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Hi everybody.

This is my second year bee keeping, so I am very much a novice. I live in Oregon's Willamette Valley.

The bees are very active happy looking - a real joy to watch. I have two brood boxes and a shallow honey super with a queen excluder under it. Last year in August, I harvested honey - took 7 out of the 10 frames, and they were all completely full and meticulously capped in snow white wax. I haven't opened the hive in a year.

Today, I was surprised, when I did open it. I expected the super to be completely full (they have plenty of food here). It wasn't. Some frames, only had cells drawn out, but no honey yet. I took 5 of the frames and left the bees the other 5 for the winter. They look different than what I took last year though. Instead of all white, there is a like a big semi-circle near the bottom on most frames, where the cells look brown. What are they? I don't think they are brood cells, and the queen isn't supposed to be able to get up there, anyway. Are they just not completely done capping them? Photo attached. Is this maybe not ready to harvest yet? (oops, too late for that). Thank you so much for your insight and experience. 20200826_103551.jpg
20200826_103644.jpg
 

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I'm surprised that nobody has answered you yet. I've only had my hives for 4 years, but to me, it looks like capped honey, but maybe of a different sort.
How bout you open a few cells to see for yourself?
 

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The semi-circles - those are the cells where there was brood.
Meanwhile above the brood there was capped honey already.
The brood cells were back-filled with nectar much later - they contain nectar from different sources AND the cells are darker themselves (due to brood raising).

Just harvest and don't worry.
 

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The semi-circles - those are the cells where there was brood.
Meanwhile above the brood there was capped honey already.
The brood cells were back-filled with nectar much later - they contain nectar from different sources AND the cells are darker themselves (due to brood raising).

Just harvest and don't worry.
Thank you for your answer! Excuse my ignorance, but I thought you needed a queen to make brood cells? This is from a honey super with a perfectly intact queen excluder underneath. Can they make brood without the queen?
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Buzz, were the frames exclusively undrawn foundation when you put them in above the excluder? There is no doubt that the most likely explanation is that the pattern is due to the darker cells having been brood cells at least at some point. This past season I actually found capped brood in a honey super that was placed above an excluder from the very start. It happens. Smaller queens are able to get through the wires. Also, returning queens sometimes find the upper entrance if you are using one and commence full scale brood rearing in the supers. Not uncommon to have a queen on both sides of a QE.
 
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