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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good morning from the unusually rainy Texas Panhandle.

After purchasing a nuc in early June that was bursting with bees, I installed it into an 8 frame Langstroth. It appeared to be rapidly expanding in July, so to avoid a swarm while I was scheduled to be away for several weeks, I moved a frame with some brood and honey up into a second deep and supplied the hive with syrup. It has stayed in that configuration pretty much since then - about 4 frames below with bees, brood and stores and one full and one partially full frame above.

The bees don't appear to be building comb - they like their old nuc frames best and seem to prefer building bridge comb to muck up the frames. I have given them BeePro patties in addition to syrup, thinking the extra food would give them energy to build comb during dearths. I have seen the Queen and see larvae, so she is laying.

Two main questions: 1) Should I recombine the deeps in the fall and 2) Why aren't these girls building out?

Thanks for any suggestions...
 

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If you give bees too much space then you will set them back. So I would remove second deep. You can insert *only one* undrawn frame between two brood frames and bees will draw it out quickly if you are feeding. Keep feeding (trickle feed if you can, better for frame drawing). You can add undrawn frame in the brood nest every week or two depending on number of bees in the colony. You need to get them cranking now if you want to build two deep by November.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Let me make sure I understand: "You can add undrawn frame in the brood nest every week or two depending on number of bees in the colony." If I combine the boxes I will have probably 3 frames the bees haven't drawn out. Is your idea that I rotate those undrawn frames between the brood frames until one box is full and then add another brood box? Would you move 2 drawn frames up at that time and continue with adding undrawn between drawn or just offer frames with foundation?
 

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The former is what I have done and I was able to get 2 nucs built up to 1 3 deep 10 frame hive and 1 3 deep 8 frame hive from which I've already pulled, I think, 7 frames for winter feeding.

Put 1 blank at a time in the middle of the brood until it's mostly drawn. When a box is ~80% drawn, put a new box on top. If you don't need to worry about brood getting chilled, you can checkerboard brood and blanks to hopefully get multiple frames drawn at once. If you do need to worry about brood getting chilled, continue to insert just one blank at a time. Feed the whole time.
 

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Yes, repeat inserting one undrawn frame in the broodiest every time it is mostly drawn. Keep the drawn frames together. You can move the undrawn frames on the either sides of the drawn frames (in either box). Add a new box after the first box is mostly built out and keep moving the drawn frames in the middle of the upper box as you get a frame drawn every 1-2 week.
 
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