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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am starting a hive with drawn comb, a 3 pound package and 2+ frames of honey. The deep box is full of bees. How long should I wait to expand the hive? I know when starting with new foundations that 8 of 10 should be drawn before adding any more, but with drawn comb (from last years hive that didn’t make it) what marker should I use to make the expansion?

Jerry
 

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How long ago was the package installed? When you install a package they will lose population before they increase. It takes 21 days from egg laying to hatching for a worker. 21 days after the queen begins laying you will start to see expansion of your population. Before that the bees will fill around the brood nest with nectar and pollen. Suddenly there will be an explosion of your population and it will be best to have that foundation on them as that happens. If there is a flow going on and you wait until that box is overflowing with bees you will set them back because the brood nest will become plugged with nectar and pollen reducing the queens ability to lay her eggs.
 

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I like to add the second box when ther bees are working 7 or 8 frames but dont wait to long I have seen them swarm with 6 frames of bees.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The packages were installed on the April 5th. So I sould expect the new bees to start immerging on April 26th. I guess I should add some room then. If I am adding drawn comb will that keep the bees happy or should I add space for them to build? This is the start of spring here (just read the post by the guy in Alaska..) so there will be many varied yard flowers, not so much a flow. With the rains back to normal here, the flowers are popping up all over.
 

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In general, 3 weeks after you hive the package, the colony population will be at it's minimum. Half of the package will have died off naturally. Within the next 3 weeks the remaining original bees will also expire. Most likely between week 4 and 6 the new bees will need another box.

Since it is all drawn anyway, it won't really matter if you are a little early. The temps are now very mild and the bees will be able to protect the comb easily.

Then it becomes tricky. I would guess that by late May ( 3 weeks after you put the new deep on) you will want to also add one or more honey supers to keep em from swarming.

Fuzzy
 

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This brings up a question I have about feeding the bees.
I too started a new hive with drawn comb frames and installed a 3# package.
I opened the hive up after 7 days to make sure the queen was out of her cage and notice a lot of the comb was already filled with the sugar water and pollen. Did not see any eggs. My concern is that the queen will have few to no areas to lay.
Will the bees correct this themselves, or will they continue to fill the comb with the feed I am providing? I'm wondering if I should hold off on the sugar water for a while.
I don't think that putting a medium on top of this deep for more space would be a good idea at this stage.
 

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Good point frysl. Like Fuzzy says they may swarm due to the queen feeling "crowded".
 

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Is it just me, or does it seem like a better idea to always start off with at least a couple frames with fresh foundation? Seems like you'd see when they start working it and you'd know to add another super.
 
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