Two friends and I established a colony in my back yard last Saturday (June 2). We got the nuc from a beekeeper in the Chicago suburbs who captured a swarm. I live in a residential neighborhood in Chicago (Logan Square) and we are blessed with a rare enormous back yard.
Installation went without a hitch, and the next day the bees were out foraging and everything seemed good. Then, naturally, we encountered a problem right away: perhaps owing to cool, rainy/damp weather immediately after the stress of installing the new colony, we have an outbreak of chalkbrood.
We opened the hive today to inspect. There is definitely new brood underway, but we didn't see any cells with eggs (though we couldn't see all the cells because of all the workers all over them). Unfortunately there were also plenty of obvious chalkbrood waiting to be expelled.
We did find the queen, she seemed healthy and active, and there were cells with apparently healthy larvae, and plenty of capped brood cells. And one frame with lots of honey--very heavy! I think there were three unused frames in the brood box still, so they don't appear to be in danger of running out of room. The honey super above is completely devoid of activity.
We're feeding sugar syrup with a boardman feeder, but they only finished off one pint during the first 7 days. I just refilled it today. We also introduced some brood builder (pollen supplement/substitute) today, but we put it atop the honey super, and now I'm thinking it probably belongs right above the brood nest, since there are hardly any bees venturing up into the honey super.
I'm optimistic the chalkbrood problem will resolve with the appearance of warmer, drier weather this weekend (and predicted for the coming week).
We made a bit of a goof, and I don't know if it's too late to fix it: we failed to put one of the empty foundation frames in when we installed the bees...so our box only has nine frames. This means the bee space has been violated between several of the frames and now some of the comb is fatter than usual--meaning we can't really press the frames together to fit the 10th frame in. Are we stuck with this situation for the season now, or is there something we should do to make that 10th frame fit?
I'm really excited to be doing this and welcome any input and advice anyone has to share. And apologies if my questions don't belong here--don't hesitate to send me packing to the right forum if I goofed. (I'm still learning my way around.)