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Discussion Starter #1
I try hard to search for threads before posting a new one, and while I'm sure this question has been addressed many times, I can't find specific answers, so here goes.

Installed 2 nucs in brand new hives almost a month ago. I have been feeding them with top feeders pretty consistently since. I added new plastic foundation I had prepped with beeswax. I quickly added a 2nd deep brood box and surprisingly the bees have already drawn out most of the top brood box comb as well (not completely, but pretty close). I think I'm past swarm concerns (although who knows - I'm a newb!). My primary question is, is it time to add honey supers/queen excluder and let them start drawing those out, or should I be waiting until both brood boxes are not only drawn out but in fully in use (brood, pollen, nectar/honey storage) before adding honey supers? I wasn't anticipating how rapidly they'd draw comb - it's really amazing! I'm thinking, although I know I shouldn't feed once they start storing honey, that for drawing out purposes on the honey super foundations, that feeding them during that process would help them continue to produce wax prolifically.

Interestingly, my friend installed her nucs a week or so before me and they are just starting to draw out her 2nd brood box. I am using Honey Bee Healthy and some Amino Booster in my feeders, so maybe my bees are all hyped up :)

Appreciate any guidance.
 

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Well I feed my bees HBH as well and they seem to be about par with yours at the moment. lol.. However to answer the question at hand. If your bees are currently using the brood nest as such and not honey bound, with all the frames pulled out or at least 8 of 10 in the upper and lower, It is time for the honey super. Keep in mind that if there is NO drawn comb in the supers to get the attention of the bees, it is very likely that you will either have to leave off the QE to get them into it, or do a bait and switch. Put a honey super frame in the middle of the top box of brood nest, allow them to draw it out, then move it into the super when you put it on.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I guess my thought was, to leave the top feeders on and that traversing to/from the feeder would be enough to get them interested in drawing out the honey super foundation. They seem to be wax producing maniacs at the moment, so I'm kind of confident they will draw it out if I added supers. I am going to do a full hive inspection this weekend and really focus on how much of the two brood boxes is brood and ensure it's not honey bound or that they are not backfilling with nectar/sugar water.

I am not necessarily focused on getting the honey supers on to get honey year one (although the way things are progressing, it's possible I may get a bit), but the goal being to get the foundation in those honey supers drawn out...

Trying to figure out if it's the 'drawing out' of the two deep boxes that is the trigger to move to add honey supers with new foundation, or whether I should be waiting until there is brood or stores in most of the bottom deeps before I add them...
 

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Best to wait until 8 of 10 frames are in use, not just drawn. Otherwise you end up with far too much empty comb and too few bees. When the top box has honey, pollen, or brood in 8 frames it's time to put on that box of foundation. However, if there isn't a good honey flow on then, they likely won't do much with it unless you feed syrup, and then you will have a super full of sugar syrup instead of honey.

It all depends on the duration of the honey flow and how long it takes them to draw and fill the brood boxes. You can speed them up by feeding until the two brood boxes have a substantial amount of capped honey (which will be mixed with sugar syrup from feeding).

Peter
 

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Best to wait until 8 of 10 frames are in use, not just drawn. Otherwise you end up with far too much empty comb and too few bees. When the top box has honey, pollen, or brood in 8 frames it's time to put on that box of foundation. However, if there isn't a good honey flow on then, they likely won't do much with it unless you feed syrup, and then you will have a super full of sugar syrup instead of honey.

It all depends on the duration of the honey flow and how long it takes them to draw and fill the brood boxes. You can speed them up by feeding until the two brood boxes have a substantial amount of capped honey (which will be mixed with sugar syrup from feeding).

Peter
Thanks Peter, that's pretty much exactly what I was looking for - thanks for the clear response...
 
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