So i opened up my hive yesterday - weather was perfect, no wind, 26oC, sunny... couldn't have asked for better.
Obviously being my first time solo i was a tad nervous but the bees were great - i didnt have any stings, none flew at me, none even landed on me.
I puffed some smoke at the entrance, lifted the lid and puffed some smoke under there... let it sit. Removed the lid and put it on the ground beside the hive...error no 1! Don't stand the frame you take out in an upturned lid - it gets full of bees and is hard to put back on. So i took my frame out and sat it on the side (Frame #8) - this frame had been in there about a week and a half as my hive was made from a four frame nucleus. Frame #8 & Frame #1 were fully drawn out and full of nectar (not yet capped). Frame #7 & Frame #2 had nice areas of uncapped brood with some capped both frames were almost full of visible pupa about to be capped. There was a nice area of capped honey at the top of the frame (about 1/4 of its height) and on the outsides were some pollen stores although not a huge amount. I found the queen on frame #6 walking around happily - Frame #6 & Frame #3 were about 50/50 capped brood and empty cells although me being an idiot forgot to look for fresh eggs - i'm assuming the empty cells would have had mostly new eggs in them. Again a nice layer of capped honey at the top of the frames with some small pollen stores around the outer edges. Frame #5 & Frame #4 was mostly uncapped brood with some empty cells (which would possibly have contained eggs or else the queen was working her way back to them from the outside). Again nice layer of capped honey about the brood with some pollen stores around the outer edges of the brood nest.
When i purchased the hive the guy i bought it from suggested i put another box on about two weeks after getting the hive... should i put it on as a honey super with a queen excluder or should i put it on as a second brood box? a brood box would be handy coz it would mean i could do an early split in spring but i also don't want to have the hive run out of food stores over winter...