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Getting bees to draw comb faster?

1771 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  tanksbees
I'm in my third year of beekeeping, up to 8 hives now, but as I split my hives and add supers I keep running into an issue - the bees don't draw comb fast enough. When a flow is on my hives with fully built comb will fill it out very quickly, but if they don't have comb built it seems like they don't use the flow to their advantage, they will keep building comb at a leisurely pace.

It also seems like they will keep reusing 5 or 6 frames of brood rather than filling out the empty frames or moving up a box. I've tried checkerboarding and moving the brood up a box, but they seem to really like the existing comb.

Some of my queenless hives have been fantastic comb builders, also i've noticed that if you put a swarm in a new box they will build comb really fast. Wish I could get my other hives to build comb that fast, it would really help them grow faster.
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Feeding 1to1 sugar water will help. The bees will not use there reserves to build up the hive. So you must feed if you want them to build up when there is not a good flow. They will build up slowly but not at a pace you will like. So feed feed feed.
I suppose if you feed feed feed production hives you wouldn't touch the supers that are drawn and used when feed is on.
I have been feeding but it doesn't really kick them into comb building mode, it seems like they will start stashing it into brood frames, I have a top feeder on one hive and a frame feeder in another. I only feed hives which aren't producing, so once they start putting honey in the supers I stop feeding.
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