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I need to draw out foundation in a number of new supers this Spring. I would like to place an excluder on and then drop in a super of foundation with 2 gallons of sugar water. My question is two fold. Will the bees just take the feed down into the brood chamber and possibly plug it when I want the queen to have plenty of room to lay or will strong colonies start drawing out comb feeling the need for space?
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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You need to prime the pump first. The bees are not eager to start building the new super out if there is room below and only foundation above. If you put on a qe, you are making it that much less likely. Either place some already drawn frames in the super, or move a brood frame up. If it is a deep, leave the open space below it. Do not put the qe in until the wax building is well under way and you move the original brood frame back down. I am hoping to get about 200 medium frames drawn out this season myself but I have a fair number of drawn frames to start the boxes off with. Feed heavily to encourage wax production until the flow starts.
 

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Thanks...appreciate the advice. I may just decide to take some of my strongest colonies and place a full supers of foundation on and let them draw out the comb when the honey flow begins. I am only making up 10 new supers of foundation and if the colonies are strong they should fill them out. However the strongest ones will get split before I put the supers on....one step forward and one step back...who knows?
 

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One of my most successful ways to draw comb is to crowd the bees down into a single and put a box of foundation above the excluder. But I take a frame of wet brood and brush off the bees and put it in the center of that box of foundation. The bees come thru the excluder to car for the brood and hustle to draw comb to 'fix' their brood nest. If your brood is deep frames and your supers are medium, use one frame of deep brood in two boxes of medium foundation. The best comb is drawn by putting a foundation frame between two frames of capped brood. The bees get it started and the queen usually lays it full immediately. Feeding will usually result in frames of syrup. Then since you are into extra work, can place them on the bottom board under an excluder and set your brood boxes on top. The bees will move it up above the brood leaving you drawn comb. All in all comb is best drawn during the heavy spring fruit and dandelion bloom or an intense honeyflow like alfalfa or yellow sweet clover.
 

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I use mediums for honey, and deeps for brood. When I needed extra medium frames drawn out in a pinch, I dropped one into the center of the top deep. That position will be the first priority to draw an undrawn frame, imo. Soon as it starts to get drawn, the queen will likely lay it full of eggs. As larvae hstart to hatch, pull it back out, replace the deep frame you took out before, and place medium into super on top without excluder.

They have to finish drawing out the frame before the larvae pupate. Once they start drawing wax up there, it's on. Place excluder 3-4 weeks before you want to pull honey.

After that, if you want to draw a lot of wax, put 2 drawn frames in the center of each box without excluder. If you need very few drawn, put one foundation in a box of drawn and use the excluder.
 
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