We attempted to do an inspection of the hive today. This was to be the first full inspection since we put the supers on and removed the honey. There was some good news, some bad and some questions.
We are in in our first year, with just one hive. It presently has two deeps and we removed the honey supers 2 weeks ago.
First the hive seemed very strong, even on a hot, calm day when many of the bees were out foraging, the hive was very crowded. We also found pollen stores, brood, larva and even spotted the queen in the post-inspection review of the photos. (She's in this photo):
The bad news, after combing more than a dozen close-up pictures later, we did spot one bee, tending the larva with varroa mites on her back. This means we start treating for the mites.
The puzzle: There was SOOO MUCH honey in the hive, we couldn't even get down to the lower deep. The outer frames of the deeps were litterally dripping in honey and just setting them on the rack for a few minutes during the inspection let the honey drip on the ground, bringing on several jyellow-jackets. After removing two outer frames of the upper deep, we looked down to the lower deep and saw what looked like puddles of honey! See the photo below:
1. Is this excess honey or loose honey a problem? If so what do we do about it?
2. Is this much honey "normal"? What causes it?
After inspecting about half of the frames in the upper deep, we felt we had to close up the hive, since there was so much exposed honey, even puddles on the ground. Also with all the propolis tightly binding everything together, it was very time consuming to pry the frames out.
3. So with all that, how is one supposed to complete the entire hive inspection in only 15 minutes or less? Should we have stayed out longer to complete the inspection?
Thanks for any advice for the newbees.