Today I checked to see if one of the colonies I am hosting in a Bee Tree Hive needed me to replace the full frame of honey that I had provided for them within the inside-the-hive-feeder section of the hive cover.
This is a row of Preservation Hive prototypes that I have in one of my apiaries:
Below are the steps for checking the feeder. You'll see that even providing a full frame of honey does not expose the brood nest or break any of the bees' propolis seals in their hive cavity.
Here is a photo of the back of the Ventilated, Insulated Hive Cover/Feeder that sits on top of the hive:
The feeder chamber, in the lower half is accessed by simply rotating these two tabs. This is a new feature that allows a beekeeper to perform this task with beekeeping gloves on. Here is a photo with the tabs rotated:
Here is a photo with the feeder chamber cover removed and in my hand:
Here's the back of the feeder chamber with the cover removed. You can see that a full deep frame of honeycomb can be slid in on a plastic tray:
Here is a close-up of their access hole which is at the back of the chamber and just above their brood nest:
This is one of the screened vent holes that they can propolise to control both the amount and route of their ventilation. There is actually a round hole there and you can see that they have propolised about 80% of it:
Below is a photo of the plastic tray slid most of the way out with the frame of honeycomb on it. Obviously, the bees still have plenty of capped honey to harvest and move down into their hive cavity, so I simply slid this back in and closed the feeder chamber.
The whole process took about a minute, and even the bees on the honeycomb never became perturbed.