This post got lost somewhere and I just found it!
Well, we did another inspection on Oct 6 and were very disappointed to find that during the continual weeks of rain, the bees have consumed quite a bit of what I was hoping to extract. I was really expecting at least 5 frames and optimistically hoping for a whole super, but it was not to be. Judith and I went through the whole thing and re-arranged things to get them ready for winter since some of the nights have been in the mid to low 30’s. I restructured the bottom two supers to have 9 frames each, so now all the boxes have 9 frames. I know most people don’t do this, but after reading some of Walt Wright’s stuff, ok, well all of it, I’m changing some of my practices starting with 9 frames in all boxes. Anyway the inspection led to a discovery of about 4 frames of brood, total, and the rest was empty or honey. There was very little uncapped nectar, and there was a bit of pollen. All of the nectar that was previously uncapped and occupying several frames and almost one entire super was gone. Here’s the structure as it stands now:
box 1 (counting from the bottom) has some brood and pollen
box 2 has honey on the outside 4 frames and a little brood and empty comb in the middle
box 3 has honey except two middle frames
box 4 is 1/3 full of honey and the rest empty or nectar
box 5 is empty drawn comb
box 6 is empty mostly drawn comb, but poorly drawn comb
The next step I think is to put the inner cover down with the bee escape, or catch them on a really cool (not cold) day and yank box 5&6 off for the winter. After that, put down the entrance reducer to keep the mice out for the winter and cross our fingers and hope to see the little gals again in February or so.