No new comb since May...
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Allegany County, MD
    Posts
    120

    Default No new comb since May...

    Got my bees as a four frame nuc in May. Since then they have not drawn out a single frame of comb. I recently had to requeen and I'm feeding 1:1 at the moment. I am hoping that maybe once the new genetics start kicking in they will be more apt to build. If not, what could be a reason for this?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Mason, MI, USA
    Posts
    1,015

    Default Re: No new comb since May...

    Need more info! Bees will only pull plastic foundations with a heavy flow. Wood frames and wax foundation bees will pull with a flow or if you are feeding them. That is my opinion!!!
    Clint
    Clinton Bemrose<br />just South of Lansing Michigan<br />Beekeeping since 1964

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Palm Bay, FL, USA
    Posts
    2,274

    Default Re: No new comb since May...

    Most likely a very weak hive. How many bees? If you're using plastic foundation try a couple frames of wax or foundationless. Check to make sure the new queen is laying then make arrangements to get some bees in the hive by buying or begging a couple frames of capped brood with the adhering bees. If the hive is weak there are probably not enough nurse bees to feed brood so they'll be removing most of the eggs that the queen lays. The hive will just stay in limbo or decline. I would start by moving them back into a nuc box if you previously transferred them to a 8 or 10 frame box.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Macoupin,Illinois,USA
    Posts
    358

    Default Re: No new comb since May...

    maybe they don't like your tatoos..jst kidding what is your population looking like did you get good brood comb with your nuc,and did they hatch, i've sprayed plastic foundation with sugar water to get the bees to draw it out or you can put a little more wax on it. i have some italians that wont touch plastic untill i spray it, how long has it been since you requeened,and why did you requeen?

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Turnbow Hollow, Tennessee
    Posts
    465

    Default Re: No new comb since May...

    Quote Originally Posted by clintonbemrose View Post
    Need more info! Bees will only pull plastic foundations with a heavy flow. Wood frames and wax foundation bees will pull with a flow or if you are feeding them. That is my opinion!!!
    Clint
    Have you tried mixing HBH or PBH in with your sugar syrup? If not, this may help stimulate them to eat more and be more active.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Allegany County, MD
    Posts
    120

    Default Re: No new comb since May...

    The nuc was strong when I got it. I figured they would draw something at the beginning at least. I did use plastic when they were already on wax. Maybe that had something to do with it. The hive declined and I requeened a couple weeks ago and added two frames of brood, most of which has emerged. I also switched out to all wax with a few frames of foundationless just to see. The population is pretty strong again and the new queen seems to be laying good. So right now I have 6 frames of drawn comb, 4 from the nuc, 2 from the brood I added, none drawn by my bees. There isn't even evidence they have tried. Maybe at this point it is because they are in recovery mode but I would have thought they would draw initially when the hive was strong.

    I have feed only sugar, no additives.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Allegany County, MD
    Posts
    120

    Default Re: No new comb since May...

    Quote Originally Posted by mrqb View Post
    maybe they don't like your tatoos..jst kidding what is your population looking like did you get good brood comb with your nuc,and did they hatch, i've sprayed plastic foundation with sugar water to get the bees to draw it out or you can put a little more wax on it. i have some italians that wont touch plastic untill i spray it, how long has it been since you requeened,and why did you requeen?
    I don't think it's the tattooes...they don't see them often as they are covered by my bee jacket. When I do open the hive in a short sleeve shirt they don't pay much attention...lol

    But seriously, I requeened about 2 weeks ago because the old queen just wasn't laying. Her pattern was terrible and just not much going on and the bees were very unhygienic. I figured I just needed to get new genes in there. The new queen is already doing much better. I hope in a couple weeks once her genes start showing things will improve.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Palm Bay, FL, USA
    Posts
    2,274

    Default Re: No new comb since May...

    They'll only build comb when they need it for stores or brood. Let them build back up and you should see a change for the better.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    CAMARILLO, California, USA
    Posts
    3,649

    Default Re: No new comb since May...

    I have 2 and 3-4 nuc frames that draw out their Pierco plastic frames and the frames are 1/2 in length, full depth!
    You should start feeding the syrup to provide the carbs for wax secreation and build them up for over-wintering.
    It's going to take more than 14 days to get your new queens genetics into the hive. it will be more like 21 days plus post emergence growing up of the baby bees befor you will see any improvement.
    Consider getting the hive onto a pollen sub feeding schedule.
    Good luck.
    Ernie
    My websitehttp://bees4u.com/

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Allegany County, MD
    Posts
    120

    Default Re: No new comb since May...

    Added some wintergreen to their 1:1. Bees are taking the sugar like crazy now and building comb. Go figure. I ordered up the stuff needed to make some homemade Honey-B-Healthy so I'll see how that goes.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Allegany County, MD
    Posts
    120

    Default Re: No new comb since May...

    Everything arrived today to make my homemade version of H-B-H. Made up a batch of that and a couple quarts of 1:1 since they were out anyways. That's two quarts in two days...they are really packing it away. Hopefully they will figure out they need to go into comb building mode to store all this syrup they are taking in. I'm excited to see how the new recipe works out. I'll check in on them tomorrow and see how the girls are taking the new stuff.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    LEBANON,KY
    Posts
    48

    Default Re: No new comb since May...

    How is the HBH working for ya? Have they gone into comb builging mode? What all did you add to make your HBH?
    Last edited by honeyman46408; 08-18-2011 at 04:27 PM. Reason: UNQ

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Allegany County, MD
    Posts
    120

    Default Re: No new comb since May...

    Well, the HBH seems to be working...the bees are taking in loads of syrup right now...nearly 2 quarts a day. They barely started making some comb before they decided to just start filling all the drawn comb in the brood box not leaving much room for eggs to be laid. I started a thread about that and it was suggested I switch out the frames full of syrup/honey with frames of foundation. I did that Friday even. I checked today and they have started making comb on the new foundation which is exactly what I was hoping for. I am keeping my fingers crossed they will draw it all out and I can get some filled with brood before the cold weather starts making its way in. I guess in this area that is about 2 months.

    My recipe is the same as has been posted before...

    2 1/4 cups sugar
    2 cups water
    15 drops lemongrass oil
    15 drops spearmint oil
    1/8 teaspoon Lecithin Granules dissolved in a little water

    Add about a teaspoon per quart of syrup being fed to the bees. They seem to love it.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Allegany County, MD
    Posts
    120

    Default Re: No new comb since May...

    Spoke too soon. Bees made a very small amount of comb and stopped...not enough to use. They are still taking in a lot of syrup and bring in pollen from the Goldenrod flow. Guess we'll see what happens from here.

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