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Discussion Starter #1
I'm a first year beekeeper and my first hive has gotten off to a rough start. I had a drone laying queen and requeened about two weeks ago. I'm planning on doing an inspection tomorrow and should see capped brood (hopefully) from the new queen. The colony is small with only about four frames of bees and four frames of comb drawn out. I am running only a single deep.

I noticed today that my hive top feeder had some mold starting to grow. Should I remove it? For how long? Should I keep the feeder on until the bees have drawn out two deeps? They are still taking the syrup, though slowly. This could be because their numbers are low, or because they simply don't need it now that things are blooming. What do you all think?
 

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With a new package I tend to feed until the bees stop taking it or until a major bloom. You should however empty it and clean it if there is mold as it can have a negative effect on bee health.

Watch the hive population; if you had a drone-laying queen you likely have a lot of drones and that is a huge task on the girls. If you notice the population dropping or laying to be small you might want to consider adding a frames of capped brood from another hive (if you have one). This addition adds much needed nursing bees to the weaker hive and will give them a better chance.

This year hasn't been good for queens in my area; I've had 2 drone-layers and 4 supersedure (out of 20 hives) and I still have 10 more to inspect this week.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Is it a problem to remove the feeder and then add it back the following day? I don't know if smoking the hive two days in a row is an issue.

Regarding the drones, I have noticed a marked increase in their numbers lately. Should I use a queen excluder to keep them out?
 
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