good morning folks,
need some info, need some help.
started 2 new hives end of april.... package queen and bees from local aviary....in central texas near mason. had good flower bloom early on but this year turned out to be the first drought year in some time and there just hasn't been much natural food. supplemented both hives with sugar water to begin with.... top feeders...one hive took off the other lagged due to some issues with ants and sugar water spoilage....finally had one hive reach capacity in first hive box, did as read, and put on second box and frames and took them off supplemental feed. the hive is doing real well producing lots of eggs but they are not growing into the second box.
the second hive regained strength after replacing losses and finally filled their first box as well and i install the second box and frames and took them off sugar supplement. same as the first ... no additional "growth".
after a couple of weeks...maybe a month, i decided to reintroduce supplemental sugar water feed and that seem to help at first... the first hive generated some minor comb development in the second box but now they are all at a standstill again. i am starting to worry that my bees won't have the numbers or the food to make it through winter. they seem to have no interest in filling the second box and frames. my other worry has been that i have conditioned my bees to be "welfare" hives relying on supplement and not getting out to forage on their on.
any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.