Hello everyone, I am a new beekeeper and need a question answered. I have 2 hives both with swarms that I have caught. Hive 1 is much smaller and has been in there for about 6 weeks. Hive 2 has been in there for 3 weeks. I checked both hives today and noticed both of my top boxes were absolutely full of capped brood. Nothing or I should say very little comb in bottom boxes. I suppose it is a good thing there is brood but why is there no honey stored? Also Because the bottom boxes were nearly empty I put some full combs down there hoping they will fill in the gaps. Am I impatient or should I be worried? I just feel there should be more honey. Again, newbie here, hopefully I can get some help.
I'm somewhat confused. Normally a box is not added on top until the one below is 80% or so drawn. Are you nadiring (putting boxes on the bottom instead of the top)? I'm learning about that system though I don't think it common in the Langstroth hive community.
The warre style hive is different from langstroth in that you add your boxes to the bottom instead of the top. It's suppose to be like an endless tree trunk, when the top is full you add an empty one underneith. I have not had to add another box yet I am still learning and saw on YouTube that you start with 2 boxes with warre. Regardless of the hive style I would still think the bees would create brood comb along with pollen filed comb, honey, etc. Both of mine are 100% capped brood and its all in the larvae stage.
I'd think feeding isn't necessary if there is a flow going on. Let the bees find what they need. If they're still small after the flow you could feed them to make sure they have enough stores for winter, but right now I'd let them forage. A swarm gorges itself on honey before leaving and they can build up quickly, but if the swarms were small they can take awhile to get going. I have a couple small swarms from about 6 weeks ago still filling out one box and I'm not worried about them.
They won't really super until they have a strong brood nest, which takes more bees. Until then, I've noticed they put pollen and nectar on the fringes of the brood comb. You might not be noticing it if it's squirreled away on the sides.
Also, I'd keep them in 1 box until they build out 80-90% then nadir. I've been moving one open brood frame down when I nadir, which seems to get them into the lower box more easily, otherwise they seem to have trouble moving down. Keep in mind a small swarm might only get to a box and a half by winter, but if they survive they'll take off in the spring.
I'd not be concerned with only seeing capped brood, that's a good thing! It means more bees on the way. If they're making a brood nest, there are enough resources to feed the larvae., and they're putting all their resources to raising bees instead of stashing it. The population should grow well in the next 4 weeks if they keep building out the boxes. have fun!