2 packages and 1 nuc installed about 10 weeks ago. Nuc is gangbusters and not a concern but the packages now seem to be stagnate. They have built out and are raising brood in one 8 frame medium box. I added a second medium about 3 weeks ago when they had a frame to go in the first.
Sounds like good beekeeping so far.
There has been no progress in the last two weeks. It is very hot here right now (104 ++ each afternoon) and they are in full sun. I have 1 to 1 syrup on them as I don't think there is much to forage on around here at this time. They are hardly taking the syrup at all.
In real hot temps, hi 90's to 110+, the hive is more in need of ventilatiion than being fed syrup. The fact that they are not taking says several things:
1. Too hot temps can kill the brood production as real hot, being the opposite of real cold, has its own challenges for the bees, they will often go into a brood dearth in real hot weather.
2. Bees will not build combs on frames or foundation where no bees are standing, they build under foot only. So a brood dearth, or nectar dearth, can arrest the population growth and the bees will cease building combs.
3. They will also only collect enough nectar to sustain the hive during such periods as nectar dearths, hot temps, and brood dearths often go hand in hand.
4. They will start taking syrup again when they start increasing the brood production sufficient to increase the population rather than sustain it.
The major question is; Do they slow down brood and comb production in the heat even with good syrup supplies and should I be venting the hive at the top
Yes to both. Without proper ventilation the hive can get so hot inside that the combs start to melt, the hive may be working overtime to prevent this. Putting a stick under the top to vent the hot air and moisture (humnidity) within the hive can quickly change the condition so the bees will begin to take syrup or forage again, which means they will start to rear more brood again.
They are on screened bottom board and topside jar feeders in an empty box under the top cover with no top ventilation. Thanks for any help in understanding the ladies.
The screened bottom board is only part of the solution to properventilation, a vent at the top of the hive is also necessary. If you look at a hive with a solid bottom board the bees must fan air in through the entrance, up one side of the hive to the top and then down the other side of the hive and out the other side of the entrance. You have to sets of bees at the entrance, those fanning in and those fanning out.
With a screen bttoom board you have the possibility of some ambient air movement due to the screening but a vent added to the top means that all those bees fanning at the entance only have to fan air in 1 direction, up. Saves the hive a lot of work.