i'm going to hive a package this evening i hope. when starting out foundationless in better to put one frame of large cell comb into hive just to start queen laying or just put in 10 foundationless frames and start feeding? thanks.
i'm going to hive a package this evening i hope. when starting out foundationless in better to put one frame of large cell comb into hive just to start queen laying or just put in 10 foundationless frames and start
That would only serve to raise a lot of drones, the last thing the hive needs as it builds.
(You need female workers to gather honey for you, not lazy drones who can't even feed themself's....lol)
If you have several drawn regular frames (not large drone cell) that would allow the queen to start laying a bit sooner.
(give the hive a small boost)
Place them side by side to conserve heat and allow package to cover them.
Otherwise just use what you have but leave those drone combs out for now.
When I have smaller colonies and/or nucs, I have never seen them allow a queen to lay large areas of drone brood, until that colonies population had grown quite strong. The only time I've ever seen this happen was with laying workers and drone laying queens, and those hives have much bigger problems than just too much drone brood.
Many foundationless combs have mixed drone/worker cells in patches across entire combs - in situations like those mentioned above the bees keep the drone cells in use as storage or even idle, while the worker cells around them get used, until the population has grown, then they will begin to use some of the drone cells to raise drones in.
With a package, time is critical. If you have a frame of drawn comb, I would give it to them as it allows the queen to start laying immediately and gives the bees a head start over having to draw comb before the queen can lay in it. You can always pull the original comb out later.
I would encourage you to feed regardless if you start the package on a frame of drawn comb or not.
I would feed until they have some capped honey. A week of inclimate weather can leave them starving otherwise. The will draw comb quickly and once it is even 1/4" deep the queen will already be laying in it as they continue to draw it. You will have larvae in it befre they are done drawing it and they will have it drawn by the time it needs to be capped. They are amazing at keeping things going as quickly as possible.
thanks for all the replies. i guess my question was more how to start. Is there an advantage to putting a frame or two of drawn comb to start laying or do the bees with 10 foundationless frames seem to catch up quickly? is there a difference in brood hatching at all? thanks
As posted on another thread I can see an advantage to having at least one drawn frame to start with, it would get the bees building straight comb, then you could move the larger cell frame to the outside and eventually remove it altogether.
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