Bees not building comb.

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by CapnChkn, Aug 14, 2010.

  1. CapnChkn

    CapnChkn New Member

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    Hello Folks! Though I have experience with bees in the past, I am very new to beekeeping.

    I had a hive of bees abscond, which surprised me as I was still getting equipment together. I set them up in a wooden box for about a week with some top bars for them to build on. I then finished a KTBH and set the bees up in the hive with two bars started with new comb. This one and one about the size of a business card.

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    I have the robbers at bay, using robber screens and closing all the entrances. The temperatures have been in the high 90's for several weeks, the bees are fairly comfortable in their new hive, but not building any more comb. I put rendered wax behind the follower board, only to have them start drawing cells on it instead of using it to build.

    They've been in their hive now for 8 days, they absconded 15 days ago. They've been drinking around a quart of 1:1 syrup a day but seem to just sit around in the hive. Does this sound as if they're queenless? If not, does anybody have any suggestions?
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    First, what do you mean by abscond. When bees abscond, they ALL leave. None are left.
    When they swarm, some go, some stay.

    After 8 days, there should be brood. If not, they are likely queenless.
    They like fresh wax that they produce. They will only seldom build with used wax.
    Check first for brood. "larva". If you don't have any, you may want to combine them with another hive or buy a queen. This late in the year, I think buying a queen would be a waste of money. It's very doubtful that small a colony can build up enough to overwinter.
     

  3. CapnChkn

    CapnChkn New Member

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    Well Hello Iddee! I have read all your postings on the Internet concerning Trap-outs. Thank you for your expertise.

    I mean they Absconded. I found a ball of bees on the wall of an old hay barn, 20 -25 feet from the Langstroth hive they had been in. There was around a half gallon on the wall, were probably 300 bees left in it, it was simply crawling with SHB larvae.

    I was thinking I would be wasting money buying a queen this late as well, it seems my only workable options are purchasing a nuc or starting fresh next spring.
     
  4. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Check for larva in the one comb. If you have any, you may be able to feed sugar and pollen to get them up to nuc size and keep them over winter. It is a very long shot. If you don't have larva now, it's a lost cause.

    Thanks for the kudos.