I find myself in the middle of beekeeping and realize that I don't have even a basic understanding of what I'm doing.
I've read and read and watched YouTube videos and still don't know the first basic things. Here are some questions I have.
1. Is the bottom box always used as a brood chamber. Do you use it over and over again in the same way? Do the bees just keep hatching and using it again for laying eggs? Does the queen go back down to it, or is she forever climbing up? Do they keep using the same foundation--or do I need to replace it? ANd how often?
2. If you aren't interested in harvesting honey, could you simply have a hive that sits there and where the bees take care of things themselves? Will they eventually outgrow it or abandon it?
3. How much honey does a regular hive need to winter over? I have medium boxes? How many boxes should I have?
4. DO you extract honey from the frames where there was brood? Or do you always have to have the queen extractor on to keep the brood out. Or do the bees clean it up after the brood leaves enough that you can use that honey?
I'm sure I have many other questions, but that's what I'm wondering right now.