> If only I was able to read your post BEFORE I went out and worked with the hive.
The bees still had space and you handled it well.
> I left everything... as it was...
Right thing to do, the less disturbance the better.
As the lower box is fine, no need to go back in there again unless the top box becomes crowded. Before fall arrives you should check whether you need to remove pollen packed frames. Replacement frames which are fully drawn are best because the bees are not in the mood to build comb then.
> If I remove a frame that is packed with honey and pollen, how do I get
> the bees off of it without creating a problem??
This is one of those times when having the same sized boxes helps.
If you do you can add a super and put the honey frames in there complete with bees. Put the pollen packed frames to the outside and scratch the caps of any honey cells so the bees can relocate the honey. Remove them as soon as the honey cells are cleaned and toss the comb into a melter.
If you don't have another deep to super with, you can go two ways.
- Set the frames on boards near the sides of the front entrance and the bees will vacate them come evening. Scratch the caps to get the honey cells cleaned. It works because robbing is so unusual at this time of year but don't try it in late summer or fall.
- Build a cheap deep alternative from your supermarket fruit department. The length of an apple box is the same as a hive but it is a couple of inches narrower. Sit the bottom inside the top and it is very sturdy. Sandwich a pair of cleats over the end of the box and screw them together to get both a handle and a place to sit the frames. Cut a small hole or slot in the bottom and duct tape the multiple layers of cardboard together. The top cover can go on top of the box but you will need to use something to cover the gap left by the narrower box.
Scratch the caps in all the frames and check daily to scratch those you missed until all the cells are cleaned. Don't leave them up there after the cells are clean because the bees may start storing nectar in them. Toss the combs of pollen packed frames and store the cleaned brood frames to use in the brood box come fall.
The risk of wax moth attacking stored clean brood comb is high, so buy some Xentari from Bruce Nyquist (firstname.lastname@example.org
) and spray the frames. This is a bacillus which will kill bees exposed to direct spray, but after the combs dry Xentari is benign to bees and kills the larvae of wax moths.