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Hi there,

I installed 2 colonies of 5-frame Carniolan nucs June 10th of this year. As of July 16th, they still hadn't utilized any of the outer frames on either side even though there has been plenty of nectar and honey flow at this point. One hive is running out of room within the 5 frames and they've started to comb out into the inner cover. The outer frames were from a previous year and already have comb built out so the only work they don't need any work building them out.

Is it normal for them to take this long? I've included a picture showing how after over 5 weeks they stay within their original frames. It's also odd that both my colonies are having the same issue. Any insight would be helpful.
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I don’t see your location, but, so long as your temps are somewhere between hot to moderate, you can move a frame into the center of the brood nest. They’ll use it. If they don’t, there’s something they don’t like about the comb.
 

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Somethiing is keeping them from expanding and how do you know there has been plenty of nectar and pollen? If there was plenty, the bees would be storing it! Sounds like there is enough to maintain a nuc sized brood nest.

Feeding the bees with feed laced with a feeding stimulant like honeybeehappy etc will encourage the bees to expand outside the nuc area. Feed until the brood chamber area is fully occupied is always best course of action.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I don’t see your location, but, so long as your temps are somewhere between hot to moderate, you can move a frame into the center of the brood nest. They’ll use it. If they don’t, there’s something they don’t like about the comb.
Thank you much. I'm in Chicago and am going to move a frame into the brood nest later this week if I don't see any change.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Somethiing is keeping them from expanding and how do you know there has been plenty of nectar and pollen? If there was plenty, the bees would be storing it! Sounds like there is enough to maintain a nuc sized brood nest.

Feeding the bees with feed laced with a feeding stimulant like honeybeehappy etc will encourage the bees to expand outside the nuc area. Feed until the brood chamber area is fully occupied is always best course of action.
Thanks for the insight. Neither hive is inundated with capped brood at this point so maybe they are just expanding their hive at a much slower pace. This is only my second year and last year, 2 weeks into the nuc install I already needed to add a honey super! The steep learning curve is an adjustment.
 

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Just my opinion, but leave them alone.
 

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Just my opinion, but leave them alone.
I second this, Carni’s build up has a lot to do with nectar availability, pollen etc. From the picture you have a good looking colony. Feeding them up can’t hurt, but your location and time of year, I wouldn’t go to checker boarding the hive. They will draw out the comb as, and when they needed it provided they have the carbs to do so, thus the feeding. Best wishes
Cody
 

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IMO, they don't like those frames (pretty sure - plastic foundation, looking at the picture).

I had a case just like this when bees just swarmed as if out of space (I captured a swarm for someone).
They just would not budge and rather swarm than go onto the plastic frames.

Intermixing the frames (I suggested) might have worked and forced the hand - they did not call me back with issues.
 

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I do not believe you have a problem to be corrected. Carniolans are very efficient in moderating their population levels to their environmental needs. Italians, much less so.
 

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Hi there,

I installed 2 colonies of 5-frame Carniolan nucs June 10th of this year. As of July 16th, they still hadn't utilized any of the outer frames on either side even though there has been plenty of nectar and honey flow at this point. One hive is running out of room within the 5 frames and they've started to comb out into the inner cover. The outer frames were from a previous year and already have comb built out so the only work they don't need any work building them out.

Is it normal for them to take this long? I've included a picture showing how after over 5 weeks they stay within their original frames. It's also odd that both my colonies are having the same issue. Any insight would be helpful.
View attachment 64676
show us one of the frames the bees do not like.
My guess is they are plastic and your bees are not a fan.

Try crimp wire bees wax foundation in the frames.

second quess is it takes flow to build wax, are you in a dearth? are you feeding?

Is there all stages of brood on the frames?

GG
 

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Could you elaborate? I have two hives of Italians which is why I want to know more.
Psm1212 is referring to the traits of specific races of honey bee’s. Italians are large brood builders period, regardless of resources they will produce brood if they can. The Carni, tends to base brood rearing on resources available, nectar flow, pollen coming in etc.
 

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I'm new to this as well. 2 carniolan nucs installed May 22. Still haven't filled many frames. 4 frame nuc. They haven't done much. All new boxes and frames.
 

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Hi there,

I installed 2 colonies of 5-frame Carniolan nucs June 10th of this year. As of July 16th, they still hadn't utilized any of the outer frames on either side even though there has been plenty of nectar and honey flow at this point. One hive is running out of room within the 5 frames and they've started to comb out into the inner cover. The outer frames were from a previous year and already have comb built out so the only work they don't need any work building them out.

Is it normal for them to take this long? I've included a picture showing how after over 5 weeks they stay within their original frames. It's also odd that both my colonies are having the same issue. Any insight would be helpful.
View attachment 64676
Just place the undrawn frames in between that drawn frames. If the nectar flow is good then they draw fast. Give sugar syrup feeding when it's over. Simple 🙂
 

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I'm new to this as well. 2 carniolan nucs installed May 22. Still haven't filled many frames. 4 frame nuc. They haven't done much. All new boxes and frames.
Wax production takes a lot of carbs, depending on the nectar flow in your area there may not be much. Try feeding syrup, and some pollen and see what happens. Carniolans tend to build up in times of nectar flow and cut back in times of dearth. Basically they are a little more in tune with the resources around them, which helps them survive winters.
 

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Hi there,

I installed 2 colonies of 5-frame Carniolan nucs June 10th of this year. As of July 16th, they still hadn't utilized any of the outer frames on either side even though there has been plenty of nectar and honey flow at this point. One hive is running out of room within the 5 frames and they've started to comb out into the inner cover. The outer frames were from a previous year and already have comb built out so the only work they don't need any work building them out.

Is it normal for them to take this long? I've included a picture showing how after over 5 weeks they stay within their original frames. It's also odd that both my colonies are having the same issue. Any insight would be helpful.
View attachment 64676
Do the outer frames have comb or foundation and where are they from? Where did you purchase your nucs from? It is only 6 days and they may need more time. Shuffle a few frames.
 

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If you figure this out let me know.
Installed 2 5 frame nucs into 2 separate hives this year one on June 5th and the other June 11th.
I have kept 1:1 on them non-stop 1 quart at a time for 5/6 weeks and they are still only using their original frames
I tried checkerboarding and they drew out a little comb right in the centers of the foundation but that was it for weeks at a time

I finally started taking away frames. Its as if 10 frames is just too many for them to deal with.

I did a cut out at my neighbors on the 15th. tossed all the old comb due to hive beetles and those girls have almost drawn out a 10 frame deep, eggs and larvae everywhere, capped honey in the corners.
This is on the same foundation the other colonies that came with foundation dont touch.
Going to give them a 2nd deep next week of all the sorta touched frames from the other two colonies.
To quoate a famous beekeeper they show "optimism and ambition" so Im going to reward them with resources and attention.
 

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Could you elaborate? I have two hives of Italians which is why I want to know more.
Carniolans overwinter is smaller numbers. However, they are known to explode in the spring. So much so that they have a negative reputation for swarming. But it is not spring any longer and your carnis are likely not incentivized to build population right now. Don’t judge them until next April. I bet they will have no problem with expanding into those frames then.
 

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Hi there,

I installed 2 colonies of 5-frame Carniolan nucs June 10th of this year. As of July 16th, they still hadn't utilized any of the outer frames on either side even though there has been plenty of nectar and honey flow at this point. One hive is running out of room within the 5 frames and they've started to comb out into the inner cover. The outer frames were from a previous year and already have comb built out so the only work they don't need any work building them out.

Is it normal for them to take this long? I've included a picture showing how after over 5 weeks they stay within their original frames. It's also odd that both my colonies are having the same issue. Any insight would be helpful.
View attachment 64676
I had installed one 5-frame this year and I'm also from the Chicago area. I have seen the same thing. The bees are very reluctant to build into the outer frames. It wasn't until this week that they finally showed more interest in one of the outer frames. This year has been on the cool and rainy side so I'm wondering if this might have something to do with it.
 

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Honey Hive Farms: We deliver bee packages, queens & bulk honey in 8 states
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They know.. My opinion that bees like to work say a five frame hive and move up., I am saying they like to move up more than out. Anyways, I think the bees know what they are doing most of the time, NOT Saying we dont push them in one direction or the other to try to make them do what we want.
Lastly, keep the brood together but you could offer them drawn out frames,, maybe a little sugar water, pollen?
Wish you well.
 
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