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I have three hives. I started a new hive April 27th. It is doing well. lots of brood, honey and bees in both deep boxes. On May 24th I put a queen excluder on top of the two deep supers and put a small honey super on top of that. Today I inspected the hive again. There was a lot of activity and tons of bees in the two deep supers, but not much action in the honey super. They did not draw out any comb. I think I found queen cells in the lower brood box and removed them. There was something white, not as solid as brood in there. I'm wondering if they plan to swarm? Don't they have enough space with the honey super on top? I also wonder are there to many bees in my hive? Beekeeper Beehive Honeybee Bee Apiary
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Please look at my pics, and help my solve another bee question.
 

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I would put on a second brood box instead of a super right now. Take off the excluder and let the queen move up and give her more room to lay. The bees don't need more room, the queen does so she can lay more eggs. Looks like a great brood pattern and great laying queen.
 

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I don't see any queen cells, you have a bunch of drone brood off the bottom of one of those frames your holding. You may try to take the queen excluder off for a few days until the bees start to work in the super then you can shake the bees off back into the hive bodies and put the excluder back on. Or you can just wait, they will move through the excluder when they get ready.
 

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Your hive looks, from the photo (too far away to be informative, sorry), to be very crowded! Would you like another hive? If so, this one is ripe to split: already in two deeps and stuffed with bees. If you put on a third deep and/or a honey super they may still swarm. Lose the queen excluder they are a PITA!

The solid looking white stuff is likely capped honey, which the bees typically store on the upper corners of brood frames.

If you cut out capped queen cells, the bees are well into their plans to swarm, and may still swarm on you. Without those queen cells, if they swarm, the queen will go off with the prime swarm and you will be left hopelessly queenless. You could buy a queen in that event (if you do not capture your own swarm, hive that and then give the left behind, queenless hive some fresh eggs to raise their own queen).

I would encourage you to get a local beekeeper out to look through the hive with you ASAP and ensure you have a queen and eggs in there. They can advise you on best options based on what you find.

But in your shoes, with a hive that crowded, and the swarm impulse so far advanced, I would do an immediate split. It can be as simple as setting up a second hive, and simply dealing out the frames between it and the mother hive...such that each hive ends up with half the brood, half the stores, and one of them will end up with the old queen. The one that does not have the queen will likely get eggs, and can raise another, but you could also pop in a purchased queen the next day. That way you may actually get two honey producers this year.

Let us know how it goes.

Janet
 

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If indeed you have found queen cells, then yes, they might be "thinking" and preparing to swarm. Were those queen cells capped? As you removed them, did you look inside of them? What did you see?
Have you seen any eggs in the brood nest? Any uncapped brood? Any evidence of a laying queen?

From what I see in my bees, if they are preparing to swarm they do not like to draw comb on new foundation too well. Especially through a queen excluder. If that is the case, most likely, they will continue to rebuild those swarm cells and eventually swarm.

It certainly looks like you have a lot of bees in there and the frames in your deep boxes are drawn and full with honey.

As for having enough space...foundation above a queen excluder, once swarm preparation is underway, is not that much of a usable space...if their brood nest is crowded and back filled with honey, then yes, they could swarm.
 

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I will chime in also. We have used queen excluders and the the man says they are a pita. Since the queen tends to lay in the middle frames we just let her move up if she wants. Usually what happens for us is the upper box gets filled with brood and the bottom box empties out. Then we switch boxes so the queen is on the bottom again. Usually at that time the upper box begins to fill with honey. and usually we have to add more supers on that. The big thing is always make sure the queen has a place to lay. And remember she generally will not cross a honey barrier to lay. So that means you may have to move frames of honey away from the brood area and put empty frames next to the brood.
I agree that you may be at point where a swarm is imminent so splitting is a good idea. We usually move the queen and a frame of brood and a frame of honey to a nuc and let the main hive requeen.
 

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Quite often bees will ignore foundation above an excluder. Take it out and let them work it some, and once there is some honey up there you can put it back on if you wish.

With drawn comb they usually go right to work, but for some reason will not draw foundation above an excluder if there is nothing drawn up there.

Just bees.

I doubt you are in danger of swarming. Likely they will get to work drawing comb right away once you get the excluder out.

Peter
 

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Biene- Split if you want an extra hive, right now timing is perfect. If not, take 3 or 4 frames of brood out of the 2nd box and put them
in a 3rd deep in the middle, with foundation frames on the sides, apparently you have no drawn comb. Put empty frames of
foundation back into the middle of the 2nd box leaving room for the queen to lay. Put the excluder back on and then the 3rd deep and let the brood hatch out. They will backfill with honey after brood is hatched. Check for swarm cells before you start this.
 

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Hi Biene2013,
are you referring to the cells along the bottom of the frame? If so, those are open drone cells. The hive is very overcrowded, from what I can see in the pictures. You have a queen that is a very prolific layer, so why not give her more space to lay in by adding one more deep or 2 medium boxes on top of the two boxes yo have there? I would not suggest splitting. Let the hive get strong and ready to produce some honey and you achieve that only by having a hive with a critical mass of bees needed to do the work.

I would suggest opening the broodnest in both boxes (adding empty drawn-out frames to the center; same in both boxes) and also shifting one to two frames of brood to the third box so the queen is enticed to move up and start laying there if needed. If you move some brood frames to the third box, you will need to move some honey/pollen frames up there as well. The rest will end up being empty frames that the bees will use for either honey/pollen storage or the queen for more brood laying. You then place the honey super(s) on top of the third box and go on from there.
Good luck!
 

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Okay, take this with a grain of salt, but I have never seen a hive taken apart quite in that manner. With the bees all concentrated on one side of the box in back (I assume it was/is the bottom box) and them covering the front of the box it looks strange to me. I suppose that is the brood area and the frames closest have capped honey in them. The frame leaning against the front box is capped honey or appears to be.

When I take a hive apart, I take the telescoping cover, and turn it over (metal side down). Then set the first box of the hive on the cover at 45 degrees from the top. This does not squish as many bees and also lets you place your foot on the cover to hold it down as you pick the box back off of it. Then on the following boxes, I set them on top of the precedeing box, once again at 45 degrees off from the one underneath it. This keeps all your bees together and also does not take up as much room. the other benefit, is since the boxes underneath are covered, it does decrease robbing just a tad and keeps less bees in the air, which is always a good thing. Just my two cents worth.

What is the item leaning against the front of the hive?

Like Fred and others have said, do not put an excluder below undrawn frames, they ignore the frames lots of times and start swarm prep. You will need to once again go into this hive and split or they are likly to swarm, once they get it in their little bee minds, it is hard to dissuade them.

To split, I would recommend finding the queen and moving her along with a frame of brood, one of pollen and one of honey (all covered with bees, to a different location on the yard. This should simulate a swarm and reduce the chances of the ones left behind swarming. After 9 days, go into the one that has no queen and either remove all but 2 queen cells, or you can split the cells into nucs if you want to increase more.

Good luck,
 

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Also, you should make sure your broodnest area is the 5 frames in the center of each box. The outer 5 frames should be reserved for the honey/pollen storage. Looking at your pictures, this is likely not the case here as most of your bees are crowded on the outer sides of the box. One more remark: never put the boxes with the frames in them on its side when you remove them for inspection. Also, do not remove the frames from the box randomly. Start from the outer edge towards the center. Return them back in place the way they were before you took them out. Reassemble the boxes the same way.
 

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I think I found queen cells in the lower brood box and removed them. There was something white, not as solid as brood in there. I'm wondering if they plan to swarm? View attachment 11744 View attachment 11745 Please look at my pics, and help my solve another bee question.
Never a smart idea to remove a queen cell. Especially if you do not know what the bees actually are building it for.
 

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Looks like you and your bees are progressing well. Another trick; your blocks should be turned on their sides. Mice will use the dry sections under the hives to nest.
Keep up the progress.
 

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I am assuming these are all boxes from one hive. If so it is a nice hive. I try to avoid spreading out all the boxes and just make one stack (obviously in reverse order). If you put a box on it's side do it the long way so the frames do not fall against each other and crush the queen or other bees. When you first begin beekeeping with mixed equipment it is a challenge.

This is what I would do ... Pull the two outside frames out of the top deep then put two of your super frames in the middle for a week. In a week they should have drawn some of those frames out and then you can put those frames back in the super box and that will draw the bees up in the super to finish the rest. Once you have drawn comb of the right size you can put frames into a fresh box without having the mix match problem.
 
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