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Discussion Starter #1
New guy here. I opened up and inspected today. Found what looks to be drone cells in bur comb between the first and second brood boxes which I tore up when removing the second brood box from the first. I cleaned up what I broke. Second brood box used to have brood and now is 70% open comb with what I assume is nectar and the rest is brood. Bottom is 80% full of brood. I wasn't prepared with an empty box to put frames in so I wasn't able to remove more than 3 from each box to look. Next time I'll be prepared. This was my first full inspection. Checking dates, I have had the hive for 12 weeks (right hive in photo).

Super above excluder is filling up with honey (5 frames with one frame 1/3 capped)

Am I looking good here or is the cells of drones between the boxes a sign of something funny going on?

Mike

PS: Yard looks like this. The left one is a swarm I captured and is doing fine with 3 full frames of brood and 2 partials.

 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Upon closer inspection of the photos I took it looks like the second brood box is not just nectar but is larvae being capped.

 

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Nope looking good, the drone cells are fine, they are filling in the bee space...It actually helps them get up into the box alot better like a bridge plus they say drone cells helps control varroa mites as well! Good luck
 

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they say drone cells helps control varroa mites as well! Good luck
Only if you are practicing drone removal before they emerge!

Your second brood chamber is honey bound, get the honey up into a honey super and get empty frames of drawn comb into the brood chamber. If you do not do this, you will see a late swarm and then the hive will not survive the winter. Know this, if you put in foundation, you might see the hive swarm. The reason is, the queen can not lay in foundation. The bees need time to build the wax.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Can I extract the honey from the comb in the super and use those even though they are not capped? Those would be the only frames of comb I would have.
 

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New guy here. ... This was my first full inspection. Checking dates, I have had the hive for 12 weeks.
I'd like to encourage you to inspect more often. I always suggest that new beekeepers do full frame-by-frame inspections at least every two weeks. The best way to learn about your bees is to get in there regularly and notice differences.
 

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Can I extract the honey from the comb in the super and use those even though they are not capped? Those would be the only frames of comb I would have.
nope,if its not capped,theres a reason-its not"ripe" or ready. you only need to remove one frame to take out all the rest- just remove the outer frame(the queen is not likely there but look close anyway), put it on the top cover beside the hive, and take out the rest one at a time, and replace them as you get done. that leaves the empty spce moving across the hive as frames are removed and inspected in turn. push'em all together tight with your hive tool and replace the first frame when you're done.
good luck,mike
 

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I'd like to encourage you to inspect more often. I always suggest that new beekeepers do full frame-by-frame inspections at least every two weeks. The best way to learn about your bees is to get in there regularly and notice differences.
Thank you. I meant a full inspection since supering. I did a full inspection 3 weeks prior to that. I plan to inspect every 20 days or so after this.

take out the rest one at a time, and replace them as you get done
Thanks. That is what I did with most of the frames. Looks like I'm doing ok other than the honey bound second box. I have partially drawn frames in the super above. I'll switch those today so at least they have a head start. Sound like a solid plan? I have no other choice than to empty a couple of frames of uncapped honey. That would just mean runny honey, right?
 

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1."...inspect every 20 days ..."
every 10 days lets you catch swarm cells before they swarm.
2."...Sound like a solid plan..."
if you are using the same size boxes. a shallow frame in a deep box will result in "wild" comb built on the bottom of the shallow frame, all the way down and connected to the deep frame below. do a proper inspection and likely you'll find some of the outside frames in the bottom box are empty and can be moved to the #2 box.
3."...just mean runny honey, right?..."
nope, its not honey till its capped. till then, its nectar- subject to fermentation and spoilage.
good luck,mike
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Thank you. 10 days it is. Local bee keeper (Mr. Carrier of http://carriersbees.com) informed me that pulling only half of the honey in the honey bound box (which is a super used as a second brood chamber) is a good idea and to evaporate the moisture from it to keep. This way the bees don't get it in their heads to swarm. The rest should be left in the second brood chamber this late in the game for winter stores. I'll do that and report back.

Forgot to add this: The extracted frames go back in the box for cleaning up and this should give the queen room to lay.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
OK, it's done. Went in there and checked a little better this time. Stole 4 frames of honey from the upper brood box that was honey bound. 3 frames were 100% capped and one was 90% capped. Scrape caps with fork, spin in 2 frame hand crank extractor and put the frames back to be cleaned up. I'll leave them alone for a few days and then see how they are doing.

The honey has a slight hint of peanut buttery (or just nutty) aftertaste. Wife said "I" am nuts and can't taste the nuttyness. Not as runny as I thought it would be. I got a little less than 3 inches of a 5 gallon bucket.

Brushing bees off of frames was interesting. They remained very docile compared to what I thought would happen. Smoke helps. It was very fun.
 
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