I'm a new beekeeper. :) Only in my first good summer since I started with my first hive in late June of last year. So for me, these hives look like they're busting at the seams with bees. The last couple weeks especially.
Everybody starts from begining and one must lear. Basicly learn to handle bees means that you know how bees act and you try to affect on their natural development. It means that you must learn the cycle of bee year.
It took to me 7 years that I did not met surprises in my hobby any more.
How I succeed with my hobby? - I deciced that honey yield tells it to me. Much honey per hive is the goal. How to do it - that is star at sky.
For most of bee keepers it is enough that they have bees at their yard. That is not interesting to me. I started at the age of 15, and against my fathers will . My father is now 84 and he asked last year, when I am going to stop my stupid hobby . I said: "Very soon I think, it is so stupid, yeah!"
OK, to get honey I teach
1) Big hives
2) Good queens
3) Good pastures
I just wrote in Finnish bee-net: the orderof my nest
Good hive has 5-6 supers
The lowest is cool entrance and bees store there pollen and surplus nectar flow
2. and 3. are for brood
The topmost has capped honey
Always keep free space between honey and brood
Capped honey is better to take away, because it takes vain space and bees keep it warm. So you have allways space for honey 2-3 supers. Keep only one honey super capped and take it away when it is finished.
When you start beekeeping, you must open the hive every week and look what are theis doing. So you learn to see, how colony developes and how honey yield and free space developes. If they have not free space, they swarm. If they have too much space, they feel cold in their nest.
8 frames brood is good, but perhaps about 12 is my goal for normal. It means 1,5 langstroth supers. Mostly 2 year old queen is able to lay eggs only in one super. I change my queens evry year.
"Keep on beekeping" :D