after a couple of weeks. Is there such a thing? I sit and watch, sometimes there doesn't seem to be a lot of activity. Averages out to someone (somebee) coming or going every couple of seconds. Is that normal?
i'm new into it again, but thats about how mine did the first couple of weeks. and i was feeding heavy also, so i figured they just busy in the new hive getting it ready since they had sugar syrup rite there.
i'm not saying it's normal or not, just that mine did similar
I'm new to this, but I would guess nectar/pollen availability would have an impact. Where I live there is a lot in bloom and plentiful pollen....so I have traffic jams most of the day in front of all my hives.
The bees are also busy making brood. The queen will only lay enough eggs that can be covered by bees. Once the new bees start to emerge there will be much more activity. The more bees to cover brood, the more brood that emerges, the greater the population, the greater the population the more foragers, etc...
In general, the bees only live 6 weeks. So roughly after 3 weeks your hive population will bottom out (half of the bees have died naturally). They will start hatching new brood now and 3 weeks from now the population will be about the same. After that it will begin a dramatic increase.
It may be a little sooner in warmer weather or if you started in nucs. But the bottom line is about 12 weeks to max out the hive.
At 2 weeks that amount of activity does seem a little low but there are factors. What has the weather been like when you checked the traffic, warm sunny or cool? If you check towards evening the activity is much reduced so check them mid-day to get a better idea. What's flowering and available for them to forage? Have you poked around in the hive? They should have several frames well along to being drawn out and some eggs and small larva. If this is the case and there is a good density of bees on the frames being drawn then your probably fine. Like Fuzzy was saying, the population steadily declines until that first brood of bees start hatching between weeks 4-5, then it will increase fairly rapidly with successive rounds of hatching bees filling the 1st brood super in the following 6 weeks or so. Everyones results vary a little but if a hive is just lingering then there is some sort of problem.
I just timed it (strictly for the sake of information). From the time the swarm was hived until I saw new bees orienting in front of the hive was 26 days. If you want to catch the orienting activity you need to watch the thermometer. They begin between 70 and 72F.
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