What kind of top feeder are you using? If it is the typical Mann Lake 4 gallon top feeder, you need to remove the inner cover. I think most top feeders would require the inner cover to be removed.
There is a hole in the center of the inner covers I have. Like this one:The bees will not be able to access the feeder to get the sugar if the inner cover is under it so you should remove it ASAP. Package bees will start dying very quick if no feed available.
I usually put the inner cover on top of the feeder and under the lid, just as an extra precaution against robbing, if the lid is a bit wonky.
Yes.There was drawn comb on only one side of two frames....... There were only bees covering one side of those two frames. Should I be worried about the small amount of bees in this hive?
There were a few getting syrup from the feeder fortunately, but not much comb made.Yes.
Sounds like this hive may be below the critical level needed to survive and grow. They may also be too small to access the syrup in the feeder, although maybe they will.
Something you can do is pick the whole hive up and swap places with one of the strong hives so they pick up some field bees. Then in a few weeks you can start feeding brood into them. Only give them one frame at a time, of brood that is point of hatch. They should not be given brood that will take a while till it hatches because they may struggle to look after it, only give them brood that will hatch straight away.
the only hive needing box 2 is the Italian with 10 frames.I put a honey super on the first two boxes,
Thank you for the quick reply.take 1 frame from the biggest and give to the smallest. looks like 1 and 4
not open brood, emerging brood, or oldest brood. if it is not yet "old" then wait a bit
let the bees do their thing, 6 frames at this time is ok.
the more you mess around the more chance for an issue.
super on the first brood box is ok, once partially filled , lift and add the brood box under.
the only hive needing box 2 is the Italian with 10 frames.
the other 3 should still be on the first box.
add second box at 9 frames drawn.
you do not add several at a time, until they are very strong.
only other thing to do maybe is pull frame 1 or 10 , when mostly full, from the Italians, shake the bees off to insure the queen is not present.
put it in one of the hives running behind in position 1 or 10.
these 2 frames will need to be filled for winter any way.
the stronger hive can assist in the draw and partial fill of winter stores frames for the weaker.
I would then presume the super was the 3rd box.Thank you for the quick reply.
Okay, looks like I jumped the gun a bit. At this point, should I remove the super I put on the second box when I get home from work tonight? Or just leave them now that I've already added them?
I'll buy more hive bodies on Friday, and make the switch from strongest to weakest.