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Hi, All --

I'm a new beekeeper. I started my first package the last weekend in April, and I'm using 8-frame medium hive boxes in a Langstroth hive. I started with bare foundation.

So far, my bees have filled ~8 frames with brood and 2 frames with honey. Several of the brood frames have hatched out and been re-laid at least once, but the other frames have little or no comb started.

I'm worried that my hive isn't increasing fast enough. Any thoughts?

Thanks for your help,

Christi
 

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If it's the outer frames, that's perfectly normal. You may want to swap position of the outer two frames on each side to move things along. It's also going to depend on what is blooming in your area; the drought in CA has been rough and may be a factor in growth.
 

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I've had good luck with taking one or two brood frames from the bottom box and pulling them up into the next box. This gets the bees up there to take care of teh brood and the are pretty quick to start drawing ot the frames next to the brood. once they get up there and start drawing things out, the seem to just keep going until that box is also all drawn out.
 

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If there is no flow, they will be very slow to pull new frames. They will only pull wax as needed. So bust up your brood nest if you have plenty of bees by placing empty frames between drawn frames, then feed them if there is no flow. If your bees aren't flying like crazy, then chances are there's no flow. Use a good top feeder and feed them some syrup 1:1 is enough to get them to pull wax..
 

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+1 to DrLonzo's advice. I routinely place empty frames between capped brood and they are drawn out in no time. Seeding a 2nd box will also give you the empty space on the first box for those frames, and get the bees building in the 2nd body.

I started a couple hives in April with foundationless 8 frame Lang. I just put on my 4th box on one and moved up 4 frames of honey into it from the 3rd box. The other hive I just added a 3rd box today. Locality plays a part as do genetics and environmentals, but I would expect you see more growth by now.
 

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Thank you. What you describe is what I expected of my bees. How often do you inspect your hives? Perhaps my weekly visits have stymied their growth?
Christi W - Honestly, I inspect my hives on and off so to speak. I've got 21 of them right now with another 10 in the works shortly. I tend to work the hives in waves of so many each time. I normally work them all through the course of a week or so. Then I wait another week and start again. So basically every two weeks. I know people that are in their hives every day though. lol.. I was one of them a while back. It doesn't really mess with the bees too much. They sorta get used to you being there.

As for the growth of the hives, once you quit feeding them, they tend to only build more during flows. I'm in a dearth right now and feed mine about a quart each day to get them to build more comb and continue to brood up for the flow later on. So far so good.... :)
 

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I am in there at least once a week, sometimes more when I need to follow up on something I saw. Everybody told me to stay out, but I'm in it for the experience more than honey or anything else and have to learn some way. The girls are good at telling me when I'm poking around too much.
 
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