I almost hate to post this, because it's close to already-asked questions here but not quite (from what I can find on the site) -
I have a small swarm caught July 2 in a 5-frame nuc (two drawn frames on foundation, three foundationless). Looked today and this is the situation:
- Queen is laying well, with three frames mostly full of capped brood/larvae/eggs
- they have stopped drawing comb on the foundationless frames, with only one 3/4 complete (so, total drawn frames is less than three complete)
- they have almost zero stores - a tiny bit of nectar in spots, no honey. I had given them a frame of brood with a nice honey crown 2 weeks ago, but it is all gone (I have been home to watch them daily and they have not been robbed
- bees are in and out with pollen certainly, but I imagine the flow must be tapering off - they seem to be living hand to mouth.
- a few days ago, they were busy kicking out drones: too many mouths to feed and not enough stores?
Questions: can they manage brood feeding and comb drawing if I just leave them alone, or (aarrgh, here is that cursed question again!) should I feed them? I am afraid that they truly don't have enough food resources and worried that feeding will get them robbed.