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Hi! Quick question about a new hive. I am in South Louisiana and hived my new bees about 5 weeks ago. They are Italians and the weather has been really nice here lately. Moderate rain, temps in the mid 70- mid 80. Just did an inspection today and they have not made much progress since last week. They have gotten one round of brood off, saw a new girl chewing out of a cell today! and the queen is re-laying in the empty cells with plenty of new larva but they have not drawn out the outer four frames, two on either side. I am feeding 1:1 syrup and have been from the beginning but they aren't taking much of it. Certainly using it but not as much as I thought they would. The flowers and trees are all in bloom so they are bringing in pollen and I assume nectar on a regular basis. Should I be worried that they haven't drawn out the outer frames yet? Thanks!
 

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Some bees are just slow like that sometimes! Since wax production is such an energy intensive process, the bees will never make more than they have to. It might be a good idea to feed them some pollen patty if that is a limiting factor. If they don't have enough pollen, then they can't raise brood. And if they can't raise brood, then they won't build comb. Would you be able to tell us the population of bees that you have? Pictures are always great!
 

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I really have no idea how to gauge a population. I made it through about 7 frames today and they were just too agitated to do any more. They look like they are queen right since she is laying in the old brood again and I only saw one cell on 4-5 frames that had two eggs in it. Tons of new larva and a tight brood pattern. Will try to get pictures again next time I open them up. I think with the new brood hatching they will expand quickly.
 

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Workforce size is also a thing to consider as well as age. New, young bees are the best wax producers in the hive, yours might have been older bees. Once they start emerging, you should see progress pick up very quickly.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Was this a nuc or a package? Makes a big difference in how fast things get done.

A deep frame with bees covering both sides densely has about 3500 bees on it. A deep frame of capped brood on both sides will produce about 7000 bees.

Move your undrawn frames to the edge of the brood nest and put any frames with stores to the outside. You could take one undrawn frame and place it between two frames of brood and it will get drawn quickly, but make sure there are plenty of bees in the hive. Splitting a brood nest with too few bees to cover all the brood will not end well.
 

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5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
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keep in mind if this was a package or swarm it would take 21 days for the first bee to hatch, they would have some age out by then so at 4 weeks they would be back to the 3 pounds they started with, 5 weeks not to worried if they are not more than 6 frames. in 4 more the 10 frame box should be full.
Bad weather and needing to build comb would slow them even more. I try to place a package on 6 combs 1 with honey, to help with this scenario.

GG
 

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This was a three pound package. The first round of brood is hatched or hatching and the queen is relaying in those cells. I feel like they will take off from here but the books I have read said by week 5 I should be close to seven frames drawn out. I did not have any frames of honey to start with since this is my first hive.
 

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As long as the brood pattern looks god they will take off , the time to draw comb adds time, the population does dip pre hatching the first brood, As she can reuse cells and lay in new ones the brood quantity should increase.
books talk averages, yours may be a bit slow. getting to size to survive winter is their primary goal.
they need to get build out and gain population, they will progress as fast as they can.
If you have dearth down there then keep feeding for comb production.

have you treated or checked for mites?

GG
 

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I have not checked for mites yet. My plan was to do an alcohol wash but I was hesitant to pull any bees out since it was so new. If it won't delay them significantly I will do the wash when I open it up again this weekend. I have not treated yet either.
 

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one of the explanations for slow build up is some sort of drag, Hence my question.
If you OAV it can be done any time with out the wash. have something under to count mite drop. decide from there.

GG
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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...but the books I have read said by week 5 I should be close to seven frames drawn out.
Hate to break it to you, but the bees do not read those books. They are too busy being bees and doing what bees do.
 
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