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Todays inspection - please comment.

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I inspected my nuc of bees on the 8th July and was happy that there was eggs, larvae, capped brood, marked Queen, honey and pollen. The brood/eggs were covering about 4 frames. They were moved to my apiary on 9th July and swapped into my equipment on 11th July. At this time I put a queen excluder on and a second brood chamber above that hoping they might draw a set of frames out for next year. I inspected them again on the 16th July thinking that I would not be able to check them for a while due to bad weather reports. At todays inspection they have not expanded on to any more frames but the coverage on each frame has increased. There seemed to be more pollen in the stores and the honey is now in an arch above each frame as opposed to being all on 1 frame. I have remove the queen excluder and 2nd brood box as I don't think the extra space was helping them. Oh lastly wasps. I will nip back on with a trap and also reduce the size of hive entrance.
 

jon 

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Good idea to remove the second brood box.
It only makes sense to add a second brood box when the first one is bunged with bees and brood and you know you have a prolific strain of bee. The rule of thumb is add a second when there are 8 frames with brood.
Putting a second brood chamber over a nuc is just making problems for the bees with regard to temperature regulation.
 
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I've just been back today with a wasp trap. I had a quick peek under the crown board and there looked to be a lot more bees covering the top bars. The weather report for my area for the next week or so is rubbish so I've put some fondant above the hole in the crown board. I'm a bit concerned that they are not drawing the foundation so won't have enough space for stores for winter. Although they weren't too keen I managed to get the entrance block in so lets hope that stops the jaspers getting in.
 

roche 

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Is fondant the best to encourage drawing comb, or would syrup be better?
 

Finman 

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Is fondant the best to encourage drawing comb, or would syrup be better?
Now it is summer and bees draw combs as soon as they need them.

If you feed a small hive, it fills only combs and reduce queen 's laying. And the result is swarming.

Beesd use only that space what they can occuoye and can keep warm(at night).

Only what you may do is have a warm hive box that bees may live wider even at night.
 
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Finman 

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. I'm a bit concerned that they are not drawing the foundation so won't have enough space for stores for winter. .
It is mid summer and don't worry about winter now.

Keep for bees a proper space what they can occupye. Don't keep extra space.

In late September then you see, what is your hive entering to autumn and you feed it full of sugar syrup.

The winter cluster will be the size of the brood area of late summer.

Only what you may encourage is laying. But it should be in the nature enough encouraging.

.
 
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Thank you Finman, is there anything I can do to encourage laying? The weather here is rain 1 minute and bright sunshine the next. My concern is that they are not building up quick enough to over winter.
 

Finman 

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Thank you Finman, is there anything I can do to encourage laying? .
Of course you may do what ever others say. But now it is July.
The colony has its own speed to enlarge. The brood cycle is 3 weeks and it rules.


.
. My concern is that they are not building up quick enough to over winter.
4 frames of brood will be whole box of bees after 3 weeks.
Then you have about 8 frames of brood.

Again after 3 weeks you have 2 box of bees and about 10-12 frames of brood.

That should be situation at the end of August and you still have summer there.

In USA beginners feed with syrup their small hives the whole summer and they ruin their colonies because colony has no space to lay.

.
 

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Mid summer it might be but for me the season is over. There is nothing I am aware of in the locality to give more honey. My stacked full supers are under daily attack from robbers which I think tells the story.

I am about to clear the bees down to winter conditions.

For comb drawing I don't think fondant would be much good. I would feed syrup. However is it worth feding syrup to draw out super foundation when the bees will happily do it next year for you for free on the flow?

PH
 
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However is it worth feding syrup to draw out super foundation when the bees will happily do it next year for you for free on the flow?

PH
It's not foundation in the super it's in the brood chamber. They have only drawn about 5 frames. I agree with you PH regarding the lack of forage.
 
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The brood is 4 frames over 5 if that makes sense. I noticed a lack of larva last inspection and was worried it could be wasps which is why I put the entrance block in. The problem stems from the guy who gave me them, when he did the split he split the queenless side twice and left 2 queen cells in this half. Consequently they swarmed and left a very small nuc.
 

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The weather has been grim which limits foraging.
If the weather picks up and they get more chance to collect nectar, they will draw the foundation.
This year mine are drawing wax ok but last summer it was a real problem due to constant rain.
If you have RoseBay Willowherb and Himalayan Balsam in your area there is still some honey to be made this year, weather permitting. if you are near to gardens there will be a bit of nectar there as well.
Mine are bringing in a lot of pollen at the moment from a variety of different sources.
 
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Paid the girls a visit on Friday and they seem to be doing better. Wasps in the area but not around the hive and non in the trap. The queen is now laying a larger brood pattern on each frame with 3 part frames of brood capped and uncapped, 1 frame full of capped brood, and also 1 full frame of eggs. They are also drawing 2 more frames. After reading Ted Hooper's book I realise I should have moved my brood up to 1 wall and had all the bees drawing wax on 1 frame instead of 2.
 

anwe 

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The bees will only draw comb if they have something to put in it so I would go with feeding light syrup.
 

Finman 

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The bees will only draw comb if they have something to put in it so I would go with feeding light syrup.
As it was said, you cannot help a nuc feeding with syrup.
A nuc works with its own speed. Brood cycle is 3 weeks and you cannot help it.

* the basic is that it has a brood area which it can keep warm
* new foundations do not help in that.

* syrup fills only recent cells and limits laying area.

When you have a two box swarm and they have after a week one box full brood area, they cannot any more.
When new bees start to emerge, half of old bees have died.

Don't push them more what they can! It will follow any good.

Next time get 2 nucs and put them together to one colony. Then you may see four times speed.
 

the naked beekeeper 

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Finman, you talk sense and I'm inclined to agree with you.

I have a question for you:

You said that feeding syrup to a nuc would not help it increase the brood as it would only mean that the bees fill the cells with the syrup. And since, this does not add any more bees, then they will still stick to the same number of frames and indeed, the laying space on those frames will be reduced as they have filled it with honey.

However, do you not think that an astute queen would lay in cells according to how she judges the hive to be. She will not lay more brood than food can feed. So maybe feeding will help by encouraging the bees to draw out some wax and as the queen sees there is more food in the hive, then she can increase her laying as there is food for her new brood. Whereas, before the feed, there was not enough stores for too many more brood so she doesn't lay as many as she could......
 

Finman 

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Truly, it is summer now. They get food from nature, and the colony will enlarge by its.
i can say that i am a master in accelerating brood rearing with pollen patty and electrict heating but i do not do it in the middle summer.
Bees draw combs if they fill them with syrup, . . But what you want, fill the hive with syrup or with brood.

in finland hives rear now wintebees and summer is not over. They continue rearing as long as they get pollen. After 30 days i fill hives with syrup for winter.
 

the naked beekeeper 

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Trouble is, the honey season in the UK is short, and over here we have had LOTS of rain, so it is hard for them to go and get food from nature if they are kept in for 10 days out of 14!

What would you suggest and any other beekeepers to get more brood into a nuc, for winter?? Can you stimulate the queen to lay?
I have two nucs, each on about 3 frames of bees, with one frame of brood and at least a frame of stores.
 

Finman 

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Can you stimulate the queen to lay?
I have two nucs, each on about 3 frames of bees, with one frame of brood and at least a frame of stores.
you have started with too small nucs.
I made 3 weeks ago 15 that size of mating nucs. If the nuc has 3 frame covered with bees, it surely has 3 frame of capped brood. They cannot do any more before new bees start to emerge.

the secret of full frames brooding is warm hive box.
I have cutted a poly box in 3 parts and each has space for 3 frames. Missing wall i have taken from polystyrene board.

late i take queens off and join nucs or help with brood frames too small hives.
 

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