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  1. I'd really appreciate advice from learned beekeepers please... I have three questions (which I'll explain): 1) As the 2 Full Deep boxes are almost full, should I be looking to split the hive? 2) If so, Can I use 2 queen excluders to locate the queen?. 2) Should I extract or leave a specific frame? Any other thoughts much appreciated... Background: This is my third bee keeping season, I started with a weak nuc April 17, and through walk away splits, I now have 3 strong hives one with two brood boxes, the other two are singles. The first picture shows my strongest hive I have (ever had): 2 Full deep brood boxes and 2 x 3/4 supers. The top super is almost full and just needs some capping so I intend to remove and extract in the next week, and the under super is largely empty. It's the strongest hive that I've ever had, and I'm finding the hive management a bit of a challenge as the two full deeps are almost full of brood (8 frames), loads of pollen (6 frames), and the rest honey as full frames or bulging around brood. I'm nervous about the hive swarming, as there is very little space left. There are no swarm cells. with the high volume of bees, especially angry ones, I have been unable to locate the queen in the last 3 inspections. Q1) Should I be worried about swarming due to lack of space? (or is it too late in the season?), and therefore consider splitting? Q2) If looking to split, to locate the queen, can I use two queen excluders, one above and below the top brood box?, and then check for eggs in Brood box 1, 2, to know where the queen is? or is there a better method?. Q3) If I wanted to, can I extract this frame? / what is the impact of pollen in extracted frames? This frame is from the top brood box. There is honey around the outside, but I'm most interested in what was previously the brood area. I hear that bees don't cap pollen, but hear that bees can put nectar on top of pollen in cells. My inclination is to leave the frame for the bees over winter. If I wanted to extract the frame, could I?. I guess I'm asking, what is the impact of pollen in honey?. Any comments, much appreciated (still on my learning journey ;)) As an aside, and for a laugh, in my last inspection, I gloved up (leather instead of nitrile milking gloves) as I knew there was a bit of honey for the bees to protect. The hive was certainly on alert when I was removing frames to check for swarm cells, and I was feeling invincible, until.... I regretted my over confidence in wearing my ankle length socks when I was stung on my ankle below my suit and inside my long gumboots. two days later my ankle is still swollen. (it took me 2 minutes until I would find a bees free environment to remove the sting).
  2. 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.
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