Kirk (the founder of the Backwards Beekeepers) came over this weekend (sporting his awesome Mohawk, I might add) to help me out with the hive. We pretty much just did a hive inspection and made sure that the queen is still in there (new eggs and fresh brood indicate that she is).
The hive was started with 5 deep frames that we just put into the upper of two medium boxes and let hang down into the lower box. At the time we filled the other side of the bottom and top boxes with blank medium frames each but I cant' get to the bottom 5 frames without removing and setting aside all 5 deeps and the box.
So when Kirk came over I was thinking that we would take some of the deep frames and cut them down and tie them into the mediums but we decided that a better way to go would be to just buy a deep box and move the 5 deep frames to that box with 5 more new deep frames, then put the remaining 10 mediums all in the same box above that. That will give us 1 deep and 1 medium box for the brood area although we keep an open brood nest so the queen can really lay wherever she wants - as she sees fit.
The piece of comb above fell off the bottom of one of the deep frames that we took out to examine. The deeps don't go all the way to the bottom of the lower medium so the bees just took it on them selves to use all of the space they could.
It was important to put that brood back in the hive on an new frame because what we found was that the hive is honey bound. That means there is so much honey in there that there is very little room for brood. Some of the lower deeps were even completely full of honey.
Here is the one frame we pulled to replace with the brood comb above tied into a new starter strip frame. As soon as the weather warms up a bit and the bees have a chance to forgive and forget, I'll go back out and pull that box of honey which we moved to the top of the hive. Kirk will probably come back to help me put the new deep box on the bottom once I'm ready and the weather warms up a bit. There are a lot of bees in the hive now and it will be much easier if most of them are in the field when we do the work.
By the way, you can see that brighter box that I added in the last post about the bees has moved down a spot and has settled in with the rest nicely. It just took it a little time to conform to the others.
So all is well with the hive and we will be up to our stingers in honey as soon as the temperature rises a bit. By the way we have a meeting coming up on Feb. 28th - join us!