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Okay, actually second inspection but the first one only consisted of making sure the queen had been released on day 5 and removing her little box.

In my 10 frame brood box with new black plastic foundation inserts, the 4 outside frames are still empty. The next 2 have some comb started. The middle 2 look to have capped brood mixed with larva. There were sporadic holes in the capped brood but they all looked to have larva inside. Ive never been so excited to see bug larva! I saw lots of pollen around the edges and the corners were capped white. Honey? I found one frame with uncapped comb and lots of bees. There were small larva and maybe eggs but I couldn't tell for sure about the eggs. I guessed the queen would be on this one but I didn't see her. I figured out I can recognize drones pretty easily. I saw a few of those here and there. I didn't see anything that looked like drone cells (from what I've seen in videos.)

My smoker stayed lit. Yay! Bees were pretty calm. I still haven't been stung but I haven't been stung by anything since I stepped on a bumble bee when I was 5. With my luck I'll be allergic.

I'm still a bit handicapped since I broke the middle finger on my right hand. Makes it awkward to try and handle bee frames delicately but I knew I needed to check on things. I wanted to take photos but, again, very awkward.

Does everything sound normal? At what point do I add the next super? Do I wait until they start comb on the outside frames? what size comes next? deep one or shallow? I have a shallow one but will need to order a deep. I'm not a very strong person so weight is a consideration for me. Thanks in advance for any advice.
 

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Hi Millenia - welcome to Beekeeping and BeeSource! What you are describing sounds pretty normal. Most folks wait until all of the frames in the deep are drawn and bees 90% fill the box before adding another box. If the bees seem reluctant to draw the outside frames consider moving them in several positions and swapping for an already drawn frame. You don't want to put the undrawn frame in the brood nest as that will split it and the queen will stay on whatever side she is on until the frame is drawn out.

So my advice is hold off on adding another box until the bees need the space!

Can you share with us what you did to prepare to be a beekeeper? Did you read some books or take a class? (This isn't school - I'm simply curious)
 

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Andrew is correct, hold off on another box until they draw out the majority of the bottom box. As far as the size of your next box, that is mostly up to you. I would think many people in your area may only use 1 deep for the brood nest with shallows or mediums above. A deep and a shallow would probably overwinter just fine. Local advice may say otherwise. :)
 

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When what they have is 70 to 80 percent full of brood or food add another super. Drawn comb even with good bee coverage is stressful to the hive heating cooling, humidifying, ventilating and especially defending. If frames only have to be all drawn you could stack super after super every ten minutes of drawn supers and the hive will be dead in two weeks if you are in small hive beetle territory.
 

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I assume you started from a package. In that case, what you have is what the original bees managed to do in those two weeks, but you have only part of the original bee population -- they die off as they age and packages are like any other group of bees. Until you have the second round of brood emerging, you won't see much of a change in the total population of bees, and that's about six weeks after you hive them.

Wait until the bees are using 8 or 9 frames, not just drawing some comb. Once the first round of brood emerges, the queen will re-lay that comb and the higher number of bees (hopefully) will increase the brood area from two frames on both sides to probably three on both sides, possible another face. When that brood emerges as adults, the bees will start to fill up the hive and you can consider another box.

Don't get in a hurry to add more foundation, wait until they need it, and keep feeding until you have two deeps or the equivalent full of brood and stores.

Peter
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hi Millenia - welcome to Beekeeping and BeeSource! What you are describing sounds pretty normal. Most folks wait until all of the frames in the deep are drawn and bees 90% fill the box before adding another box. If the bees seem reluctant to draw the outside frames consider moving them in several positions and swapping for an already drawn frame. You don't want to put the undrawn frame in the brood nest as that will split it and the queen will stay on whatever side she is on until the frame is drawn out.

So my advice is hold off on adding another box until the bees need the space!

Can you share with us what you did to prepare to be a beekeeper? Did you read some books or take a class? (This isn't school - I'm simply curious)
Ive been reading everything I can get my hands on for three months and contacted a bee guy at our local university. He's the one who got me the bees and installed them. Yes, a package. He told me they would be nice bees and they sure are. And there were barely any dead ones in the box when he brought them over. Nothing like what I've seen on YouTube.

I've read a lot but the more I read the more opinions I read. I know a lot depends on location which is why I'm confused on how many deeps I actually should have on hand. I don't want to need something and not have it but I don't want to add something I don't need. I don't want to run out of room at the wrong time.

You think all I'll ever need is one brood box? No matter how big they get during the summer? I can get by with only adding shallow supers on top? That was my original plan but then I keep reading...

I really want more hives eventually but need to start slow. And I really want to get my first sting over with but not badly enough to stick my hand in the hole. ;)

Thanks for all the replies. You guys are great support. I could never have just one mentor because I would drive him/her nuts. And if beekeepers are like everyone else, they get tired of hearing, "but I read on the Internet..."
 

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>And I really want to get my first sting over with but not badly enough to stick my hand in the hole<
Believe me you will,LOL. As far as the amount of boxes,I always use 2 brood boxes.Although you can go with just one. Time will tell by how fast your bees build up.
With just the one you could do a split after they build up to increase the amount of hives you want.Mark,,,,,,
 

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My rule is to add space when their current boxes are 80% full. This means 8 out of the 10 fraems are full. Full also means fully drawn and filled with something. Brood counts. even empty cells on a brood frame are considered full. Then carefully and selectively add the space. I do not just drop a box on top. I will add two new frames from a new ten frame box to the outer edges of eh brood nest. In doign so I need to remove the 1st and 10th frame which should be full of honey or honey and pollen. These two frames are placed in the 4th and 6th or 5th and 7th position of the new box. Then look for any additional frames that have no brood in them in the lower box that can be moved up. sometimes the brood nest in the lowest box is only 5 frames wide so I am able to take a couple more fraems from the lower box. these woudl be put in the 2nd and 8th or 3rd and 9th positions of the new box with new fraems in between them. I then have a box that is new comb on the outside frame or two and then alternating drawn and new frames in the middle. In some random amount of time the bees will draw these new fraems that are between old fraems. as they do I move them outward and replace them with the new frames that where left to the outside edges of the new box.

Keep in mind that the 80% is in relation to the entire size of the hive. So 20 frames are now 80% full when they only have 6 of those 10 new frames drawn. Provided the lower ten or fully and completely drawn.

Upon adding the third box I will once again go all the way down to the lowest box selecting bloodless fraems to add to it. I will also take frames from the second box that are suitable. replace all taken frames with new empty frames. I now only require 4 of the 10 new fraems be drawn assuming all other frames have been drawn. I other words and hive of 30 frames is 80% full even when it still have 6 completely untouched frames as long as every other frame is fully and completely drawn and filled.

I find good results with this method almost always. Failure to build quickly is always a sign of things that are wrong with the colony. My best result so far with this method is an overwintered nuc this spring that has built up from a 5 over 5 nuc or ten frames to a 4 box tall 40 frame colony in two months.

One tip. The bees always seem to have frames in certain locations they do not want to work on. find those and move them to locations where the fullest frames are. They fill all frames much faster this way. Your bees will tell you where they prefer to work.
 

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<<One tip. The bees always seem to have frames in certain locations they do not want to work on. find those and move them to locations where the fullest frames are. They fill all frames much faster this way. Your bees will tell you where they prefer to work.>>

thank you so much, Daniel. One more question, though. If I'm going to swap frames around, wont my boxes all need to be the same size? Do you put three deeps on one hive? I don't have other hives to swap with.

I like the idea of doing a split like was mentioned but not if I can't learn to find my queen. I asked for her to be marked but I guess that got lost in the process. I like the idea of nucs (my Ipad wants to change that word to nuts) but need to learn more. Again,I have to be able to find my queen before I can do much of anything.
 

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Same size fraems helps. but no they do not all have to be. I use deeps for brood chambers. Then have mediums on top of that. At first It thought this would limit me to only having deeps in deeps and mediums in mediums. The fact is a medium frame fits in a deep box with room to spare. So this only leaves the problem of a deep fitting in a medium. Now it can be done if you stack two mediums and then put the deep in the upper one. but that leaves a pretty big gap. Bees will continue to draw comb on the bottom bar of a frame that is to short. turning a medium frame into a deep in effect. I have done that many times. later when I remove that medium I have a nice neat starter strip of comb I cut of the bottom of the frame. often ready made with brood. I am getting good at removing them and attaching them to a new frame.

I am not talking about finding queens today. I spent over an hour trying to find one in a nuc yesterday. never did find her. I finally split it into two stacks of boxes. I will go back in a couple of days and find which stack has eggs in it. I will find her by process of elimination.

There are a lot of tips on how to go about finding one though. she is not going to be on a frame of honey. that is pretty certain. queens actually avoid walking across combs of honey. You are not likely to find her on frames of capped brood. Unless it is emerging brood and she is looking hard for a place to lay. filling cells as soon as they are vacated. you are most likely to find her where there is the greatest population of bees. As I remove the cover of a hive or remove the box that is above it I look for where the spaces between the frames are fullest with bees. Do not use smoke you do not want to chase the bees off. You want to see where they choose to be when undisturbed. it is in that greatest mass of bees you are most likely to find the queen. Of course that does not help much when a hive looks like this.

1966846_620130411405157_1477856180_n.jpg
 
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