Feeding but not drawing comb
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
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    Fultonville,New York,USA
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    718

    Default Feeding but not drawing comb

    I have been feeding a hive a lot of sugar syrup but they don't seem to be to interested in drawing comb. They are in 2 deeps and the upper box has 4 of There is about 2 frames of capped brood hatching any day now. They have 4 of 8 frames drawn. Only 8 frames because I have a pro feeder that takes up 2 frames of space. Question I have is would it be ok to put a med. super on for the autumn flow? Or should I wait till all 8 are drawn out? Gave them a frame of brood comb and they completely filled it with nectar/ syrup. And saw some spots were brood hatched and the filled that with nectar/ syrup.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Winona MN USA
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    252

    Default Re: Feeding but not drawing comb

    It can be very hard to get them to draw comb this time of year, even with feeding. I think you are finding that out. I for now would stop feeding if it was me so as to get another round bees before building them up for winter. I think you still have time to feed for winter. continuing to feed will probably just cause more backfilling. Unless you can put more drawn comb into this deep, you are going to have some things to do to get them through winter. (filling any empty space, sugar block, as a couple of things.) Placing a supper on top won't do any good in my opinion. If they don't build on the deep, why would they build on a supper. I'm not saying I'm right. I'm just saying If it was me, this is what I would do.
    GOOD LUCK!!!

  4. #3
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    Jun 2016
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    Fultonville,New York,USA
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    Default Re: Feeding but not drawing comb

    Thanks always value your responses. Today i gave them another frame of drawn comb. Hopefully she will lay in it and the workers wont fill it with honey or pollen. I have plenty of stores left over from last year to get them through winter. Just thought i might be able to get them to draw some med honey supers out and get a little honey.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    DFW area, TX, USA
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    Default Re: Feeding but not drawing comb

    How much sugar syrup are you feeding Sickdog5?
    ...We don't see things as they are, we see things as WE are...

  6. #5
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    Feb 2012
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    West Bath, Maine, United States
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    Default Re: Feeding but not drawing comb

    Camero7 passed on his method of feeding sub to get more late wax a few years ago.
    It is hard to design a safety net that some will not use as a hammock.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
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    Fultonville,New York,USA
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    Default Re: Feeding but not drawing comb

    Quote Originally Posted by Lburou View Post
    How much sugar syrup are you feeding Sickdog5?
    They took down 1 and 1/2 gallons in 3 days. Not going to give them anymore for now. I was trying to get all 10 frames drawn out in the 2nd brood box. Today I gave them a frame of fully drawn comb and put it towards the middle in hopes of the queen will lay eggs in it. More bee's more comb to be drawn,Hopefully. Was thinking if i filled there feeder they would just fill the frame of new comb i gave them today with the sugar syrup. Gave them a frame of drawn brood comb last week and they just filled it with syrup. Possibly because i put it on the outside and not in the middle. Really don't want to move the frames to much.Maybe i am wrong but thats what it seems like to me.

  8. #7
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    Jul 2014
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    N.E. KY
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    1,087

    Default Re: Feeding but not drawing comb

    Im no 20 year expert, but i have had success in my location to keep them drawing til October.

    You do need couple things to make it work.
    1. Pollen or pollen sub they like. They need to think the flow is on and when they think it, she will lay. And the brood needs pollen.

    2. Constant feed, but slow enough so they dont backfill. So i suggest using jars with 5-6 holes in it. But, it all depends on how strong the hive is, plus if any nectar coming in from nature. You need to inspect to know if your feeding too much of not enough. And the jar cannot go empty. If its empty everytime you go to fill it, then that doesnt trick them into drawing and raising brood.

    Thats what i have done and it worked for me.
    And i almost forgot the most important thing.
    Luck. Some years may be different as with locals and microclimates.

    But i do think your shooting yourself in the foot with the frame feeder. JMO
    www.facebook.com/hives2honey Oxalic Vaporizers, supplement and more!!!!!! Check me out.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Greene, (Upstate) NY. The Great USA
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    216

    Default Re: Feeding but not drawing comb

    HEAT....sometimes I take the inner cover off and put the telescoping or migratory directly on...the added warmth helps when temps drop, Bees...the more bees the better in any given box size to draw wax...and most important a flow....if you have these 3 things they will draw comb....hrs of daylight may play a roll as well.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
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    Fultonville,New York,USA
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    Default Re: Feeding but not drawing comb

    Quote Originally Posted by rookie2531 View Post

    But i do think your shooting yourself in the foot with the frame feeder. JMO
    Please explain

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Yuba County, California, USA
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    Default Re: Feeding but not drawing comb

    Isn't it getting a little late in the year to be expecting much comb drawing as far north as NY?

  12. #11
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    Fultonville,New York,USA
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    Default Re: Feeding but not drawing comb

    I guess maybe but I love agrivating my wife by using all her sugar

  13. #12
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    Jun 2008
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    Default Re: Feeding but not drawing comb

    OK, that made me have a good chuckle. Carry on.

  14. #13
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    Dec 2012
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    Default Re: Feeding but not drawing comb

    I think your bees are turning in earlier this year. If you have the
    carnis then this might be it. They are starting the winter prep early this year.
    Mine will in early Sept to Oct here in a mild winter area. No more comb drawing
    for me this year. What is your night time temp now?
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
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    Sawyer County,WI USA
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    Default Re: Feeding but not drawing comb

    As winter approaches, bees 'naturally' spend more time collecting/prepping stores than building new comb for brood. Its why 'empty' frames work so well when placed in the brood nest during a flow, sometimes filling a frame with comb in a few days.

    Comb building is compelling to bees when flows are on-going and expected in the near term (Spring/Summer), and/or they are being artificially fed.

    A healthy queen/colony need only keep a small amount of brood going throughout winter... but MUST have enough stores to feed everyone for up to 6 months, hence the 'bee logic' in allowing for smaller brood nests and a concerted emphasis on collecting nectar.....and what beekeepers refer to as 'backfilling'...

    The Bees really do know what they are doing.
    Last edited by drummerboy; 08-18-2017 at 02:59 AM. Reason: clarity

  16. #15
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    Sep 2016
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    Murphy, TX
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    Default Re: Feeding but not drawing comb

    Quote Originally Posted by Sickdog5 View Post
    Please explain
    Frame feeder will backfill the brood nest which will reduce population in next generation which will further slowdown comb building and other downsides. Trick is to feed them a constant trickle using inverted jar or something.

    I learned this the hard way. Two of my frame feeder hives have no space for queen to lay.

    The trickle fed 5 frame nuc with only 2 brood frames (and no queen) has drawn almost 2 new frames in 4 weeks. Now they have a laying queen and trickle feed is still on. We will see how fast they draw going forward. Plenty of Pollen where I am at year round except winter.

  17. #16
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    Default Re: Feeding but not drawing comb

    Quote Originally Posted by pjigar View Post
    Frame feeder will backfill the brood nest which will reduce population in next generation which will further slowdown comb building and other downsides. Trick is to feed them a constant trickle using inverted jar or something.

    I learned this the hard way. Two of my frame feeder hives have no space for queen to lay.

    The trickle fed 5 frame nuc with only 2 brood frames (and no queen) has drawn almost 2 new frames in 4 weeks. Now they have a laying queen and trickle feed is still on. We will see how fast they draw going forward. Plenty of Pollen where I am at year round except winter.
    Ok so what are the frame feeders good for? I have a nuc that just got queen rite a week ago. Trying to build that one up for winter. Would that be a good one to use the frame feeder on?

  18. #17
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    Jun 2013
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    Rensselaer County, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Feeding but not drawing comb

    Stick the drawn frame right between two brood combs in the lower box and she will lay in it, pronto. (especially if you pause the feeding.) This works if you want more bees (but remember it will take month for those bees to become wax-makers and by then it may be too late in the season.)

    Sticking an undrawn frame between two brood combs also works well to get it drawn, as long as the bees are numerous-enough so they can keep the separated brood frames warm enough.

    My bees in Albany are still drawing comb, big time, but then I have made sure they never stopped this entire summer as I am in desperate need of more drawn comb. I pull the new ones out as fast as they draw them and reassign them to my needier colonies.

    I second the recommendation about heat: I'd tried setting a piece of 2" foam on top of the colony and temporarily close any upper entrance. Nights in the mid-50s now, here. Not done with summer, but we've turned a corner.

    Nancy

  19. #18
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    Jun 2016
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    Fultonville,New York,USA
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    Default Re: Feeding but not drawing comb

    Quote Originally Posted by enjambres View Post
    Stick the drawn frame right between two brood combs in the lower box and she will lay in it, pronto. (especially if you pause the feeding.) This works if you want more bees (but remember it will take month for those bees to become wax-makers and by then it may be too late in the season.)

    Sticking an undrawn frame between two brood combs also works well to get it drawn, as long as the bees are numerous-enough so they can keep the separated brood frames warm enough.

    My bees in Albany are still drawing comb, big time, but then I have made sure they never stopped this entire summer as I am in desperate need of more drawn comb. I pull the new ones out as fast as they draw them and reassign them to my needier colonies.

    I second the recommendation about heat: I'd tried setting a piece of 2" foam on top of the colony and temporarily close any upper entrance. Nights in the mid-50s now, here. Not done with summer, but we've turned a corner.

    Nancy
    Nancy thanks always great to hear from you. Are u still feeding? If so what is your method?Where do you get your foam from? And if they don't get it all drawn out would you put follower boards on each side and then pack the empty space with the foam for the winter?

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Greene, (Upstate) NY. The Great USA
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    216

    Default Re: Feeding but not drawing comb

    Quote Originally Posted by enjambres View Post
    Stick the drawn frame right between two brood combs in the lower box and she will lay in it, pronto. (especially if you pause the feeding.) This works if you want more bees (but remember it will take month for those bees to become wax-makers and by then it may be too late in the season.)

    Sticking an undrawn frame between two brood combs also works well to get it drawn, as long as the bees are numerous-enough so they can keep the separated brood frames warm enough.

    My bees in Albany are still drawing comb, big time, but then I have made sure they never stopped this entire summer as I am in desperate need of more drawn comb. I pull the new ones out as fast as they draw them and reassign them to my needier colonies.

    I second the recommendation about heat: I'd tried setting a piece of 2" foam on top of the colony and temporarily close any upper entrance. Nights in the mid-50s now, here. Not done with summer, but we've turned a corner.

    Nancy
    Agree, with all this...my bees are still drawing comb as well....Knapp weed flow....goldenrod....and asters coming....shaping up to be a great fall!

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Rensselaer County, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Feeding but not drawing comb

    Foam boards come from whereever they are cheaper. Depending on amount needed and size that is often Lowes house brand (green), or blue or pink from hardware stores. Lowes sells large ones , 4 x 8 sheets, which I cut down on the spot to fit in my little car. I will be buying more soon as I lost about half of my accumulated stock in the fire last March.

    I am still feeding a few and I only feed with foam top feeders from Betterbee. I've tried other methods and the top feeders are the best, hands down. Easy to fill (any time day or night), long lasting and help keep the syrup warm when the season is tailing off, so I can get a few more feeding days in. I will start feeding more of them in the next week once I have finished the overhaul of the sick, but now doing much better, colonies. I want to see more capped brood before I decide how much space they will need this winter.

    And yes, of course I will be tailoring the interior spaces of the majority of my colonies this winter to make sure they are snug in their stacks. The big healthy colonies will be donating frames with honey and pollen, in addition to their steady production over the summer of new frames so I could take the skanky EFB ones out where possible.

    Nancy

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