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Moving Frames Around and Other Newbie Questions

897 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  John Scifres
I just started reading the forum and am new to beekeeping so forgive me if I ask a question that has been answered before.

Here's the situation:

I live in the burbs in Central Indiana.

I have one hive that I started last year. My first queen disappeared so I got a new one and my colony was behind pretty much all year. They got 7 of the bottom deep frames drawn out and 5-6 of the top by the winter. The good news is they lived through this brutal winter. I had a hive top feeder on earlier in the spring and they took it pretty quick but have not been hitting it in the past couple weeks. Lots of activity when it warmed this spring and they were going crazy with the recent warm spell. I call that a win so far.

I did an inspection yesterday and found the situation about the same as far as drawn comb, 7 in the bottom, 6-7 in the top. There was some brood and food in the bottom but much more in the top. The queen was in the top and has been laying eggs. It doesn't look like any fresh comb has been drawn but I could be missing something. How can I (and should I) encourage them to draw out the remaining frames? I have seen and read about placing undrawn frames in the center. Is that the way to go? And should I reverse the top and bottoms?

Thanks for your help.

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I would leave them alone. They will draw out that comb as soon as they need it. If you feel your must do something, move an undrawn frame between your outermost drawn frames.
Hi John, fancy seeing you here.

I'm assuming you're using 10 frame boxes.

Right now, I would avoid separating the brood with undrawn frames. Once it warms up a bit more (warm nights) you can put your drawn frames to the outside positions and add undrawn.

They will draw the frames in the outer positions once they need them. Sometimes, especially in 10 frame boxes, they are slow to move out.

Hope your having fun with your bees. Bee boxes are a cinch compared to bows.
I would keeping feeding sugar syrup, if you can use a feeder you can place near the cluster that way they don't have to break away from the cluster as far. Also make sure they don't fill up all the cells with syrup, so the queen has room to lay eggs. Is much pollen coming in for you? You may use a protein patty. At this point I don't think you need to move any frames.
Thank you all. Dang No-Sage, I swear I'm not stalking you :)

After much time on the forums, I am starting to see the light a bit more. I was looking at the colony as a collection of single frames where it seems a more realistic view is 3 dimensional and just seeing the bees. It makes great sense to me that way. I think I will leave it for now. We are pretty warm this week, mid 60s during the day but cooling down some. The bees are bringing in pollen like crazy.

Thanks again. Very much enjoying the forums and this whole bee thing.
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