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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    South Point, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    52

    Default Second box with old drawn comb

    I installed a new nuc on Tuesday, and so far everything is going great. They are bringing in pollen, and seemingly doing great. When I installed the five frames of the nuc, which were mostly brood, I also put in five mostly drawn frames about half full of stores. Did I over do it? Would it hurt to just go ahead and add on a second deep - especially since I can fill it with mostly drawn comb and a couple frames of honey? I know typically the guide is to add the second box when the first deep is about 75-80% drawn ... but if you already add drawn comb, do you just go ahead and put on two boxes?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Ottawa, ON
    Posts
    141

    Default Re: Second box with old drawn comb

    You may be rushing things. I would let them establish and build population. It may not hurt them but it also will not help them to have all the extra space overhead. Depends on temps and forage available.

    Peter
    Ottawa. ON

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    South Point, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: Second box with old drawn comb

    Thanks for the reply.

    Forage and temps are perfect right now, though we are set to get some rain over the next few days.

    My main concern was if I possibly created an overcrowding situation by providing too much drawn comb in one deep, thus making them thing about swarming from the second they moved in.

    Overthinking?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Ottawa, ON
    Posts
    141

    Default Re: Second box with old drawn comb

    You need to judge when you "Need" to add another box by the population. Ohio is well ahead of Ontario in the season so I can't use my bees as a yard stick. If when you look down into the box and 6-7 frame spaces are full of bees then add another box.

    Also, a frame of honey is needed to raise a frame of brood. The bees will continue to convert honey/nectar into bees so long as they have space and the pop is below swarming impulse.

    A standard nuc in Ontario is 4 frames, 2 brood, one honey pollen, one empty. If you have a strong 5 frame nuc with 4 frames of brood it will grow faster and need attention sooner.

    Peter
    Ottawa. ON

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Rensselaer County, NY, USA
    Posts
    3,627

    Default Re: Second box with old drawn comb

    For beginners, just starting out with no drawn comb: by the time it's drawn, it's being used, so the 80% guideline is a good short hand "rule" to give them. But when starting with a nuc and drawn comb, then the second part of that "rule" is a better guide: add more space when the frames are 80% in use, not just there waiting, empty or full of stores.

    To speed things up, swap in an additional drawn but empty worker-cell sized comb in place of one of the partial honey frames. That gives them (perhaps much-needed) space to expand their brood area, and it will quickly become an additional frame in use. Place it next to the brood frames. It would be nice, too, if one of the extra frames in the box has a bit of pollen to feed the larvae.

    Does that make sense?

    Enj.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Greenbrae, CA, USA
    Posts
    610

    Default Re: Second box with old drawn comb

    Quote Originally Posted by RiversideBeek View Post

    Overthinking?
    Yes...
    Drawn comb won't make them think they're crowded. Let them move into that space - you'll see bees all over the top of most or all of the frames when you open the lid. Then add a second box.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    South Point, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: Second box with old drawn comb

    Yes, that makes sense

    So it seems I need to just take a breath and give them a few more days? Since I just installed them Tuesday, I'm guessing I should leave them be for a week? Or would it hurt to just pop the lid real quick to see what's going on (I'd only check a frame or two at most).

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Greenbrae, CA, USA
    Posts
    610

    Default Re: Second box with old drawn comb

    Take two or three breaths... A queen lays 1500 or so eggs in a day, and there are about 5,000 cells on a deep frame. So even with five drawn frames it's gonna take her a while to fill 'em up. It certainly doesn't really hurt to take a look, as noted you don't even really need to pull out a frame, just pop the lid and see how crowded with bees the outside frames are (assuming you put the nuc frames in the middle). I'd guess at least 10 days or so from the time you installed it till it needs a second deep, maybe more.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    South Point, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: Second box with old drawn comb

    I popped the top for a quick peek a bit ago. There are bees on every frame, and no small amount. I pulled one off the end that I knew was honey on one side and about half drawn on the other - they were in the process of drawing it out and filling in the already drawn with honey. The weather is about to get nasty for a couple of days, but I think as soon as it clears up I may add that second box.

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