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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My hives have comfortably filled two deep brood boxes. One hive is drawing out the first super and the other is on its second.
When I perform an inspection, the two boxes are really glued together, the frames have brace comb between the top and bottom brood boxes. I cannot push the frames to one side of the box because the comb is built so thick on the last frame that it is too close to the box itself and am concerned that I will smash too many bees. Usually during the brood box inspection I am nervous about rolling the queen or something like that. That's why I keep the frames tight together. I have always been able to slide them to one side with my hive tool.

How often should I be inspecting my hives? I have tried to keep up with every two weeks but cannot always.

This winter can I expect to take off one of the brood boxes and clean it out if the bees have moved/clustered into either the upper of lower one?
 

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hey ccar
i asked the same thing of my mentor before i got my bee's this past april, he told me, when fall or winter comes, take the supers off, leave th upper brood chamber or deep for the bee's to feed off of over winter. come spring check the brood boxes for eggs and larva, and start over or split. this is what i was told, just talking here. i inspect every 2 weeks, or sometimes i peek in through the upper cover every other day, but i do a good upper brood inspection and a look in on the lower brood every 2 weeks.
 

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When your doing your inspection pry the two brood boxes apart and tilt the top one up some, scrape out the excess wax between the top and bottom frames, you'll probably find some drone brood and larve there too. This will help you some in short term for your inspections but they'll probably put it back anyway. The space could be off just a little between the frames and wider than 3/8". Its not a great concern just makes your inspections a little tougher.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I was thinking of pulling a small gauge wire through the hive to cut the comb without pulling up the frames when I tilt the top brood box. I am really nervous about harming the queen though. What is recommended to do about the inability to slide the frames due to the comb build up? Do I just start with the outermost frame away from the brood frames and pull it straight up? I can see that the brood nest is mostly off to one side and that is likely to be where the queen is, right?
 

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The queen will usually be where the majority of the bees are, but not always. Im not telling you to do this but this is what I do. I pry around the edges of the boxes a bit, lift on the top one and twist at the same time to break it free. Then I tilit the box forward and clean up the burr comb between the boxes. Any time you go in the brood boxes theres always a chance you could injure the queen, taking apart and putting back together. Just be as careful as you can and thats about all you can do? Just enjoy the bees is the main thing, good luck and most important have fun.
 

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Hey ccar2000, mikeS is correct on the bee spaces being the problem, the bee space between the top frames of your first box and the distance to the bottom frames of the second box. What you want to do is work really slow and pry each corner and tilt it....I know this might sound like what you usually dont hear but You want to keep some of that burr comb on top of the 1st box frames for acouple reasons...1) it allows the bees easier access up into the 2nd box, like a bridge!...2) most of it will be filled with honey and if its capped you can harvest some of it, grab ya a bucket and remember the areas that you left the burr comb, write it down in your notes. You want to clean as much as possible because if you dont it will be 10x worse the next time you try to get into your hive, "garaunteed"! Next time you do your inspections, look at your notes & you will know what frames to remove first to have enough room to manuver the other frames cause they will be attached again. The bees "will" reattach it and sometimes they dont but most of the time thats what they do, they might even build in the areas that you removed and i would remove it again since you need to have access into the bottom box! I wouldnt worry about it too much, i would just clean it up enough to be able to have better access for your inspections and leave some there as a bridge for the bees to have easier travel from the bottom box to the top box! Another thing if the queen decides to lay eggs and there is drone cells just think of it as having an extra frame of drone cells for varroa mite control....Good Luck!
 
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