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Thread: MurrayK1

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Fairbanks, AK
    Posts
    3

    Default MurrayK1

    Hello, I am new to this forum and fairly new to beekeeping (only 2 years) and look forward to learning from more experienced bee keepers. I have a question about putting drawn comb in my first brood box. I bought a #5 box of bees and installed them 2 weeks ago. Since the queen had only been with the bees 24 hours, I waited 3 days before replacing the cork with a marshmallow. I found her two days ago and eggs are being laid. I had started the brood with about 4 frames with propolis and a little capped honey and all but two of the frames were drawn comb in the center. I also gave them sugar syrup. I'm wondering if so many drawn combs are a problem, since they seem to be laying up sugar water honey in nearly all the drawn comb. Am I leaving too little work for the bees to do? My queen is laying in the second frame from the end and the two empty frames in the center have no comb drawn at all. That seems a little odd to me. Will she have enough room to lay since they've filled the frames with honey? Thank you for any help you can be.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,588

    Default Re: MurrayK1

    Welcome to Beesource!

    Giving new packages drawn comb is not a 'problem', but does give the package bees a head start. As a result, they need less syrup than a package starting from scratch.

    You haven't identified your location, but in many areas of the US there is adequate nectar at this point for bees to forage if they already have drawn comb.

    You will probably get better advice if your Beesource profile includes your state/city. You can send a PM to administrator Barry with a request to update your profile location.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Fairbanks, AK
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: MurrayK1

    Thank you Radar Sidetrack for your reply. On my screen, at the top, far right of the Thread (above my comments) it shows that I'm in Fairbanks Alaska (zone 1). Since I'm really new to communicating through a forum, I'm not sure what you are seeing. Thought it would be on your screen too. I will contact Barry and ask him to make sure my City and State are showing. Thank you.

    The bees were hived 2 weeks ago, but I didn't release the queen til the 3 day following since she had only been with the bees 24 hours. I do think that I gave them too much sugar syrup at a time, since all but 2 of the frames were completely drawn.

    Nectar just began flowing about a week ago. Hopefully tonight will be the last temps below 32. Weather shows in low to mid 60's for the next 5 days. I looked again today and have lots of eggs and some larva, with maybe a three inch diameter circle of capped brood. I'm happy to see that, though it was not in the center of the hive and at the bottom of a frame. I moved the two frames with larva and brood closer to the center. The 2 center frames are still bare, except one side they've started building wax; although, they are filling it with sugar syrup as fast as the build each cell. That may be the reason that she is laying away from the center; she'll lay wherever she can find room since there's not much. Someone suggested that I put another brood box on with drawn comb to give her more room to lay. I hope that's a good idea since I did that today. I guess I'll find out. Would appreciate your thoughts.

    I will probably have many other questions. I'm grateful for good beekeepers who are willing to share what they've learned. Thank you.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,588

    Default Re: MurrayK1

    Conventional advice is to add another box when the bees have drawn and filled comb on 70-80% of the bars in the current box.


    > On my screen, at the top, far right of the Thread (above my comments) it shows that I'm in Fairbanks Alaska (zone 1).

    I see that now too. From what I recall, when I wrote my comment above your location was simply shown as "United States", but perhaps I was mistaken.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Fairbanks, AK
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: MurrayK1

    I put 2nd brood box on with all drawn comb May 10. Checked yesterday, the 27th and found that I have lots of brood, but interestingly enough, most of the sugar honey is used up. They are doing great. May be ready for a super before long. Thought the feed back would help someone else.

    On another note, I have another two hives started May 12th from a #4 box of bees and a second queen (a late start). on start-up, one box ended up with about 2/3rd of the bees and the other 1/3. So I have a very weak start to my 3rd hive, but they're beginning to work really hard. (I figured if they didn't build up quickly enough that I'd combine them to make a double queen hive. I'm still waiting to see how they do. As of today they have 3 sides of 2 frames, 1- 6" diameter, 2- 8" diameter, of capped brood with plenty of larvae being capped. I noticed that they are laying up nectar, but only have a 2" square capped. QUESTION: They seem to be ok, but I'm concerned that they don't have enough food for themselves and the brood. They are eating from a sugared framed I gave them, but I don't know how long it takes them to convert sugared comb compared to eat capped honey. Does anyone know?

    QUESTION 2: I have a small super of mostly capped sugared honey. Would it be more advantageous to let them eat the sugared honey (leaving the wax in tact) or take all from frame and let them build from scratch?

    Which would take less time and energy?

    Thank you for your help,
    K Murray

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,588

    Default Re: MurrayK1

    With regard to the weak/strong hive pair, you could try swapping the location of those two hives during the day when the foragers are out. The reasoning is that the foragers that were originally from the strong hive may return to the weaker hive that is now in its place, and boost its population.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    7,056

    Default Re: MurrayK1

    Welcome Murray!
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

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