Are things moving at the right pace?

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Cupcakus, May 20, 2013.

  1. Cupcakus

    Cupcakus New Member

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    I installed two packages into two brand new hives exactly a month ago. Things seem to be going very slowly for me when it comes to them building comb but maybe it's all normal...


    • I did an inspection after one week to make sure the queens were released and to remove the cages: All OK
    • I did an inspection a week after that to check for eggs: They had drawn out almost 5 whole frames in two weeks, I found eggs, and larvae they had finished 90% of their pollen patty I had given them. I decided not to give them more patties as they were storing plenty of pollen.
    • Since I found eggs in both hives, and everything looked great I decided not to inspect them for 2 weeks, that should be plenty of time for them to build out a few more frames and get their second deeps.
    • I did an inspection this weekend, and I found a great deal of brood cells in both hives, lots of eggs, larvae, even some emerging right at that moment. And apart from building some comb up to the top feeder they only built out 1 more frame, so basically each hive has about 5.5 frames of built comb out of 10. I still felt it was too early to put the second deep on.

    Both hives seem very healthy, stores look good, lots of brood, but they're not building comb as fast as I thought they would. They are going through about a gallon of syrup a week each. I'm using wax coated black plastic foundation. Am I just very impatient? Is one month not enough time for a package to build up 70-80% of a deep?
     
  2. gunsmith

    gunsmith New Member

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    Sounds like things are going good. The bees will draw out the comb they need. Put the second brood box on when the bottom is about 75 to 80% drawn.
    What kind of foundation are you using?
     

  3. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    First, they won't build comb until they have something to put in it. Second, the brood is taking everything that is coming in.

    The new bees are beginning to come out, so that will free up house bees to forage. The building should resume within a week.
     
  4. Cupcakus

    Cupcakus New Member

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    Do you think I should check again this weekend? Or let them have two weeks again?
     
  5. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Every week for the beekeeper's education.

    Every 2 weeks or less for the bee's sake.

    Your decision.
     
  6. pistolpete

    pistolpete New Member

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    You dont' need to pull frames to check on progress. I prefer to just look down between the frames with a flashlight. You can tell all you need to know and usually no smoke is required. Just raise one end of the cover slowly, peek for a minute or two and you're done. Very non invasive for the bees and you get a very good idea of what's going on.
     
  7. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    Sounds on course to me. My packages took that long and longer to get in their groove. Now, my feral hives kick some booty when it comes to drawing comb. The trap-out on the brick wall I have going has over 60% drawn in 10 days!