Hi all...I've posted a couple of times in the Beekeeping 101 forum but I have some TBH-specific questions, and I really hope to get some advice or help! We installed a 3# package of bees in our new TBH at the end of April. Things seemed to be going okay...we were feeding them and trying to leave them alone, and we were all excited when we started to see comb appear.
However, it's now over a month later and the bees have produced almost no comb. I mean, they have maybe five combs that aren't even the full width of the TBH. They're bringing in pollen and the hive seems active, but the number of bees seems to be dwindling and I don't know why. I haven't seen any signs of parasites or disease. I don't know how to tell if the queen is alive. I've seen some capped cells but I haven't seen the center region of the inner combs so I don't know if it's primarily worker or drone. I'm about to go take out a comb and have a look, but I'm worried about stressing them out if they're already under stress.
Any idea of what could be wrong? I wish I could put a nuc in there with some brood to give them a kickstart, but I've looked everywhere for TBH nuc frames and I can't find anyone who carries it! Do you think the queen is dead? Should I try putting in a new queen cage and see what happens?
Any help would be much appreciated!