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So it’s been a steep learning curve so far in my first year beekeeping,. I’ve started out with all full depth (brood + honey) on all 6 hives. Idea being that next year I’ll have heaps of drawn comb and brood boxes for splits and expanding. A few of my hives ended up being stacked 5-6 high, and full with honey. I’ve run two brood under excluder. Today I killed so many bees and felt like such a kook. I was heaving heavy supers off all the way down to brood chamber and then realised that much of the brood area was honey bound. I replaced with foundation etc. I’d appreciate some advice on better maintenance of the hives in this regard. is it better to extract before the hive goes 5 high? > too much of a mission to take off a million honey supers just so I can eyeball the brood. Ends up honey bound and neglected.
Hi Team, My home hive is all ¾ boxes. I'm not truely doing "simple" as I am using QE. Before the manipulation I want advice on, I had 3 boxes of Honey & 2 boxes of brood. 3 weeks ago had a brood reshuffle and box rationalisation. The flow was on, and the bees had honey jammed the brood space. I used advise given to me, regarding a different hive by @glynn, and rearranged/rationalised 3 messy mixed brood boxes so that 8/10 frames in the bottom box were "good" brood (solid bee production bed). The next brood box was made up of drawn or new comb on foundation, for queen activity expansion. And one entire box of minimally drawn frames and empty drawn comb was removed (across the entire hive). The queen has now filled both boxes to 8/10 frames of eggs/brood. Pretty happy since this hive was a queen failure coming out of winter, and was rescued with frame transfers. When I saw that I had eggs in 8/10 frames across both boxes, I thought maybe my queen was lacking space. Also I want to go into winter with 3 x ¾ boxes. So I've added a new box below the QE. Now I know the whole 1 vs 2 argument has been done. I'm a hobbyist and I want robust hive for winter. The box is a mix of 2 frames of brood (brought up), 3 wets (from a sneaky Christmas harvest to share) and foundation frames. Question 1. How does a queen keep up laying when she's filling 8/10 frames? I know its a constant cycle, but it would seem the brood cycle would get constipated with a single FD. Question 2. Although I'm unlikely to have done any harm, at this time of year, have I wasted my time (and the bees energy) trying to expand the brood to 3 x ¾ (remember I'm a hobbyist after a strong, well resourced "winter proof" colony) Thanks again for the mentorship. Wish I had a neighbour who was an espresso & cake addicted veteran beek (I have no doubts about my coffee making abilities, or my wife's cakes).