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Author Topic: Package starting with drawn comb & honey  (Read 668 times)
Pond Creek Farm
Field Bee
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Location: Republic, MO

« on: February 03, 2009, 08:27:57 PM »

I have twenty deep frames in the freezer from a dead out.  All are drawn comb and most have honey and pollen.  I will use these to start my three packages which are to arrive in early April.  I am going to divide them all equally between the three as I was previously advised which will give two seven and one six frames.  These go in the middle with empty pf100's on the outside.  Should I also put the second brood chamber above with empty frames since they now have so many drawn combs below?  If not, how long should I leave them before I should  be prepared to put on the second deep? Will feeding help them draw out the remaining comb, or should I jsut let them eat honey and gathered nectar?

Michael Bush
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« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2009, 09:11:24 PM »

A package that has several combs full of honey to start with and some things flowering will not need to be fed.   Some would.  I wouldn't.  How you arrange it isn't that critical.  The bees will sort things out.  I would start with minimal space and add space as needed.  In the cold of spring they do better with less space than more.

Michael Bush
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2009, 09:19:23 PM »

You will have 3-4 empty frames per hive.  Supering immediately is a little premature.  The bees will begin foraging and drawing out the empty frames and use the honey and pollen stores for brood.  Supering shouldn't be necessary for a week or so.  You are using the currently frozen frames in place of feeding syrup and pollen so the bees will start using it immediately.  
I would suggest that you place 2 of the frames with the most honey on the outsides of each hive thusly:  H F F F H H F F F H.  The reason for this is that the empty frames will be drawn out as brood combs the center H frames are the brood nest, and as the bees draw out the other F Frames they will enlarge the brood nest.  The honey storage frames are there because the outside frames in every hive are storage frames.  You'll find that this set up will give you the most bang for your buck and the 2 honey frames in the center gives you the ideal place to position the queen cage.  You'll also center orientate the bees.

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