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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
I've got a young colony that seems to be treading water weight wise, wondering if I should go back to feeding. The particulars are as follows:
- Single 10F medium, all foundationless frames.
- 10 frames mostly drawn, 11 or 12 sides with brood, frame or two of stores, two frames almost empty.
- queen is good, saw her laying yesterday (first time I've seen her actually laying in person, very cool)
- flight traffic is pretty good
- I added a 2nd box with foundationless frames two weeks ago
- stopped feeding two weeks ago.... Weight of hive has stayed exactly the same for two weeks.

The good news is they are maintaining weight but I am concerned that if they are just treading water, how will they find the juice to draw out the next box? My instinct says feed but I am concerned that they may just backfill what little room they have left for the queen to lay. Thoughts?
 

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I assume you only have the one hive? Was it installed recently?
How many of the frames were drawn when you stopped feeding?

I'd say it was a good idea to add the second box, based on the information given. I am not from your area, but there should be a nectar flow soon, if not going on now, and they should be able to utilize that (nectar) for wax production. They should build up that second box.
The queen is laying, the population is growing, they will be working hard.

This is just my opinion, two years ago I probably would have fed them!

Good luck & enjoy them!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I assume you only have the one hive? Was it installed recently?
How many of the frames were drawn when you stopped feeding?

I'd say it was a good idea to add the second box, based on the information given. I am not from your area, but there should be a nectar flow soon, if not going on now, and they should be able to utilize that (nectar) for wax production. They should build up that second box.
The queen is laying, the population is growing, they will be working hard.

This is just my opinion, two years ago I probably would have fed them!

Good luck & enjoy them!
Thanks JamieD...more data if it helps with diagnosis.
I do have another hive, currently 3 mediums. If too stopped building comb when I pulled the syrup two weeks ago. It has lost 4 pounds in two weeks, mostly due to dehydration of previous syrup I would guess. I went through it Sunday, lots of room to lay and 6/8 frames of dry comb so I fed it a gallon of 1 to 1, they sucked it down overnight.

The subject hive was a pretty full double medium a month ago with 18 frames drawn and used in some fashion.
I used it as a cell builder, 9 frames went to my mating nuke two weeks ago. The queen was out for 9 days (2nd thru 11th ) to initiate the QC building. The 9/10 day hatch stoppage from the queens hiatus just started a few days ago, that's another reason I was a bit concerned, I will be light on new comb builders in a week or so.
 

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If you are going foundationless, place the frames not being worked on One at a Time in between two capped brood frames. If the bees were bringing in more nectar than they could immediately use, they would be drawing comb. When you have them working on the last frame, put on another box and move a frame of brood up into the second box and put the blank frame in the brood frames place. If you do it this way every few days, you have no worry of them backfilling the brood nest and you will get your brood nest completely drawn and at least partially stocked with feed. Now you will be ready to store any flow of honey for your use or for the bees.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Vance. To be clear, you are saying it's ok to feed if I stay on top of this frame movement regiment you describe?
 

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It is always OK to feed if you are abreast of the situation and in control. But things can get away from you fast if you don't follow thru and/or you use a feeding stimulant like honey be healthy or surrogate. That speeds up the rate of feed uptake pretty drastically and you need to make sure you are not flooding them. If you are, the feed needs to come off until they have dried down and used up some of that syrup.

Opening a lid with no smoke gently is not much of a disruption to a building colony. You can gently pry yourself a little room to see if they have built out the inserted frame. If the bees object, you have been in there too often. Only go in if you have a reason and the means to correct any problem you find is a rule that serves me well.
 
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