I installed my five frame nuc's into a deep brood box three weeks ago. After two weeks, they had drawn out all of the rite-cell foundation that I added, so I added a medium super. After the next week, I checked and they had drawn out about half of the foundation in the medium super, and frames that are drawn out are full of uncapped syrup/nectar. Between two hives, they have consumed sixty pounds of sugar in the past three weeks, and are now taking about a half gallon per hive per day of 5:3 syrup.
I now wish I had, but I did not pull any frames from the brood box during this last inspection, as I had decided that I would only go in there every other inspection to minimize disturbance. I only peeked in to see that all the frames in the deep box were now covered in bees. On Sunday, I expect that I will need to add another medium super if they are building comb as fast as they have been doing.
Considering that any available cell in the medium super that they are still drawing out is full of syrup as soon as the comb is drawn, I am concerned that they might also be storing the syrup in the brood box where the queen needs space to lay eggs. My goal this summer is to convert as much foundation into drawn comb as possible, so I know that is going to require a lot of feeding, but I don't want to go overboard if that is possible.
My first question is this: If a new hive has new foundation available for drawing comb and has not completed the task of drawing comb in a new super, is it possible for them to become honey bound in the brood box even though there is foundation available for drawing new comb and storing syrup there?
My second questions is: When it comes to feeding syrup, I've read anything from "Feed! Feed! Feed!" to "Feed until they stop taking it" to "I don't feed my bees any more than a thimble full of syrup in early spring", so I just don't know what is really appropriate for a nuc that doesn't have any drawn comb that it didn't make itself this year?
My third question: If I feed them through the dearth of summer to get them to draw comb, I'm going to be left with frames of capped sugar syrup when the fall flow comes along. Although I don't expect much if any honey this year, I would like to give them a chance to fill a super or two of real honey this fall. My thought is to leave them with the summer sugar syrup for winter stores and rob the good stuff when it comes along. Would I end up just giving them a super of foundation when the flow comes along and have them waste good nectar building new comb in order to fill it with honey, or would I consider extracting some of the sugar syrup so they can have drawn comb to fill with honey?
Last question: Both hives were given a half gallon of a new batch of syrup yesterday, but one of the hives has abruptly stopped taking it. The other one is still guzzling it down and will need more syrup tomorrow. Is this a case of "feed until they stop taking it? I'm thinking I should just monitor them and take away the syrup if they don't take it over the next few days?
Clearly, I have read far too much over the past 6 months to the point where all my book learning on the subject far outweighs any actual first hand experience, and that causes me to second guess any solution I can come up with for my questions. . . .