity
Frame 2 was mostly nectar. The cells along the top of the frame on the brood side were being capped.
Frame 3 had a spotty capped brood pattern on the brood side, and nectar on the far side. (I'm thinking HRH started here)
Frame 4 both sides were about 3/4 full of capped brood, and best of all, I saw the Queen. Fat, golden, and busy.
Frame 5 was almost edge to edge capped brood on both sides. Only a few empty cells scattered about for the heater bees.
Frame 6 (both sides) was about 3/4 full of half capped brood & half larvae, with some nectar & pollen around the edges.
Frame 7 was almost full of pollen & nectar on the brood side, empty on the far side.
After noodling this arrangement a bit more, I'm thinking of putting a couple of the empty comb frames between positions 2 & 3. That will put available empty comb closer to the queen.

Considering that theoretically the queen doesn't want to cross honey, does that apply sideways as well? Or will she go around/under/over the honey frames to find the empties on the other side?

What about reversing frame #7 since it's empty on the off side? Or would I be better off just inserting empty comb between #6 and #7? I have all my frames numbered, journal everything I'm doing, so I can easily keep track of which frames went where.
 

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Personally I think that the bees know best where they want things. Other than before, or at the time I install bees and to prevent swarming I let them decide where to put things.

Moving honey only frames to outside frames is harmless and moving frames around in powerful hives won't be a problem, but with new, young hives my advice is to not over think things. Bees have known where they want honey, pollen and brood for millions of years. They are pretty good at it and will probably do okay even with our non-bee knowledge intervention, but I let them kind of do their thing until they get to swarm size.
 
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