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Will bees pull out wax in NE Tennessee in August if I feed them? Or do they need a natural nectar flow to stimulate wax building? So can I add another brood box to a hive now or should they go through the winter as they are?
 

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that's a very good question. i don't think it matters so much if they are working a natural flow vs. being fed syrup, but has more to do with the time of year.

at my location most new comb gets drawn from early may to mid june. i've not tried feeding later in the season to see if they would drawn more comb or not. my sense is that by now the colonies are more interested in getting ready for winter and making the best of the room the already have.

your bees might draw more comb if given another box and syrup, but they might instead pack the already drawn comb full of syrup making the hive 'honey' bound', which could trigger a swarm and/or make it difficult for brooding up the wintering bees.

are yours currently occupying a single brood box? 8 or 10 frames?
 

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I have a hive drawing wax right now in NW Indiana, but we have late planted soybeans still blooming and this is a monster hive that I moved into a long hive. I gave them 4 empty frames and they are pulling that and still drawing off honey frames as well. They had 10 frames of brood, 10 deep frames of honey, and 8 half deep frames they had started to fill. I have not fed them since spring. I
took 13 frames of brood from them in the spring, pulled 7 frames of capped honey in July, and used the top deep (there were three deeps) and three frames of brood to make a late season split. I treated them with a MMK this spring and they took off! I'll be treating them again in the next few days. I hope they do this well next year.
 

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I have a comb drawing factory going on, I've been feeding them for 2-3 months, they have been taking a hive top feeders worth everyday until recently, goldenrod must be starting up, I have 2-3 and even 4 supers getting drawn and filled with syrup.
 

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I have a comb drawing factory going on, I've been feeding them for 2-3 months, they have been taking a hive top feeders worth everyday until recently, goldenrod must be starting up, I have 2-3 and even 4 supers getting drawn and filled with syrup.
Ifixoldhouses, How big is this hive? How many brood frames do you have going on? Are these ferals or some recognized breed?
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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I also have hives that are drawing plenty of comb right now, and like ifix, they are being fed heavily. New wax is to replace combs taken for splits, so hives are strong, but not overly so after losing several frames of brood. Most of my bees are a carni mix from a swarm captured several years ago.
 

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If you have a big hive, they may draw some comb in September when the real fall flow gets going but they're probably not going to do a lot, even then.
 

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Try putting on an empty shallow (no frames) or even pull a few frames and leave a void. They'll draw comb! :)
 

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i have two hive that I want them to draw comb. I fed 3 gallons of 2:1 water to sugar to them. They drew 5 frames of fresh comb. It looked like they were just going to plug every hole with the syrup but the queen is still laying good and they put on comb and moved honey around so the queen could still lay.
 

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Kind of what I noticed to. They first plug the brood frames to avoid pulling fresh foundation. Once they are out of room, still getting fed with no where to put it, then mine started drawing. I also do like a previous poster....once super is full, pull, freeze, put on new foundation.
- Didn't notice any swarm cells when they first started plugging out....but I kept an eye on it.

Took a month of getting nothing before they started pulling the super, now they are clearing up the brood box and pushing the sugar higher.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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That is a lot of syrup! I need to up the game. I am feeding a hive I had to destroy a 10 frame deep that was completely cross combed about 3 gallons per week. They are finishing up a medium super with Acorn that was already there and have started drawing out the foundationless frames I just gave them last week. Nice to see white wax in August.
 

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White wax is always nice to see :D but mostly nice to see where it is supposed to be and not where you forgot to put a frame in or forgot to slide the frames tight before closing them up. hahaha
 

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In my experience bees will draw comb providing 3 conditions are met:

# Firstly, that they have a need for that comb - either for brood, stores or simply to fill-up a void which is troubling them.

# Secondly, that they have the resources to draw comb: both the material (syrup, nectar) and the required 'manpower'.

# Lastly, that the temperature is warm enough to work wax - hence drawing-out comb at the top of a stack is easier than near it's bottom, especially if that stack has an open mesh floor.
LJ
 

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Our bees are starting to bring in fall nectar from the wingstem and golden rod. The wax is whitening. Our colonies are well over a packed double due to getting plenty of TLC during our dearth. You can get them to draw but they have to have a great queen, dead mites and good nutrition.
 
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