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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, I FEEL like I need to do something, but not even sure if I need to do anything. Situation is this.

New hive running foundationless frames in medium box. Package with live queen installed 10 days ago. Queen released on day 3 by herself, she was laying immediately and on day 3 I spotted eggs, which subsequently turned to uncapped larvae as of yesterday, day 9.

Here is my dilemma, I can not spot any more eggs nor has there been any more comb built. I only have about 4 frames with drawn comb, one of which has the larvae. I can see a few drone cells also.

I have a screened bottom which I am going to cover today as I understand that the cool weather will slow their production. It was very nice here up till about day 6-7 and the temperatures dropped from averaging about 65-70 during the day to 50-55ish in recent days, so this might contribute to her stopping?

I have two immediate questions, when should I consider re queening and secondly, if the hive is queenless, will the existing hive use the small amount of existing larvae to raise its own queen? Not sure if thats how it happens.
 

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The bees cannot cover any more comb and keep it warm until that first round is capped, and the area they can cover won't expand all that much until the first round emerges. You are slowly losing bees, which is normal.

The queen will not lay again until there is space in the original area full of brood, and the bees cannot draw more comb until they can cover more comb and keep the new frame warm enough to work.

Your hive is probably normal. Wait until the new brood emerges, and I suspect you will suddenly have another couple frames drawn very quickly.

Leave the board in the screened bottom. I only push mine back a couple inches in the hottest part of the summer to cut down on bearding, they never come all the way out. Bees want to be in a totally dark hive, the light makes them unhappy. They will also have severe problems keeping brood and comb warm with the sticky board out, and that will slow them down.

Peter
 

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Are you feeding them; it's hard to make comb if there isn't sufficient and most new packages you want to heavily feed?

I wouldn't worry about re-queening, you haven't suggested that is needed at this time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The bees cannot cover any more comb and keep it warm until that first round is capped, and the area they can cover won't expand all that much until the first round emerges. You are slowly losing bees, which is normal.

The queen will not lay again until there is space in the original area full of brood, and the bees cannot draw more comb until they can cover more comb and keep the new frame warm enough to work.

Your hive is probably normal. Wait until the new brood emerges, and I suspect you will suddenly have another couple frames drawn very quickly.

Leave the board in the screened bottom. I only push mine back a couple inches in the hottest part of the summer to cut down on bearding, they never come all the way out. Bees want to be in a totally dark hive, the light makes them unhappy. They will also have severe problems keeping brood and comb warm with the sticky board out, and that will slow them down.

Peter
Thank you Peter for that. I covered the screened bottom board today and yes I noticed that there appeared to be less bees in the hive, but didn't know what to think of it...Thanks for helping me understand that.

I have a theory though. I notice some cells that I thought was drone cells because they were located towards the top of the middle brood frame and I thought queen cells only formed at the bottom. What I learned today in my reading is that queen cells do form at the top of brood cells and are common when a hive is superceding, queen cells at the bottom mean swarm prep. SO, I am hoping that these are queen cells in a hive that is superceding or that the queen is still hanging around waiting for the girls to give her more comb :>)
 
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