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Author Topic: No new comb, should I be worried?  (Read 681 times)
uglyfrozenfish
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« on: May 08, 2011, 06:24:54 PM »

Last saturday I added a foundationless deep to an existing hive that looked strong.  It had two deeps and two shallows already and the bees were bringing in pollen.  I just checked on them an hour ago and the new deep had no new comb.  Should I be worried.  The activity around the hive looked good.  Pollen coming in and gentle calm bees.  Will it take more time for them to build the comb?  should I go back and put in a frame or two in with foundation?   

I put the new frame on top of the two deeps and put the shallows on top of that.  The shallows had mainly honey from what little I could see. 

Thanks for your input.
Lee
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jajtiii
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« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2011, 07:32:12 PM »

I would not be worried, for the most part. Some thoughts based on my experience:

1. I accidentally put a super without foundation on a hive once. They drew wax crossways and pretty much eliminated any value of having frames. If you are trying to go foundation-less, I would instead insert those frames between drawn frames of wax, to keep the bees oriented correctly.
2. Bees usually do better drawing out a super once they have nearly (70% or so) capped the super they are working on. I personally have the best luck putting the new supers under the fully drawn supers (above the brood nest supers).

As long as a flow is on and bees are being born, they will drawn wax.
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iddee
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« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2011, 08:24:52 PM »

They will only draw wax when all drawn comb is being used. If the drawn boxes are not full, they will fill those cells first, before drawing any new comb.
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uglyfrozenfish
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« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2011, 09:48:48 PM »

thanks iddee, that makes sense as to why they haven't started new comb yet.  Should  pull the deep or leave it and they will get there eventually.  Keep in mind our flow is just about to start here in michigan.
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iddee
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« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2011, 09:52:55 PM »

Leave it. They will use it when needed.

If you were in the south, I would say pull it.
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"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2011, 01:11:02 AM »

They will only draw wax when all drawn comb is being used. If the drawn boxes are not full, they will fill those cells first, before drawing any new comb.

And there is enough bees in the hive to occupy the space of the new frames.  Bees always work underfoot, whether it is tending brood, processing nectar/pollen, or building comb.  If there isn't enough bees to force the population into a new super it will just sit there until there is, even if all the available comb is full and capped. 
It's important to keep the brood chamber open so the queen will have plenty of combs for laying new eggs.  The larger the brood chamber the larger and faster the hive population will expand. 
In a 10 frame hive the outside frames (1 & 10) are almost always storage combs, move those up into the super, move frames 2 & 8 into the 1 & 10 location a place new frames in the 2 & 8 location. 
That keeps the Building combs in the brood chambers, provides new combs for the queen to lay in (expanding the population), and baits the honey super with honey combs.

See how it all fits together?
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