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One of the hives that I inspected today started as a 5 frame nuc (I do all 8 frame mediums) on April 4 when I split a high performing queen out of a large hive that I was afraid would swarm if I left her in there. The nuc was made up of 3 frames of brood, a frame of stores, one of foundation and a shake of bees – and I took it to an out yard so that it would retain foragers. So it was a good strong nuc to begin with.

Today – a bit over 2 months later (during our main nectar flow) that hive has drawn out and filled 16 more frames. Now I know this isn’t any kind of record or anything but it is a comb increase of 400%. Without it ever getting swarmy I might add.

I’m starting to realize that smaller hives are doing most of my comb production.

Have others seen this to be true?
 

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David,

Something happened this spring (in my relatively short beeking career) that made me sit up and take notice. After hiving an artificial swarm with mixed frames wax and plastic, two weeks later I decided to move the plastic to a 5 frame nuc. One frame brood, one honey and three solid plastic frames undrawn. Two weeks later, expecting to see only so-so results, I was astounded to see the nuc literally busting at the seams. Unprepared, I had to return the next day and transfer them to a 10 frame deep. Now, after only two months, it is my strongest of five. One deep + one medium brood nest and I just added a med super. Time will tell.
 

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There are three things needed for comb building. 1) A need in the hive for additional comb. 2) A strong population of young, healthy bees. 3) An ample supply of nectar or syrup. Like the fire triangle, its all three or nothing. Everything else dosn't matter.
 
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