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drex 

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In my first year and started off with virgin foundation (fresh) in all hives. Started off with small cast swarms, which have built up nicely. However 2 frames ( both outer)in 2 hives have been ignored by the bees all season, with only the minimum of starting to draw comb on them. Obviously I want them to have maximum comb in the National BB to overwinter. Just finished Apiguard treatment, and today started winter feed from Rapid feeders.

Queens are active, plenty of brood - with space left for more.

Will they start to draw out these last 2 frames now as I have started feeding? ( today I moved them more into the centre of the hive- but did not split the brood).

They are not low on stores for the moment, and have been actively foraging, as our weather remains good.

Any tips on what I can do to help things along?
 

Finman 

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I use to put for winter a foundation or a half drawn comb next to wall. They do not take mold.

When bees are making winter brood it is not wise to split the brood area with foundation or either with any empty combs. It is not wise even in summer.
 

Gardenbees 

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I don't know if this is any help, but I've had a similar experience with my one National hive (which also has a new colony on a mix of new top bars, foundationless frames and new foundation). The colony was a rather late nuc (5 BS frames in mid-July) but has now absolutely filled the 14x12 brood box. I'm very pleased with them. However, they only started to fill the end frames very recently, after I started to feed.

It may be that they are reluctant to put stores at the extremities of the hive unless they're sure of a lot of food. I started feeding a week ago, and they've already filled right to the ends (adding three frames of stores very rapidly), so I wouldn't worry too much about yours. They can lay down stores in every available space very quickly if they feel the need.
 

Finman 

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By the way,if bees were not able to occupye those frames this time, they are not needen during winter. Take them off. And replace the space with insulation material.
 

Black Comb 

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Best to switch the frames around during the season moving the outer ones in a bit when some others get drawn. That way you should end up with a box full of drawn frames. Do not split the brood nest thought.
 

Finman 

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Undrawn frames is not a problem. Just now some of my hives may have the whole box poorly made combs. If they are undrawn, let them be. Next summer will become.

I am late now in my winter feeding.
 

Poly Hive 

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Are these frames glossy looking? If so they have been varnished with propolis and are a loss. ~Dump.

Really really it's too late now to ask the bees to draw comb.

As Finman says give them some insulation and ponder what to do next year better than you did this. As I am

PH
 

Poly Hive 

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I note you don't say where you are located? Might help every one if you organised your profile??

In general, in the UK, which has more micro climates than you can guess at it is too late.

Some are blessed, but more are cursed.

PH
 

oliver90owner 

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I agree with Poly Hive there.

Brood frames are generally difficult for drawing at this time of the year; supers can be much easier as they are above the brood nest so are generally warmer.

Generally I find autumn feed encourages them to finish off frames already started, or to add extra wax to completely fill the space, but there are always the other factors such as strain of bee that can influence activity at this time of the year. Queens that are still roducing brood like crazy will have loads of young bees to draw comb - just hope they don't use up all the stores before Christmas!

Regards, RAB
 

Finman 

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Don't make this issue too fat. It is only 2 undrawn frames. But their place is not in the middle of brood area.

Oliver. Brood area is the hottest place in the hive. Workers control that.
 

oliver90owner 

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Sorry Finman, you misunderstood me. Perhaps I was not clear enough for others too.

I meant the super frames are likely in a generally warmer area than undrawn brood frames (to one side and partly below the broodnest).

I know the actual brooding area will be the warmest part of the hive (well, it will at this time of the year here!) but warm air rises (no effort needed from the bees for this to take place) and the super will be above the brood nest and, as you have often pointed out, will be a superb heat sink later, unless filled with stores before clustering occurs.

Regards, RAB
 

Midland Beek 

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I started feeding a week ago, and they've already filled right to the ends (adding three frames of stores very rapidly), .
You sound as if you have got your feeding about right if they are putting the syrup in the end frames.

I am hoping this will be an 'ivy year' as I have held back with my feeding somewhat this autumn.
 

Heather 

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feeding is always a dilemma with so many mixed views- and this is compounded by our varied climate North and South, as PH says.

The 7 frame swarm I collected last week has drawn one frame from foundation and is filling with syrup (I only had 4 frames drawn to help them get started) I have fed them 6 pints and it was gone in 5 days-I am leaving them now to utilise , reduce and cap whilst she can settle to egg laying- I hope.

I am still syrup feeding all my hives as they still feel light on hefting. Yet a pro bee keeper at yesterdays out apiary meeting told me it is too late to be feeding now- said it stresses the bees giving them too much work to do-
Today sunny, but chill wind, and easterly wind...Bees out but not lively! Pollen still coming in.
I tell the new keepers it is a fine balance between good stores and room for brood. Now I am wondering if my info not correct- still feed or not??
What do the experienced bee keepers feel about the time to stop feeding.?
 

oliver90owner 

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I would think crammed boxes at this time of the year for at least the previous two autumns was a potential recipe for risk of late swarming - my hives were so actively collecting stores and so much brood was present that closing them down would have been decidedly premature.

This year, things are panning out somewhat differently. I am presently assessing stores and unless the weather improves an awful lot, I expect all colonies to be ready to settle down anytime from a fortnight onwards. But the ivy may well keep them busy for some time yet. Most are increasing stores without my assistance, which tells me that feeding now will be taken down and capped. I am not talking pussy-footing around with one litre contact feeders and the likes, but rather the fast, efficient, Ashforth (or similar) type.

Until yesterday, the bees were far busier (than expected) for the last week or so.

Regards, RAB
 

Finman 

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feeding is always a dilemma with so many mixed views- and this is compounded by our varied climate North and South, as PH says.

I am still syrup feeding all my hives as they still feel light on hefting. Yet a pro bee keeper at yesterdays out apiary meeting told me it is too late to be feeding now- said it stresses the bees giving them too much


What do the experienced bee keepers feel about the time to stop feeding.?

yeah! Allways someone is saying something wise. Never mind, if you allready have experience.

I have 8 hives which i have even started feeding. I amreally late in finland.

But i give half of food as capped honey frames now and in the middle of the hive they take syrup. They have still much brood here. Some has non
 

dc197 

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If you feed ready-inverted food, such as brand Ambrosia or home-inverted sugar, the bees will not have to work it so much before capping it. My mentor said we would feed Ambrosia in mid-Sept, about 10 or so days ago. I'm sure that late Sept will not make tonnes of difference, so long as it is already inverted.

His words:
"Feeding needs to be completed by middle of september, giving the bees time to invert it and cap it over. There is another feed which you can by called Ambrosia. This is already inverted and makes everything much easier for the bees to prepare for winter. Because it is inverted it can be fed much later in the year and I will be giving it to the colonies which come back from the heather, mid-september."

His experience: 60 years, this year's harvest was 3000 kilograms.
 

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