This is, as you suggested Michael, an empty super of starter strip frames above the brood nest, but it's also a hive boiling over with bees. It was started from a nuc about a month ago and the bees pour out of there when I deal with the hive. It's hard to see the comb work for the bees covering it.
I am a small cell believer and will do what I need to to make this happen because I have seen what the Varroa mite did to my two hives from last year over the winter - small numbers, deformed wings, etc.
Naturally with so much to do to clean up this mess, it's raining in Atlanta and then it's going to be in the 30s tomorrow so not much chance of cutting out comb or changing anything until Friday or so........
I did in the rain this morning open up the hive without the mess long enough to put back three frames that I took out to add more foundation for them to use as a model. I didn't put a drawn comb in that hive but will when I do in the messy hive.
The only drawn comb I have that is medium box sized is large cell from last year.
If I put a comb into the messy hive of that will the bees be more inclined to draw large cell rather than regress?
Or will the starter strips rule the individual frames?
The frames that are being regressed in the box below are deep - I know, I know, this is the argument for using boxes all the same size, but it's my reality for the moment (I've ordered more mediums that haven't arrived yet so that I can move to all mediums in the future)It's incredible how I fit beekeeping in the in-between moments in my work life - good that I work for myself - the boss should be upset with me (if I had one) for all the work time I spend reading about bees!!!
Linda T beekeeping on the job in Atlanta