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how long will it take to draw 10 med foundationless frames

5833 Views 5 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Bee Draggle
newbie here. i just bought my bees last saturday. they were 10 med frames each just packed with bees. i moved them into the horizontal hives that we made. i alternated the 10 drawn frames with 10 of my foundationless frames with wax starter strip. they are sucking down about a gallon of sugar water per day!! i don't want to bother them more than necessary. how long should it take them to draw out the 10 empty frames they have? i have a follower board preventing them from going into the rest of the hive. thanks for your help.

p.s. i was so proud...i transported them an hr to my house. gave them awhile to chill. moved all of the frames into the other hives and didn't get stung. this site has been wonderful for teaching what i needed to know to become a beekeeper! thank you everyone!
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Bees do what they want when they want. It might be a month before they draw them all out. If there is a good nectar flow it will be quicker. Feeding syrup helps, but it is like irrigation or rain -- rain always wins!
I believe the answer to that is it Depends. You are feeding so that takes some of the variability out of things. I can tell you that I had a swarm that drew out 5 frames in less than 2 weeks and at that point they were chomping at the bit for more room.
We have had some bees that just seem to take a long time to draw comb, but we also have had hives draw 5 deep (foundation strip) and about 8 medium (complete foundation) in about 10 days. These were normal lang hives though - also being fed.


Should have mentioned. That 13 frames in 10 days was drawn by a hive split because it was trying to swarm.
We started 4 packages in 8-frame hives with foundation on April 30th. We were in a tulip poplar flow and I fed the bees syrup with HBH. They drew the 6 inside frames fairly quickly, and have just started on the two outside frames. I went ahead and added a super to each hive and one of the hives has started drawing comb on the two inside frames. I'm still feeding them and the nectar flow has slowed down dramatically. I'm hoping they will finish drawing the comb by the cotton bloom.
It depends. If there is no honey flow on you need to continue to feed them. With no honey flow and no supplemental feeding, frames may sit undrawn until next spring. Bees don't drawn comb unless there is a need to. It's simply conservation of energy and resources.
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