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I’m a newbee that installed packages on April 1. All of my Lang hives have foundation-less frames and of course my TBH is foundation-less. I fed 1:1 before the flow started and they built lots of comb and they continued to build new comb during the flow. I was then told by folks in my bee club that once the dearth started in June, that the bees would no longer draw comb and to not add any more empty supers. But during the dearth I added 6 empty bars to my TBH just to expand the brood area and the bees DID build new comb. So that told me that even during a dearth, their wanting to fill voids and maintain bee space was important even when no major nectar sources were available.

So I experimented with my foundation-less Lang hives. Even with all 8 of 8 frames drawn and filled with honey, I was told to not add empty supers during the dearth. But I did add one completely empty box with foundation-less frames anyway just to see what would happen. In my mind, dearth or not, if the bees have filled all frames of every box on the hive, you should give them more room. But of course I could be wrong. I thought, at worst (since there was no comb, just empty wood frames) that the bees would have extra area to police for SHB. At best they will draw comb and fill it with whatever. And at least it will give some bees a place to hang out and get out of the way if necessary (kind of like a slatted rack).

I went into that hive yesterday and the bees were building comb up from the bottom bar since they had no ladder to reach the top bar. So I pulled a full frame up from the top most filled super and put it in the empty super. I wonder, are they eating their stored honey to convert to this new wax OR is their just enough nectar out there coming in to give them the resources even though my club says we’re in a dearth?
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