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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all:

Did an inspection just now, and have a behavior question. For background: I've got 8 frame all mediums, foundationless frames. Bees made it through first winter and look good; low mite count, bringing in pollen. Right now they have three boxes- over the winter the bottom two were mostly brood nest, top box had 5 frames capped honey, 1 frame half drawn and capped, and 2 empty frames, no comb.
When I went in just now, bottom box has bees on the frames with pollen, though frames look pretty dark (should they be that dark after one season?), and zero brood, zero capped honey. 8 empty frames basically, though bees were sticking their heads in the cells (packing in pollen?)
middle box has 7 of the 8 frames full of brood in various stages, and I saw the queen. 1 frame open honey.
the third box has 2 frames capped honey (winter store?), and BROOD int he center 2 frames. Bees are drawing out the rest of the empty frames. No queen cups anywhere.
My questions:
-what's up with the bottom box? Will the queen move back down? I thought brood nest was usually two mediums.
If she's in the top two boxes laying, should I add a super on top?
-What should I do with the dark looking frames in the bottom box?
-should I remove the bottom box, clean it out, and place a third box on top of the two that are being layed in?

thanks all, hope this makes sense. My first spring and I don't want to screw it up.
Casey
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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>My first spring and I don't want to screw it up.

Usually the best way to not screw up with bees is to leave them alone...

> though frames look pretty dark (should they be that dark after one season?)

Yes.

> and zero brood, zero capped honey. 8 empty frames basically, though bees were sticking their heads in the cells (packing in pollen?)

Eggs? Larvae? They may need to be fed if they have zero capped honey.

> -what's up with the bottom box? Will the queen move back down?

If you don't add space on the top first, she will move back down.

>I thought brood nest was usually two mediums.

The brood nest is what they can keep warm and afford to feed.

> If she's in the top two boxes laying, should I add a super on top?

If you do they will not move down.

> -What should I do with the dark looking frames in the bottom box?

You could move that box to the top so you can see when they have filled the space they have without having to dig back down to the bottom.

> -should I remove the bottom box, clean it out, and place a third box on top of the two that are being layed in?

What is there to clean out?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the quick reply.
- zero honey/brood in bottom box- all empty frames. 7 frames brood and one of new honey in middle box; 5 frames brood, 2 honey in top box.
I was just concerned because the comb in the bottom box is so dark compared to the comb in the other two boxes- I wasn't sure if it was indicative of a problem.
I'll take the bottom box and put it on top; I assume they'll use those frames for either additional brood nest or honey.
They have two frames of open honey that's new, and about 2 frames capped honey. Should I feed?
Thanks for your help and for moderating- it's great to have the support and info. :)
Casey
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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54,120 Posts
>I was just concerned because the comb in the bottom box is so dark compared to the comb in the other two boxes- I wasn't sure if it was indicative of a problem.

It means they raised more than one batch of brood in it.

>I'll take the bottom box and put it on top; I assume they'll use those frames for either additional brood nest or honey.

Whatever they decide to do with it.

>They have two frames of open honey that's new, and about 2 frames capped honey. Should I feed?

Is there a nectar flow? If not, probably.

>Thanks for your help and for moderating- it's great to have the support and info.

I'm not a moderator. But you're welcome.
 
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