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I picked my five frame nuc hive in april 2014 and put them in a new hive and they still have not started on any new frames and very little honey and pollen in the two of the five from the nuc hive. I no I will need to feed them all winter BUT WHY there is a lot of alfalfa and rabbit brush around to harvest. Is the wax in new frames bad or are they sick ? please help I wish I new more about . thank you.
 

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Welcome to Beesource!


Alfalfa may not offer much in the way of nectar (depending on the farmer), if the field is cut for hay before prime bloom time. Reports are that alfalfa is often cut before there are prolific blooms, so there may not be much for your bees to harvest. Alfalfa grown for seed is a much better bee forage crop.

My understanding is that rabbitbrush is a relatively late blooming plant (August through October) so if neither the rabbitbrush nor alfalfa provided much forage earlier, that could explain your situation.
 

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Have you seen your queen lately. It may be that the hive is simply surviving and of course without a queen you will have no new workers. Look for the queen or at least eggs, that would be my first bit of advice.
agree.. sounds like nothing is going on. Very long time to wait with no progress at all.. april to august?
 

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>picked my five frame nuc hive in april 2014 and put them in a new hive and they still have not started on any new frames

Can you post pictures of your brood?
 

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By any chance did you place the hive in shade? Something is seriously wrong; it should be a full two-deeps with a medium honey super by now. We're missing something here.
 

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Having an BS in Animal Husbandry finally pays off! I grew up on a Dairy Farm. Alfalfa is cut at 1/16 bloom, meaning that 1 in 16 plants has flowers. This is the most nutritious stage for cattle feed. I believe I also read that alfalfa blooms have some sort of trigger hair or what-have-you that the honey bee will set off due to her style of landing and seeking out the pollen & nectar. This "hair" bugs her to no end so she tends to take off seeking sustenance elsewhere. This thing doesn't bother Bumbles or certain solitary bees so they get the nectar.

Warning: I don't even have bees yet (getting them next Spring) but I do know haymaking for what it's worth.
 

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Here is a site with more info on the 'hair trigger' issue with alfalfa that Retroguy mentioned above ...

There is one problem that the honey bees encounter in working alfalfa flowers, though. The structure of the alfalfa blossom hides the nectar and pollen from the foraging bee until the flower is physically tripped by a bee. To access the alfalfa pollen and nectar, the bee must press its head against the flower petal until the flower’s male and female parts are exposed. In this process, the flower slaps the bee directly in the face. Understandably, many nectar-gathering honey bees dislike the tripping mechanism of alfalfa.

Click the link for the rest:

http://peacebeefarm.blogspot.com/2009/09/alfalfa-in-bloom.html

 

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>I picked my five frame nuc hive in april 2014 and put them in a new hive and they still have not started on any new frames and very little honey and pollen in the two of the five from the nuc hive.

If they have not grown since April, it's doubtful they will survive the winter. I'd be looking for the cause.
 

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Sounds like you need to feed them. This may get them to start drawing comb...maybe. I noticed that just past May....(I got my nucs in April also) mine stopped drawing comb. Since, I've learned that they MOSTLY draw comb only during the spring. If you can keep them alive till then then, they may start the buiding process. Feed them 2:1 Sugar Syrup and some pollen patties.
 
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