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A couple years ago one of my colonies filled a spacer with comb, attached at the top to the underside of the inner cover, after I'd left it the spacer to make room for winter sugar board. It's really wild comb - very efficiently packed into the space. Since it has continued to be filled with bees, I've left it on, at the top of the hive. I think it's all brood, and not just drone, but plenty of worker brood. Can't really tell as all I can see is the bottom of the comb. It's all natural and I figured it couldn't hurt to leave it on, and eventually the bees would clear out of it. For all I know, the queen may be in there.

Now I have a challenge figuring out where to put it in the stack. I don't want to waste it. I would like to use a QE and limit the brood nest and start adding supers. Clearly I can't do that with this crazy box at the top of the brood nest - a QE above an inner cover might fail - they might just backfill everything below that spacer. The hive has three medium boxes plus this for its brood nest and they're using all that space. I wondered about putting this box at the bottom. Or in the middle. It's a problem but because it is absolutely packed with brood and bees and is healthy comb, I don't want to remove it.

What I don't know: sometimes bees will consider an inner cover to be the top of the hive. These have been accessing it via a top entrance. Or...I could possibly treat this hive as one that works from top down and put honey supers below it. I know some folks nadir rather than super. Not something I'm familiar with.
 

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That is pretty wacky, but this is what bees do. If there is a space that is greater than 3/8 of an inch, they will put comb there! It might make for a cool display, but its use is going to be limited for you. Also, I do not know your state laws, but it actually might be illegal to keep that kind of comb in a managed hive. In my state, all managed colonies must have all comb on movable frames (skeps are very illegal here). That may sound crazy, but it is so that the state bee inspectors can look at all of your comb to look for things like AFB and they need to be able to see every cell.
 

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Is it early enough in your area that you could split hives, if so I would be tempted to put an empty super in the middle. The lid will eventually hatch out and the bees will start moving down. Depending on how long your flow is you may be able to wait a few weeks to add a queen excluder.

If you can not split yet that makes it a bit more difficult, because adding an empty super effectively splits the hive when it is cold.
 

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Shake as many bees off as you can and put it back on the hive over an excluder.If you need to super,place the super between the excluder and the mess.
After a week,check below for evidence of the Q.With luck,she will be below the excluder.If not you have to find her and put her below,not an easy or pleasant job.Slowly dissect the mess.
After 24 days,if the Q was below,all brood will have emerged and you can trash the mess,setting it 150 ft away for the bees to rob out.
Write it up to lesson learned.
 
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