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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My brother and I installed a package of bees on Saturday, April 5th into a virgin top bar hive. Other than refilling syrup we have stayed out of the hive except to release queen when she was not in the cluster.

We got into the hive this afternoon for a quick peak and we have about a volleyball sized cluster hanging from multiple top bars. When we pulled them apart slightly the bees are clinging to each other, but I did not notice any wax strings and there was no comb in the hive. I've seen several packages having drawn comb and eggs after 3-4 days.

It has been pretty cool here yet with highs in the mid to upper 50s. Nights dipping down to the mid-upper 30s. Is this normal? Is it too cold to be building comb? Is there anything I should do besides waiting a couple days to check syrup again?

Video... doesn't show much, but it's there:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTc-gpiqYR4&list=UUBLodKqJ_JnmgRsDwvl0N3w

Thanks!
Jacob
 

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I've read that bees need heat to build comb and produce wax, I think the temperature needs to be above 75 degrees. That may not be the exact temperature, but it doesn't sound like your temps are high enough yet to get significant comb building yet.
 

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Here in Maryland the bees have not been drawing wax yet. Keep feeding them, and they will start to draw when the temps get a bit higher.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Do I need to be worried that they are going to take off on me? Or once they have been there for a few days am I fairly safe?

Also, what kind of behavior should I be on the lookout for if they are queenless?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I also don't see anything in the 10 day forecast that really indicates we'll have much warmer weather soon. After Saturday's high of 75 it looks like we drop off for the next week back to highs in upper 40s to lower/mid 50s. Am I over reacting or is there a possibility of failure here based on there being no comb to rear brood in? Should I attempt to find some comb somewhere and fasten it to a top bar to give them something to start on? We won't see consistant highs in the 70s until May.
 

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They are festooning nicely. Just be patient. Bees will draw comb in the 40's.
A few less bars before the follower might have packed them a little tighter. Leave alone best now.
If I was doing TB over again I would scallop the sides of 2 bars to let a jar feeder be used with a box over the jar.
 
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