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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good evening,

I am a new bee keeper as last year and yesterday I did my first hive check of the year and I have 3 times as many bees as I had before the winter, how the heck could that happen. I had two deep hive bodies when the winter came there was plenty of bees in the bottom half and lots of capped honey in the top. When I opened the hive yesterday I had bees everywhere both top and bottom were full of them and they were tending Larvae ON TOP OF the frames. i had no drones but I could not get a good look at the bottom ten frames to see if there were capped brood or anything. I had no idea what to do so I slapped a third deep hive body on top with 10 more empty frames. The pollen still has not come in here yet (I am in Virginia). Do i need to feed a bee pro patty? If so can I open the hive to place it when its 48degrees out because I am expecting a week of pretty cold weather then I go away for 10 days? Any help you all can offer would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Mitch
 

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most likely your bottom box is empty like 5 out of seven of mine were today....placing another box on top....I think they will probably keep going up and ignore the bottom.
 

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Assuming you are near Richmond, I would be surprised if your bees are not actually bringing in pollen. You are not that far north of me, and my bees have been bringing back pollen for well over a month (intermittently - not when its cold).

Maple trees pollen is often available quite early in the year, and maples do grow in the Richmond area:
http://urbanforestry.frec.vt.edu/STREETS/reports/RichmondReport.pdf
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
maybe I dont know because I watched the incoming bees for quite some time and they didn't seem to be transporting.
 

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When you said they were tending brood on top of the frames, I assume that was in burr comb cells? I don't think bees tend larva outside of cells; out-of-cell larva would be the progeny of wax moths or small hive beetles.

Regarding opening the hive briefly to add something to the top bars: I live in northern NY and I've add edsugar bricks in the upper 20s when I had to. You just need to be well-organized ahead of time and move quickly. I don't take the whole top (or in my case quilt box) assembly off. I just lift it up enough to get my hand in, brush aside any bees on the bars and set the brick in. Thirty seconds is plenty. The main risk in my extreme temps (which wouldn't apply in the upper 40s) is that bees which are prompted to fly out are goners as they are stunned by the cold very quickly. They can be re-warmed if you can get to them promptly - but then you have to induce the to go back in, which can cause more bees to fly out....

If your hives are bursting at the seams, finding a place on the top bars to safely set down the patty might be difficult. (The first time I set in a sugar brick, it was a piece of cake. After that time refilling was much more difficult because the bees were milling around inside the feeding rim around the remnants of the first bricks.) But you'd probably put it on top of the bars on the new (empty ) deep, right?

Enj.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Maybe you are right what i saw them tending were white they looked like really big maggots but very very white. So maybe they were killing them not tending them. I guess I would have to put them on top of the bars in the empty body but i do not know if i really want a hive that has three bodies but considering I want hoeny I may not have a choice I do not want to split this hive unless I have too.
 

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When I watch my bees, not every incoming bee has visible pollen. I see perhaps 1 out of 10 with pollen, but the bees are rarely still like a photo and its hard to see sometimes.

This linked photo is somewhat exaggerated compared to what I see as I don't see multiple bees just standing around with visible pollen.
 

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I assume the larvae were on top of the bottom frames? It's probably burr comb between the frames you broke and they're drone larvae.
 

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Maybe you are right what i saw them tending were white they looked like really big maggots but very very white. So maybe they were killing them not tending them. I guess I would have to put them on top of the bars in the empty body but i do not know if i really want a hive that has three bodies but considering I want hoeny I may not have a choice I do not want to split this hive unless I have too.
They weren't killing them. When you pulled the cover off, the comb tore and exposed the brood. They were most likely drones. Mine are building drone comb like that. As long as there is no honey band on top, they will move up into the third deep. You have bought some time but you'll need to watch for swarm cells as soon as it warms up.
 

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Raider: Chesterfield is Richmond. And you are exactly right his bees should be bringing in pollen. My sister lives in Colonial Heights (20 Minutes south) and a week ago she told me her bees were bringing in pollen. Mostly elder and swamp cabbage.

Malaki33: We are about to have a few nice days, do a thorough inspection of the hive, as many have said the bottom brood chamber is most likely empty, Put the top box on the bottom, and the now empty bottom box on top. No need for a third deep brood chamber. If both top and bottom boxes are jam packed, which is highly doubtful do a split.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
When I pulled the top box off the bottom box had so many bees i could not even see the middle 5 frames. I tried to post some pictures here for you all to see but for some reason it wont let me i keep getting upload attempt failed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
tenbears: My bees are actually kept in prince george just off puddledock road just the other side of the bridge towards fort lee I wonder if maybe your sister could come and do I look see with me of my bees? Any help i could get would be appreciated?
 
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