Ok, a few weeks ago I checked the strong hive and saw that the queen was laying in 8 frames out of the two brood supers. The rest was honey, most of it capped. I was excited about the honey, but wished the queen could lay more.
So..... I bought an extractor. My hope was to extract the honey, give back the frames for the bees to clean up, and hope the queen got a chance to lay in some of those frames.
Well they did something I didn't know would happen in only a few weeks. It seems they ate the honey in most of the frames, and the queen layed eggs in there. Now things are switched - with only about 8 frames of honey that isn't capped.
Does this seem right? Can they do this? Or did I totally missread the frames? (That's a silly question - how would any of you know?) :)
I know what I saw before - lots of honey, and not very much brood. I'm so bummed out now. I plan to buy some frames for my honey supers and put them on this weekend. Isn't it late in the season though for getting much of a summer honey harvest? And is there anything I could have done to avoid this happening? I've kicked myself for not getting that honey when I saw it, but at the same time I'm thinking - well if they ate it, they must have needed the food. I would have really felt awful if the bees had died after I took the honey - and if I knew it was starvation.
Last thought...... is it possible they ate it because it's rained every day (usually in the late afternoon or evening)? Even one frame I'd seen before, one slam FULL of pollen, was basiclly empty.