Hi Dawn!We are wondering a few things about our hive. Our crew seems to be taking its sweet time in filling the brood box. They have only covered 3-4 forms with comb. We can now see lots of cells filled with sugar water, some with pollen, and (finally) some capped over. Our queen is always running around when we do a hive check. Are they just getting a slow start because if the cold spring? Should we put on the second brood box to motivate them, or just let them work on their schedule? Thanks!Jill and Carl
Hi Jill, I'm happy to hear you have pupa in your colony! This will be your next generation of foragers! You can add another brood box now since the weather is warm enough. To encourage them to build comb faster on your frames, spray both sides of the foundation with sugar water. Keep feeding sugar water until 7-10 frames are "drawn-out" with foundation in each box. Are your bees bringing in lots of pollen? They should be. The cold spring has deffinitely slowed down the start of our season this year. Can you estimate how many bees you have compared to when you first hived them?
We have between 50-75% of our original colony size. They come flying in with their little "pollen pants" full. We've also started seeing cells packed with pollen. Should we put the divider between the brood boxes or leave it out? We are definitely going through more sugar water!
Hi Jill, by "divider" do you mean the queen excluder? Actually, I'm recommending people don't use the queen excluder as the bees will treat it as a ceiling and will not "draw-out" your super frames this season. By leaving all the boxes open to the queen, it entices the workers to build comb much faster.
Not the queen excluder, but the board with the large hole in the middle (I don't remember what it is called. Anyway, we'll remove it, spray our empty frames with sugar water, and add the second brood box. The workers are sure happy I have put some flowers out in the yard! They were all over my tomato flowers yesterday. :)
I think you are talking about the inner cover. If so, you still need that because it has the top entrance for ventilation. ( Very Important!) You just keep putting the inner cover at the top of every new hive box that you add. Give me a call if you need to. 460-6050