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I installed two nucs on May 29 and today is 24 days. I had expected to begin seeing some growth in the hives by now, but as of yesterday they have only drawn out 1-2 frames. Plenty of eggs and open and sealed larva, just no new comb for the most part. The colony size has not increased as I had expected either.

Are my expectations wrong? Nuc comes with sealed brood, eggs, queen etc. so the bee math is that there are emerging workers from day 1? If this is a true statement, the colony should begin increasing almost immediately, Yes? And at the very least, it should be drawing comb when those first emerging workers begin foraging, 21 days later or right now.

What other variable am I not thinking of?
 

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I would feed them and see what happens, feeding should stimulate them into action, summer is now here and nectar flow might be very low where you are. You may need to feed them throughout the summer and possibly into the fall as well to get them ready for this coming winter. :)
 

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My bees will draw comb like mad when they need it. They won't draw at all if they don't.

Feeding will help them to need it. A lot depends on the conditions in the nuc when you got it. If there were 3 frames of capped brood then yes they should take off. If there was only one then your probably going to have another cycle before they need room.

Regardless of how much comb there is the queen can only lay as many eggs as she has bees to care for it. Since it takes 3 weeks to make one and they only live about six weeks it can sometimes take a couple rounds to get up to speed.
 

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to draw out wax you need a nectar flow. to increase hive population you need pollen coming in , brood space, hive space, and a nectar flow. this assumes adequate nurse bees to cover the frames and a good willing queen without a disease or parasite problem. this also assumes no excessive robbing..as a beekeeper start with the food availability and work you way thru the variables. this is colony management... if feeding syrup consider robbing control. if adding a pollen-sub do not create a hive beetle nursery. monitor parasite levels and react if out of the safe ranges. you are only about a month shy of considering early preperations for winter... neither panic or wishful thinking will likely help.... opps I just reminded myself to get my behind in gear.
 

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I have started to keep patty mix on and Surup on them and it has help a lot. Plus have started using two high nuc boxes. Once they fill the bottom box I pull a frame up to the upper box. And put a new one in the lower spot. Lots of new comb for me. Now I need to make some shallows and med four frame boxes. To draw comb out.
David
 

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Feeding any growing colony is almost a must. I was just talking to a friend in Ne. And in the course of the conversation he mentioned they were in a good flow now. so your girls may go to town. If you do not see improvement then you need to help them out. You will have bees emerge daily, and bees will also die at the same rate. A 5 frame nuc using the theory of thirds would have 1 2/3 frames of stores 1 2/3 frames of developing brood, and 1 2/3 frames left for the queen to use. This would be newly emerged cells being cleaned, and newly laid eggs, if one third of the is full of eggs and one third is newly emerged or emerging brood. the queen has only slightly more than a half of a frame to lay eggs in. The increase in such a situation is only marginally better than the loss rate of foragers. thus the colony will grow slowly Remember The bees that are house bees are also responsible to clean ,and prepare cells build comb, and nurse brood, as well as care for the queen. If you really want to see your nuc grow, add an upper or put them in a 10 frame hive, with drawn comb. If you want to really see bees draw comb. give a strong double deep colony a box with un-drawn frames during a flow. Or feed the heck out of them.

Many beekeepers have become attached to Nucs, anything in a 5 frame box is a nuc today. A nucleus Colony used to have specific parameters which were required before it could be called a Nuc. Like all line trimmers have become weed eaters and all rotary mowers have become bush hogs anything in a 5 frame box has become a nuc.
The reality of things in todays world is in most instances, a package installed in early spring will out preform most nucs. they start with more bees, and are in survival mode like a swarm is.

For now you will need to feed feed feed, or hope the flow gets them excited.
 
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