Hi guys, I have a few updates.
I went over yesterday, planning on pulling a few honey frames out and replacing them with foundation. Unfortunately the area under the lid was full of honey so I decided that just swapping out some frames wasn't going to do the job.
I ended up adding a super to give them the room they needed. I pulled 5 frames from the bottom and put them in the top and added 5 new frames to the bottom, alternated with the frames of honey. I also did the same in the top with 5 new frames.
Is 5 new frames in the bottom enough for a new queen? Will the bees eventually move the honey out of the "brood box" to allow more room for the queen to lay?
Today I went back over just to make sure I didn't cause any problems yesterday and I noticed plenty of small bees coming out of the wall. It's now 22 days since initially setting the trap so these small bees must have recently hatched. They were flying off to forage and then coming back loaded with pollen by the looks of things. As I was watching all of these bees coming out, I happened to notice they were also getting back in - behind the ply board!! I quickly sealed this up and hopefully stopped them from being able to do this. I don't think the bees from the wall have noticed the gap behind the board (created by my fiddling with the board and trying to remove the cone prematurely) until today so I don't think it had caused any problems until the newly hatched bees appeared and found it. As previously noted with this colony, the bees coming out the wall again today were much smaller than your average hived bee. I am assuming that again this is because of a more natural cell size?
I have a video of todays adventure which I'll post up a bit later.