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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So our two hives survived winter. Good population. Laying queens in both. Brood looking good (better in one but still okay in the other). We put on excluder and honey super filled with blank frames 11 days ago. Checked today. No comb at all in both boxes. Do I feed them? But then the honey super will be filled with faux honey. Any suggestions appreciated. We have never had honey supers on before.
 

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How"s the flow in your area? Bees will only draw foundation when there are enough resources to do so. You can certainly feed 1:1 sugar syrup until they start drawing it out but make sure not to overfeed so they don't make sugar syrup honey, or I like your term better "fake honey".

If you're in a good strong flow and they still aren't drawing them out then I may ask how many frames you have in the brood box, and how many of those frames are being used. If the colony isn't packed enough they may not yet move up. It can be a fine balance to figure out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
How"s the flow in your area? Bees will only draw foundation when there are enough resources to do so. You can certainly feed 1:1 sugar syrup until they start drawing it out but make sure not to overfeed so they don't make sugar syrup honey, or I like your term better "fake honey".

If you're in a good strong flow and they still aren't drawing them out then I may ask how many frames you have in the brood box, and how many of those frames are being used. If the colony isn't packed enough they may not yet move up. It can be a fine balance to figure out.
Ty for your response. The brood box is a mix of brood, capped honey, nectar, and pollen. It seems that they are using all the space for one of those four things. To be perfectly honest — I don’t know what the flow is right now. I know what it means but nothing how to determine it.
 

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I've noticed that bees won't draw new comb until they really need it. Your hive may not be populous enough and needing brood space enough to decide to move up to draw comb yet for honey storage. One way to help, is to remove the excluder until they start to draw, then shake the bees down and put the excluder back on. It also would help if you had one already drawn comb frame in the center of the super, if you happen to have one.
 

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Patience. Based on your location I'd be willing to bet your flow has not really started. Maybe apples are starting to bloom. Down here our flow is just starting to kick off. I've found that hives here, when needed, tend to start drawing new frames in supers when the hollies and azaleas are blooming (they forage heavily on the hollies but don't touch the azaleas). Whether this holds for you will depend on your local nectar flower composition, diversity, and density.

Be sure to be implementing some sort of swarm prevention method as they will swarm about 4 weeks after apple bloom (here anyway) even if they are drawing supers. We have huge spring flows here so this may not be the same for you.
 

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I would guess you don't have a flow yet, but a trickle. Do you have dandelions yet? If they aren't in the super, I would take it off for now and put them on as Ray suggests when you see dandelions or apples. Congratulations on getting your hives overwintered. J
 
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