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Sugar/Honey Bound

1409 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  pharmbee
Second year beekeeper. Last winter lost all my hives to winter. New packages this year but difference is that I have drawn comb from last year dead outs.

I only fed when I installed packages into top feeders, about a gallon of 1:1.

However on inspection the bees have filled most of the drawn comb in each hive (I had enough comb for 3-4 frames per hive) is filled with either syrup or nectar. I don't believe we are on a flow here in northern Kansas. They have capped very little of it, I would say none but a few frames had less than 5% in the corners.

Queens look healthy, and there is open brood in a good tight pattern, however they look like they have nowhere to lay. I'm afraid that they will be honey bound and swarm. No swarm cells beside 1 small empty cup in 1 of the hives, not worried about it. There are quite a few bees with wax scales but no new work on other frames.

Do I keep feeding to try to entice them to draw out the rest of the frames? My gut says not to, just this is first season with drawn comb and thought I would check with the board.
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Trust your gut and pull off the feed, they shouldn't be taking it anyways. I would have pulled the feed after the first qt or two since you had drawn comb.

There are alot of ways to open up the brood nest. Move honey frames up, add more drawn comb to the center, put an empty frame between 2 frames of brood, add a honey super. etc etc.

The queens maximum laying potential is somewhere around a deep frame every 2 days. So you should have about 10 open deep frames as brood nest. The rest can be honey and pollen.
You have 3 or 4 drawn frames per hive. What about the other 4 or 6 frames? Are the bees drawing them out? The bees should draw the empty frames to provide brood and storage room.
Thanks for the replies burns and tenbears. That is my issue. They are just filling the drawn comb and showing little interest in the undrawn foundation. Same foundation, small cell Mann lake plastic. I melted burr comb and painted some, sprayed some with sugar water, nothing yet. Im trying to be deliberate and not rush to actions I may not need to take.
They have all the brood they can keep warm right now. When that open brood is capped, they will clear another frame or so on each side, at least the face toward the current brood, and the queen will lay that up as well. Once the new brood starts to emerge they will start working foundation.

They will take off like a house afire shortly, that old brood comb gives them a real boost, but it still takes three weeks for the first round to become nurse bees!

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