I could really use some advice on my new hives; Iím just starting beekeeping. My bees are not eating and I still have not found one queen. I could really use help with each problem individually.

Problem #1

My bees are not eating.

When I set the hives up I put a top feeder on each hive with 1:1 (by weight) syrup. I mixed the syrup by putting 10 lbs of water in a bucket and then adding 10 lbs of sugar. I have seen two bees in the last 12 days in the syrup and they were stuck. Had I not seen them I would think there was an issue with the feedersí entrance slots. I have not seen any change in the volume of the water. Iíve been told they should be all over this syrup but I canít get them to eat it. Two days ago I changed the water and added Honey-B-Healthy as well to try to attract them but again they are not eating it.

How can I get them to start eating so they can start building the hive out and getting stronger? When I was in the hive for my 1 week inspection (more details below) there was not a great deal of pollen, nectar, or sugar syrup in the comb they had built out and there wasnít a lot of that.

This is the top feeder I have:


Problem #2

Could only find queen in one hive

When I did my inspection at one week I did eventually find the queen in one of the hives. However, after about ten minutes of looking in the other hive I never did find the queen. I did not see any eggs in either hive. I talked to the supplier and they said to wait another week before looking again (so I am) but the Dummies book said to look again after a few days. Iím at 12 days now since I installed the bees. Should I be looking again or waiting until Saturday again? Also, how long until the queen should be laying eggs or I would see larva? More importantly, how long can my hives live if I donít have a queen and how long until a worker start lying and really causes problems? Am I in really big trouble here?

Problem #3

Not a lot of comb at all at 1 wk

How much comb should I have had when I was looking at 1 wk? I have some burr comb I had to remove etc, but I didnít have all that much of the regular comb in the frames. How much should I expect to have at my next inspection? 1 side, 2 sides, etc? Should any of it be full depth or will it all be a work in progress?

Thanks for your help in advance. Iím a bit worried about my new hobby right now.