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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Canton, OH
    Posts
    57

    Default Installing a package on drawn comb

    I have a few dead hives to clean up and get ready for spring. I am planning on buying a couple packages, but this time instead of installing the packages on undrawn foundation, I have lots of already drawn comb for them to use. I have some questions about this:

    1. Feeding - do you still feed a package 1:1 syrup if they have all the wax they will need? Does this stimulate brood rearing too? There should be plenty of pollen around when my packages come in.
    2. Tracking progress - last year I would add a box when 7/10 frames were fully drawn. What do you do on when the frames are drawn already - the number of frames with brood?
    3. Would it be better for me to just use undrawn frames for the initial package install and save the drawn frames for the honey flow?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Litchfield, CT, USA
    Posts
    414

    Default Re: Installing a package on drawn comb

    Lots of folks have switched over to 5:3 syrup. You can use this ratio year-round. An option is to keep a couple of drawn frames in the center for the brood and checkerboard out with drawn and undrawn. Sometimes this stimulates the bees to draw the undrawn a little faster. "Sometimes".

    Do not put second brood box on until they backfill the bottom box with brood, nectar and pollen. Keep and eye on it as they do this a lot faster when there is already some drawn comb. When the population starts to increase give em a second box.
    "Someday we will look back and realize someone was right...and conveniently forget we were the ones that were wrong."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Waterville, NY
    Posts
    112

    Default Re: Installing a package on drawn comb

    IMO .... Feed them the syrup. If they want it, they will take it. If they don't...they won't. It doesn't hurt providing the opportunity.
    2. Adding boxes...when 70% of the comb has brood/food.
    3. I would use the drawn comb for the install....simply because the more advantages you give them the more likely they will be successful. Of course this would all depend on the cause or your previous hive failures.

    One last thing which you may find interesting. I too have drawn comb left over from extracting last fall. I froze them for three days and they are now now sealed and stored in my shed. This spring I am planning on putting them in a couple of swam traps that I built to put out in the "field" hoping to offer more enticement to any scout bees looking for a new home.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Canton, OH
    Posts
    57

    Default Re: Installing a package on drawn comb

    Quote Originally Posted by beemilk View Post
    Of course this would all depend on the cause or your previous hive failures.
    All appear to be insufficient colony population going into Winter, maybe due to beginner beekeeper negligence, maybe due to extremely short fall flow They ended up as baseball-sized areas of bees with heads buried in cells, but plenty of honey left in the hive.

    Quote Originally Posted by beemilk View Post
    This spring I am planning on putting them in a couple of swam traps that I built to put out in the "field" hoping to offer more enticement to any scout bees looking for a new home.
    I am also setting aside some of the darker brood comb for this purpose. Last year I included some pieces of old brood comb from a cutout in my swarm traps and I caught two swarms. I hope this year is as swarmy.

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