Live brood inspection Q & A with Cedar

by Flow Hive 25 min read

Today Cedar inspects a hive and finds signs that it might be queenless. But fortunately, the bees had raised a new queen and the hive is growing again. Highlights from the Q & A include what makes the brood comb dark, what can cause an abundance of drones and how much space is needed to keep a Flow Hive?  




 Video Transcription

Observing from outside

Today, we're going to do a live brood inspection. We're just having a look around the apiary. It's a beautiful sunny day, which we haven't had for some time. We've had a lot of rain. You can even see the flooded pools down in the valley below, so we have had localised flooding. So it's a good time when the sun comes out to get back out in the apiary, have a look at what's going on. Make sure the hives are healthy.

So this hive here, just starting with observations from the outside, is one we inspected recently and interestingly enough, we're getting a bit of honey storage, even though it's been very rainy, which is good to see. In the side windows, you can actually see some nectar starting to be deposited down the cells, which is a good sign. And you can also see plenty of bees, which is great as well. So they’re starting to work these frames. 

You can see that there's some honey buildup in here. Now, if you leave that too long, it could go fermented. There's a little point here we call the leak-back point, which we need to unblock. And sometimes you can do that by just spinning this cap around a little bit. In fact, you can see what's happened right there, that little seal at the bottom is broken, you can see that honey dripping back into the hive for the bees to reuse.

So a little tip there. Sometimes it takes a bit more than that and you have to pull the cap out and unblock it physically with the end of your key that you harvest with, or just a little stick or something. I’ll do the same to this one here. And remember, if it has been in there a while, you might want to discard the honey in the trough by inserting the tube and draining that away. Because in a humid climate like this, fermentation could occur in that area. But if you notice it early, you can just turn the cap and let it drain back into the hive. 

We inspected this one last week, I believe. So we might have a little look at this next hive here. This little one wasn't doing so well, so the super came off this hive. So what we need to do is get back in there and have a look at that and make sure that it's queenright, which means it's got a queen and that the colony is looking happy and on the way to being healthy and productive. 

Smoker & Suiting up

So I've got the smoker going. Everything's a bit damp this morning, but we've managed to get the smoker going. What you want is good cool smoke. If you are going gloveless, a little smoke on the hands can help mask your own scent that the bees could react to. So I'm going to do that and then put the smoker right in the entrance of the hive. You give it a couple of good puffs. Then I'm going to leave this right at the entrance so the bees continue to get a waft of the smoke. 

I'm going to take a moment to put on my protection. Now, if you’re new to beekeeping, you might've already had your protection on. There's a bee inside my veil. It's not where you want it. Come on, let's get out of there. This is supposed to keep the bees out, not in, okay, there we go. So that's why you might want to put it on earlier. 

So zipping up so that the two zips cross over, and then there's a flat central to protect that zip area. Put your gloves on as well if you’re new. I'm going to get my hive tool now, and then we're going to take the lid right off the hive and get into it.

Opening hive & ants

So these little wing screws on the side, if you've had extreme weather like us, then the screws might have been screwed in. So let's unscrew them and take the lid off. And what have we got, a pile of ants. That's typical in really wet weather, to have ants move onto the hive, searching for some higher ground. So this hive is ripe for some of our ant guards, to put them on the legs and that should limit the ants actually getting up onto the hive. It doesn’t really matter as far as the bees are concerned, it's more of an annoyance. They start bringing debris up and making a bit of a mess. You can see them here carrying their eggs away.

I can see this hive, the queen excluder has been left in place, which you don't really need if you don't have the super on. So normally you'd take the queen excluder away when you go to downsize your hive and just put the inner cover on. But in this case, the queen excluder is coming with it. Because the excluder is in place, it's unlikely that the queen will be up here, so we don't need to look too hard for that. I'm just going to rest it up against the hive. 

Look, we've got some interesting activity and you can see the way the bees really want to keep ants out of the hive. Look at the way the ants and bees are chasing each other. Interesting. Normally the bees really go after the ants, but in this case, these bees are a little bit scared of these ants. Now this one's chasing the ants. Bee versus ant! They are pretty good at kicking ants out of their home, so you don't usually get them on the surfaces where the bees can access. 

Now I’m just going to gently peel up this excluder and all movements should be gentle when you're inspecting the brood. Except for if you're trying to get bees off something, in which case you can do a short sharp shake to get those bees off. Having a look in here, I can see that there's a healthy number of bees on most of the frames, a bit thin over on this side.

Frame inspection

So I might take the opportunity to pull out a frame where the bees are actually a bit thin. Then I'm also going to add a little bit of smoke. Now, this hive had a tendency to be a little more aggressive than some of the other ones. So I might just use the smoker. As you go, you’ll get used to the temperaments of your different hives and know whether you need to use smoke at all. Sometimes you don't need to. Some people go without a beesuit at all. Only try that once you're experienced at beekeeping and very comfortable. It's a good idea to keep your smoker going by adding a bit more fuel to it as you go.  You don't want to get caught out with a grumpy hive and no fuel in your smoker. Bearing in mind, it can be a little hot. keep your smoker going. 

Let's just have a look here at what's going on. So straight away, I'm seeing there's quite a lot of burr comb connecting this frame to the wall of the hive. So that's gonna make that one a bit harder to pull out, if you have a looked down that slot. So we might decide to choose a different frame first, and then get back to that one when we can start some sideways movement, which will be the easier way to move that frame. 

Now, these bees are a little bit grumpy, so we'll just give them a bit of time and a bit of smoke to settle in. It's a good idea just to stay calm. And if it's all feeling a little bit wild, you can step back and just give yourself a little moment to plan what to do next. And you could put your gloves on if you want to as well. Next, I'll put the smoker back so the things continually get a little waft in the hive.

Meanwhile, if you've got questions, please put them in the comments below. This is the time of the week where we answer questions live. So any questions you'd like, put them in the comments below and Trace, our wonderful customer support agent, you will find her on the phone. She keeps the wheels on, in everything to do with the office and make sure our hive is happy and healthy. And she'll be reading out those questions. So put them in the comments and we will answer them. 

So we’ll lift out a frame, we're just going to get the J-end under the frame. Actually, you could use the chisel end first, just to go sideways slightly and loosen that frame up. These frames have been stapled rather than nailed, someone was in a hurry. But that's okay, we just have to be very mindful.  Too much pressure might pull the end-bar off the frame. 

So that's coming up quite easily. And what we're seeing is an area that did have brood. You can tell by the way it's darker. So straight away I'm going, “Oh, there was brood here and there's none now, does this hive have an issue? Does it even have a queen?” So that's our goal today, to ascertain whether this hive is queenright and has a laying queen, or whether we need to rectify the situation. 

So we're going to just lean that up against the edge of the hive while we work. I didn't get to put on the shelf brackets, which do make a nice frame rest as well on the edge of your hive. Once you've got a couple of frames out, it's easy enough to then move the frames sideways.

So what I'm seeing here is another area that was used by brood. See how the wax has gone dark, that's the buildup of their silk cocoons as they go through the cocoon phase. And that makes the wax darker. I’m also seeing a little bit of honey stores around the edges, which is good. And a hive without a queen can be slightly more aggressive as well. So it's all pointing towards no queen in this hive at the moment. 

So lucky we're in here. Having a look gives you a chance to rectify the situation and having more hives than one allows you to take some brood out of another hive and put it into this one, give them the resources to make their own queen. And they can do that if there are eggs down the cells. I'm not seeing eggs down the cells, so this is a hive that won't survive if left be. Unless we do find that they have actually got it together to lay a queen, but she’s not laying yet. So we'll keep looking for evidence of a queen and we'll keep going through the frames. Meanwhile, any questions?

Q & A begins

How long can a colony survive without a queen?

So if they suddenly lose their queen, then a hive that's foraging a lot, those foraging bees will last perhaps only four to six weeks. So you've got that amount of time where the foragers start dying off. And then any brood that was still left there, there's a 21-day brood cycle. So basically you've got a couple of months at best before this no bees left. You'd want to get to it much earlier than that, or else you're not going to have the ability to rectify the situation. They really need some resources to raise a new queen. Or better still, if you can get a queen from a queen breeder and insert her into the hive, then you'll jump ahead and be able to get the hive queenright again much sooner. So not long. It's best to get in there within a couple of weeks and fix the issue if they've got no queen. 

Now let's have a look at this frame. We're going through them and seeing no evidence. Hang on, here we go, it's our lucky day! There is a queen. So down the cells, we have shining pearly larvae. I'm very happy to see that, it means that there is a queen in here. Perhaps they lost their queen for some time, and now they’re queenright again. She's been laying eggs, those eggs are turning into young larvae. The larvae will spend about 11 days in the caterpillar larval stage, and then about 11 or so days in the cocoon phase. And then they’ll emerge into the hive as a young baby bee, ready to start some of the chores at the hive.

So fantastic. There's the queen as well, which is nice to see. She is looking healthy. She’s started to lay. So it looks like these bees rectified the situation themselves, which is how it's supposed to be. And sometimes it's the case where you think you've got a problem, but the bees are already ahead of the curve and they've already solved it. So there she is. Give us a thumbs up if you can see the queen just in front of my finger there. Her abdomen is longer. She was a little bit scatty. It looks like a bit of a young queen. The way she's moving is a little erratic. As she gets older, she'll stride with purpose and even continue to lay while we watch. She's also got the shiny back-plate, which is often the way you tell a worker bee from a queen bee because she's been in the hive longer and she wears the hairs off that shiny back-plate. Queen spotting is a fun thing to do, and it's always good to get your eye in. Queen breeders will often put a paint marker on the back of the thorax there, which helps you identify how long your queen has been alive. They often colour code it to the year. So very cool. I've found the queen and found larvae, we’re in luck.

Notice the way the bees change sound when I add smoke. So that's typical to hear that sound when you add a bit of smoke, but then after that, they calm down a little bit. So at first they raise in tone but then they get busy doing other things in the hive and stop being in aggressive mode. So it has a calming effect. 

Why is the comb so brown, if there's no brood in it?

So if you see here, when they first make their wax, it's nice and white like this. Down the cells, you can see that virgin wax is nice and white, it hasn't been used very many times. Then what you'll notice are areas typically in the centre, that are browner. And each time a cell gets used for brood, a silk cocoon is wound by the larvae itself to go through its metamorphosis as it turns into a bee. And when it emerges, it leaves that tiny, fine silk layer behind. So over time that will build up and get thicker and darker. So I can tell there that it has been used for that. 

The bees’ footprints will actually darken the comb as well. People collecting honeycomb for sale will strategically place their entrances and comb to make sure there's not too much foot traffic over their pearly white honeycomb they've got for sale. So that's another thing that makes the comb darker is simply all of the bees forget to wipe their feet as they come in and the comb gets darker. There's another example of it. You can see clearly the difference between an area that has been used for brood and an area that hasn't.


Great, Cedar. Maybe we need a little front door mat at the entrance where the bees come in and they can wipe their feet.

That's right, doormats, that's a new thing for sale at Flow Hive HQ.

There’s been lots of rain here, should I feed pollen to the bees? (Hunter Valley, Australia)

In this area, we don't really have to feed any pollen supplements to our bees because there's always something. However, if you notice there are no pollen stores at all and nothing coming in the entrance, you can go through an observation process of watching the entrance, sit there for a while. Get your protective gear on so you're safe and just watch for these beautiful pollen balls coming into the entrance. 

Here's one right here. Let's have a look now, see if there's any pollen coming in the entrance. And if you D if you sit there for a minute and you see no pollen, then perhaps they're a bit starved of a pollen source and it could be a good idea to feed them a supplement. You can see those yellow balls on the legs, just in front of the hive tool here. It's anamazing amount of pollen they collect. And that's what you want to be seeing. 

And inside the hive, you want to be seeing at least some pollen stores. So if you have a look at this frame here, we've got this amazing yellow pollen in these cells. But it can be blue, it can be white, it can be red. It can be all sorts of different colours, depending on the flower it comes from. The bees then pack that into the cells with their heads. And then they top it with a bit of honey and ferment it like a good sourdough so it's more easily digestible and that's called the bee bread. 

So they definitely need pollen stores. So if you have a look for your hive and there's no pollen stores, nothing coming in, feeding them some pollen supplements will do them good. I'm not very experienced in that, because in this area, we don't have to feed them pollen. We've got enough flowering all year round for our bees.

There’s been a lot of rain here lately, now that there has been a break, is it normal for the bees to be doing orientation flights? (Australia)

The bees typically, if they've been pent up for a while, there's a whole lot of bees that have emerged and they are busting at the seams to get out and do their orientation flight to take their bearings, to work out what this brand new world is. And they will often do that in batches. So the first bit of sunshine after a lot of rain will typically be a time when you'll see a lot of orientation flights. Sometimes you'll be confused and think that the bees are swarming because there's just so much activity at the front of the hive. But there are some differences with swarming, the traffic is going sort of one way, and they're collecting in a cloud in the air. Whereas in the situation where they're orientating, you'll find they're leaving and just buzzing around doing a few figure-eights and coming back to the landing board. 

And it's a wonderful thing to watch and witness all those young bees taking flight for the very first time and just really taking their bearings of the surroundings. And once they've got that, they geo-locate to that spot. And even if you moved the hive and took it away, they'd come back to that location. And that's why when you're moving a hive, you need to take that into account and do some clever steps to make sure your bees come with the hive.

When I am installing a nuc, where should the empty frames go?

I would typically say, just put the frames that come from your nuc, which will look like this full of built-out comb and hopefully brood and things as well, put them all together in the middle. Put the remaining frames, which is only going to be three or four, or perhaps five if you've got the bigger size hive, and put them either side, keep your brood nest together. 

Unless you find a frame on the edge which is only honey, if it's only honey, and you can tell the difference between the honey and the brood and pollen, then you might like to put a new frame in between this and your brood nest. So the basics of it is to keep your brood nest together. But you can space the honey out if needed. And that will encourage the bees to get out and draw some nice straight comb in between the other two frames.

What is the difference between the package of bees and the nuc?

So a package of bees is basically an artificial swarm. A beekeeper has shaken a bunch of bees off the frames, into a box with a mesh around it, to send in the mail. And they'll put in there usually some syrup to keep them going in the mail and also a queen bee in a little cage with about five or so escort bees, because the queen can't actually feed herself. You'll get some funny looks from the post person as they rock up to the door with several thousand stinging insects in a box. But nevertheless, that's the way it's done. And you can order packages in the mail, it's like starting from a swarm. 

A nuc or nucleus hive is the process of taking some of the frames out of the brood box that already have a going queen, that already have pollen stores and that already have a lot of honey stores as well. It's a going little hive just about half this size. That's the easiest way to start because they're already established. All you need to do is get in your beesuit, get out your smoker, transfer them into your brood box, look after them and they'll grow. So a nuc is the easiest way to go. 

But sometimes they're not available or perhaps you want to start with the package because it's more cost-effective, whichever way you decide. You could try both, you could start one hive with a package and one with a nuc, that'd be a wonderful experience. And we've gotvideos showing you how to do that step-by-step. Both available on ourYouTube page

But also if you want a handheld, step-by-step bee course to really accelerate your learning, have a look It's an initiative we put together to both raise funds for pollinators, but also to give our new beekeepers a sequential course, enabling them to learn and progress their beekeeping.

There is a colony in the wall of my shed. Can I remove it and place it in a hive?

Yes, you can. It's quite advanced, so unless you're a particularly adventurous person, I wouldn't do that as your initiation to beekeeping. You're typically taking apart the wall or pulling the cladding off, getting in there. Sometimes they can be quite aggressive if it’s some wild strain that's moved in there. Get your smoker, your bee suit on, and you're cutting out sections of brood. So you need to be able to identify that as well. Using two rubber bands to rubber band the brood into these frames like this. So you'll be cutting out a section that's big enough to fit in here using rubber bands to hold it in place and putting them into your box. And you keep doing that till you've got enough brood, or got as much as you can. And then you'll be collecting all the honey out of the wall, shaking all the bees into your hive, taking that honeycomb away to eat or crush and strain. And then trying to put the wall back together. So quite advanced. 

There is a cheat’s way to do it, if you want to try something that might work. And that's to take advantage of a cat and dog flea collar, or better still, a cattle tick ear tag, putting that into the wall. It won't kill the bees, but it annoys them sufficiently to move out of that cavity. And you might be able to then find when they're moving, there'll be absconding like a swarm, and hopefully they'll land nearby, and you can shake them into your bee box and start that way. So there's another little thing you could try if you don't want to pull apart your wall. I've had it work quite nicely and I've also had it fail. So you could try your luck at that one as well. 

There are more advanced things you can do, with one-way bee valves and tubes and pieces of mesh inside to make kind of like what a crab pot is, where it's a one way street for the bees. It only really works when you've got a really defined entrance. Otherwise, they just find another way to get back into the wall. I recommend starting with a nuc on your first beehive, save the wall cavity removal for a bit later when you're more advanced in beekeeping.

My hive is producing lots of drones but no honey for harvest, should I requeen?

If you've got an abundance of drones, you could find that your home is queenless, or the queen is at the end of her life. What can happen if it’s queenless for long enough, is the workers start laying eggs. Now that seems strange because the queen is the one that lays eggs, right? But workers can lay eggs too. 

The other thing that could be happening is the queen could be running out of sperm. She only mates in the first couple of weeks of her life, and that gives her enough DNA to lay for up to six years, but she does run out sometimes. And that could mean that she's run out of the ability to fertilise the eggs. So if you find that you've got a queen, but they're all turning into drones and there really is no workers, young female larvae, then you'll need to rectify that by and taking her away and putting in a new queen.

How can I tell the difference between a few incidental ants and an outright infestation in my hive?

Well, that's really defined by the humans. The bees don't really get bothered by the ants unless their colony is dying out anyway. The ants just take advantage of a dry home out of the ground when it rains, typically. And they'll get behind the window covers though. They'll get under your roof, they'll get wherever they can. You can just leave them there. They're not a problem for your bees. However, they're just a bit annoying. So whether it’s an infestation or not is dependent on you as the beekeeper and whether it's a problem for you. If it is, then you can work to remove them by adding on an ant barrier and removing the foliage from the hive. You can use our ant guards if you like, or you can just use some Vaseline on the legs. You can put cinnamon powder behind the covers. All of these things will help just make it an unattractive and hard area for ants to live in.

Is there a suitable or recommended sized area needed to keep bees? (Trinidad & Tobago)

So the cool thing about beekeeping is that it is a very small footprint. You can get a real amount of produce just from an area this size. And it's not coming from here, the produce is being brought to here by your bees from up to a six-mile radius around where the bees are going out, collecting all that nectar and bringing it back into your hive and making the wonderful thing we call honey. So for that reason, you can keep bees on balconies in the city. You can keep them on the rooftops in the city. You can keep them in urban backyards. You can keep them on ranches. You can keep them in schools. But that's the great thing about bees, you can have this beautiful contribution to producing food and to your surrounding area simply by having a beehive, you don't even need a big yard or a big garden.

Having said that, some bees can get a bit rowdy and you don't want a rowdy beehive that's getting a bit aggressive if people walk nearby the entrance, they can get a bit protective. So if you are in a restricted environment, think aboutwhere you're placing it, give the bees a good flight path out the front and order from a bee breeder. And those things will help you out and make it harmonious with your neighbours. Honey is always a great sweetener. Keep your neighbours sweet if you're keeping bees in close proximity.

None of your hives have two brood boxes. Is that recommended or is it because of your location?

So you're right. We don't have double brood boxes. This one down here has a double super, but not a double brood box. The reason being is simply myself as a beekeeper, I prefer to keep a single brood box. It’s easier to manage. You don't need to go through two whole boxes of brood to find the queen, for instance. I find there are enough cells in this hive for the queen to keep quite a large population. If you count all the cells up, it's going to be hard for her to actually lay enough eggs, to fill all the cells. 

Having said that, people in colder climates, where you've got a short, sharp foraging season, in extremes you've only got maybe two or three months of nectar flow, everything flowers in that time. The bees need to build up really quickly in those kinds of extreme, peaking environments. Then a second brood box might be warranted. Talk to your local beekeepers, ask them what they do and make up your own mind. Ask a few, because every beekeeper will have three opinions and in the end you’ll have to decide for yourself what works for you and your bees.

My smoker is almost out, so I'll just top that up a little bit, bearing in mind that it's really quite hot now. So don't burn yourself. I've heard of people getting the brand of the smoker. We don't have our brand on here, but you know, they've got a brand branded into their leg from the hot smoker. So bear in mind, they can get very hot. There is a cage on this one, which helps a little bit, but nevertheless, you want to make sure that you’re staying away from the hot bit.

Nectar is getting into the collection channel in my Flow Hive.  I have to turn the round plugs every week. I checked the frame is properly aligned with the key.

Normally you don't have to do that. At the start of this YouTube live we had some nectar too in here, we turned it and it did break the little seal and allow that nectar to flow back into the hive. This one here we turned, but it didn't allow the nectar to flow back into the hive. And you'll notice that other frames didn't have that issue at all. So some frames for whatever reason, the bees don't seal all the moving parts perfectly. And you get this little drip of honey going in. It’s only really an issue if it stays in there long enough to start fermenting. So you could probably leave it for a bit longer than that week.

And you might also find that clearing it a little bit better than turning it around might help. So I'll do that for you now. I'm just going to grab the key that we do our harvesting with. And you've got nectar up to partway up the channel there. But if I'm quick enough, I won't make too much of a mess if I just pull that plug out, dig that key in there. And what you've got is a little bit of honey there. You can enjoy it if it's still good and the rest is draining back into the hive, it makes sure you do clean it up. You don't want to leave honey out for other bees to get a taste for. If they start robbing honey, then it could be mayhem in the apiary as they start seeking honey, rather than flower nectar. It also has the issue of spreading pathogens around, which is not good. So clean up honey if you spill it like that.

Is it okay to cycle out frames that are in the middle with the brood directly to the outside edge of the box, then once converted to capped honey remove and crush the honey?

Yes, absolutely great technique. What they're talking about there is cycling some old frames out. So let's say you've got a frame in here like this, which is getting quite dark. This one's got plenty of life left in it, it’s certainly brown, but over time it gets darker and darker and darker. And the idea is that the cells start getting smaller and smaller. There could also be some kind of pathogen load building up in that wax. And you might like to cycle that out of the hive. So you can just pick up a frame of brood from the middle, move it to the edge. And typically what will happen is all of that brood on that frame will emerge and then the bees will place honey in those cells. And when you notice it's all honey, and there's no more brood left, you can take that frame out of the hive.

I’m just giving them a little bit of smoke because I can notice the tone changing. They've been open awhile now and they're getting a little bit annoyed about it. So I might start putting them back together as well. 

If you've got naturally drawn comb like these ones, once you've got it on the edge, take it out. You can just shake the bees off, cut the wax out in the field and put the frame straight back in the hive, job done. And they will draw more natural wax from that. That's one of the advantages of naturally drawn comb. If it's got foundation in it, you'll need to swap it for a fresh frame, take it away for processing. And you need a bit of a store of new frames to swap.

Replacing frames

It's good to put your frames back together in a similar order to how they were in the beginning. If you can't work out what order they were in, then make sure there's not two sections of comb pressing against each other. If you have areas that the bees can't service, then the bees will have to get in there and reform and chew all of that away. But it could be a moment where the small hive beetle, which we have plenty of them in this area, takes hold. They can lay the eggs there because the bees can't actually service an area where there's not enough room for bees to get between the frames. 

I'm just having a look. It looks like this one goes here. There’s no combs pressing up against each other and you can also use the burr comb. You can see this point here where this met with that. And that's a reason why sometimes you don't like to remove the burr comb because it gives you a guide of how the frames go back together. 

The bees are getting annoyed now. If you notice that, put your gloves on, or you might get a bit of a sting on your hand. Okay. You can hear their tone. They're really getting annoyed about being open. Some hives you can keep open for a very long time and others like this one at the start we could tell they were a little bit more grumpy about the process of a brood inspection. So let's get this one here. Put that back into the hive.

Now I've got an issue here where these two frames have got an area that's hard for the bees to work. So I actually muddled up these two frames. So I'm going to have to take that out again and swap those two frames around. 

How long before you can add a super to that hive?

Now we're very happy, we found evidence of a queen and then we actually found the queen. So we know this hive is queenright. And the population should actually expand from here. So the idea is you let them build up to the point where there's a lot of bees in your boxes. We're still a bit sparse. When we first opened the hive, we noticed that there was a lot of bees on one side, but not on the other. So what you want to do is get to the point where there's a lot of bees, when you open they're all over all the frames. They’ve even started to build some burr comb up on top. And that's a good time to add your super. 

If you add early, okay in a warm climate. In a cold climate, what you're doing is making it a bit harder for them because there's not enough bees to really warm a larger hive. If you put the super on too early, if you realise you put it on early, you can always take it off again. So we’ll put it on when it’s got more bees in it. It looks like a lot of bees, but if you actually look down between the frames, there's not that many bees in this hive. 

Close the hive

So I said, I've got to change the order of these frames because we don't want areas where the bees can’t actually service the frame. So this one goes across here, like that. And this one goes in between and now we’re happy with how the hive’s going back together.

And we can then go and put the lid on. We won't worry about the excluder because there's no need, if we don't have the top box. We're going to just choose an appropriate moment to put the lid back on. Thank you very much for tuning in and do let us know what you'd like us to cover next time. A bit of smoke around the edge, just to remove all of those bees so we don't squash any as we're putting that lid back on.

Sorry about that. They were open a bit longer than they wanted to be, but it's great that we've got nice, healthy young larvae there down in the cells. This hive should prosper now.

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