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I hived a tiny swarm several weeks ago (using 2 nucs put together). Once I moved them to the formal hive stand, I placed a Boardman feeder into the top nuc. Figured the bees needed all the help they could get in wax production.

After a week, I saw few bees at the entrance. Sure 'nough: opening the hive, hardly any bees were there, and the entire jar of syrup was empty. The swarm itself had been tiny, so no way could they've finished off all that syrup. Plus only a couple of small patches of comb'd been drawn.

Another thing: there was a nice little patch of capped brood, but ..... each cell seems to have been "pierced" {?].

So ..... how else could I have handled this? I was told by somebody to wait several weeks before adding comb/nurses from a strong hive, just so I could see if this new hive would have a laying queen. Apparently it did. But.

Should I have just not fed them? Are there alternatives?

What about the pierced cells? Significance? Possible explanations?

Thx for any feedback .....

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