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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,
This is our first year with a package started 4/29. Two weeks ago we put on the second deep because around 7 frames were built out below. We did the inspection today and found that there are still 3 outer frames with spotty white comb below, while the upper deep is text book perfect with brood, sealed honey and pollen in all but 4 frames. The lower deep also has had issues with a few frames getting stuck together with comb on the foundation...as if the bees were trying to fill in the space between the two frames (yes, they are pushed together with space on either ends of the box.) These were the two frames that held the queen's cage originally. We've corrected each time we did an inspection, but the problem persists. Did we put on the deep too early, or is it that this group of house bees are better architects? It looks like the queen is in the upper deep now because of the eggs, brood and larva that we saw. Will the bees go down below again to finish the frames or is that not going to happen. Does the queen go back and forth depending on empty cells to fill with eggs? Sorry for all the questions...would love any ideas! Thanks so much for anything you could share!
 

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It's natural for bees to build upwards in the hive. Since it was started from a package, I suspect your population is still recovering from the initial loss of package bees...having said that, there are two things you can do. You can do nothing and let the bees move down when they get crowded, or you can swap the boxes. Take the top box and make it the bottom box and let them move up from there. Were it my hive, I would swap the boxes.
 

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Just move the outside undrawn frames one at a time in between two frames of capped brood and the bees will draw them out quickly. When that one is drawn, repeat as required. As long as the bees are expanding their brood nest this will work.
 

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If the broodnest is mostly in the upper deep, I second the JS recommendation to reverse. Come August they will start preparing the upper, if the broodnest is still there, for winter and deprive themselves of wintering honey overhead.

When reversed, you shouldn't have to monkey with the broodnest to get those outside frames drawn.

Walt
 

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I think your second box went on much too soon (and I say this in case you ever find yourself in a similar position), but the question is what do you do now? I would reverse.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks so much for all the prompt replies! We plan to inspect again next weekend and will see what is what then. We'll reverse the boxes then. I never realized how subtle the art of beekeeping was! I just want to assure that they have a good environment heading into the winter. We plan to feed 2:1 sugar water in Sept. (we are still feeding 1:1 now and though there is major activity outside the hive...air traffic controller worthy...they are drinking mightily!) but I want to make sure they have someplace to store it come winter!
 
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