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Thread: How much comb

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    lake jackson, texas, USA
    Posts
    168

    Default How much comb

    How much comb should I expect to get from feeding 2 gallons of 1/1 sugar syrup to a hive in a 10 frame deep full of bees?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Taylor County, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    713

    Default Re: How much comb

    It depends on what they're working with. How many frames are they already working on? How strong is the hive? Is there a flow? Do they actually need more comb? Remember, they won't expand unless they need to.

    If there is a flow on, zero. They won't mess with the syrup and will build comb from nectar. If they are out of space and need another box, then zero. They will backfill their brood nest with the syrup and then leave your hive for a place that's not so congested.

    I don't know if syrup works like nectar, but they can build a pound of comb with 8 pounds of nectar. So, if two gallons of syrup weighs 16lbs, and you assume that they'll consume at least some of the syrup for energy, then you can say that you might get a pound and a half of comb.

    Seems like sketchy math, but it's late.
    Try it. What could happen?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Tineo, Asturias, SPAIN
    Posts
    182

    Default Re: How much comb

    Quote Originally Posted by JStinson View Post
    So, if two gallons of syrup weighs 16lbs, and you assume that they'll consume at least some of the syrup for energy, then you can say that you might get a pound and a half of comb.
    Does anyone know how much wax it takes to draw one empty full frame?

    I too am interested in helping a new colonly build up drawn comb ASAP.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,473

    Default Re: How much comb

    I will repeat -- the bees will NOT draw comb unless they need it for storage or brood. A new hive is busy raising all the brood it can manage, and has limited resources for making and storing nectar, so until that first round of brood emerges and the number of bees starts to increase, will not draw much comb. Typically they will draw out a frame or two on either side of the brood nest and partially fill it with honey and pollen.

    As the number of bees increase, they will move the honey out of those combs and into the next couple on each side and use the ones just emptied for brood in addition to the original brood frames. As the second round of brood emerges, they will start to build much more comb and store more honey.

    Also, they will build less comb in the summer and fall than in the spring. Swarms build comb like there is no tomorrow, but that's because they are establishing a new hive. If you have a split, you can often induce them to act as a newly established hive and they will build a lot of comb, but it will be slower than a swarm since they are not stuffed to immobility with honey as a swarm is.

    Feeding syrup may and may not result in more comb -- when forage is available, many hives will ignore syrup in favor of nectar.

    Peter

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