Why isn't there comb yet?

Discussion in 'Beekeeping' started by Mike in Pa, Apr 11, 2005.

  1. Mike in Pa

    Mike in Pa Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    352
    Joined:
    May 29, 2002
    Rookie here, I bought my 1st package bees recently. They came in Friday (a week early unexpectedly). This is Monday and I checked for the quees as I was told and she was released from her cage. There were still bees covering her cage ... I'm guessing eating the rest of the candy.

    There were a lot of bees swarmed in one area on the bottom board. There wasn't any comb being made yet though? Why is this?


    Also, I fed a quart of 1:1 sugar and put a gallon outside of their hive.
     
  2. Queen Bee

    Queen Bee Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    6,700
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2004
    Location:
    NC
    It takes a lot of honey or sugar water for them to draw comb-(can't remember the ratio)-and much more than a week to draw it! Keep feeding them the spring/summer mix of sugar water and they will draw it much quicker.. My first year of bee keeping that's about all they really got accomplished! Good luck.
     

  3. justgojumpit

    justgojumpit Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    428
    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    North Salem, NY
    Also, make sure that there is a constant supply of syrup, not just filling it once a week. If you find that the bees are taking syrup faster than you can keep the feeder filled, you can put a second feeder at the entrance, or you can buy a pail feeder from one of the bee suppliers. Bees respond better to consistent feeding than sporadic feeding.

    justgojumpit
     
  4. Oregonsparkie

    Oregonsparkie Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    386
    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2003
    Location:
    Hermiston,Oregon
    A general rule of thumb is 5 pounds of honey/syrup to make 1 pound of beeswax. Not 1 pound of beeswax is alot of wax since it is extremely light
     
  5. Mike in Pa

    Mike in Pa Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    352
    Joined:
    May 29, 2002
    Something odd... In 3 days they didn't even finish a quart of 1:1 sugar water. I thought it was more like a quart a day. I know a lot died ... they might be a weak hive.

    The SOB that sold them to me sent them a week early without notice. I was totally unprepared. BUT, I still got them out and into their home by late afternoon. So all those that died were not from me. I emailed him and he couldn't even return the email.
     
  6. Queen Bee

    Queen Bee Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    6,700
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2004
    Location:
    NC
    Well, good luck with the hive. Keep feeding and see if you can find the queen.. Do you have any frames that have drawn foundation? If so add a few in the center to give them a little head start. I remember when I was getting started and how slow they were! I purchase 5 frame nucs of bees, brood and eggs, from one of our local old timers and the hives were much much faster starting ..
     
  7. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,977
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Location:
    East TN
    Did I understand that you are trying to feed them outside the hive? Do not leave sugar water outside of the hive, this will attract other bees that will possibly try and enter your hive looking for honey and fight with and kill your weakened bees.
     
  8. Mike in Pa

    Mike in Pa Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    352
    Joined:
    May 29, 2002
    Ready for this...

    The bees abandoned the hive and are clustered in the hole of a cinderblock outside the entrance. The feeder was robbed ... not by bees ... mice, rats a coon??? Knocked it over and pulled it apart.

    It's hopeless for this year MAYBE I'll try next year. I'm very confused. I'm out a lot of money. I don't know if I want to try again. Thnaks for the help though.
     
  9. Timber

    Timber Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    87
    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2003
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    Mike sounds like a bear. Know of a beekeeper that had a black bear damage in NE Ohio last year.

    Timber
     
  10. Queen Bee

    Queen Bee Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    6,700
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2004
    Location:
    NC
    Mike, do you have the book "Beekeeping for Dummies"? It's great and I use it as a reference book.. Has lots of ideas and help.. Don't get discouraged--It happens to the best of beekeepers..

    May I suggest that you call a local beekeeper and ask about purchasing 5 frame nucs? Most of the older beekeepers here will sell you : 5 frames full of brood, eggs and honey, and more bees than you can carry. Take your hive body with you and make sure it is full of frames with new wax to exchange... Around here it runs 40-45$ and it is like getting a "jump start"!

    Sorry about your troubles... Debbie
     
  11. Mike in Pa

    Mike in Pa Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    352
    Joined:
    May 29, 2002

    So just what are you trying to say queenie??? Just kidding:) I might try again next year. I wantedto try that but the local wanted to 100.00 to go that route ... he is the local inspector. I didn't care for his attitude and won't but them if they were 10.00. I tried a guy in ohio ... gave him my number last year this time but he never called.
    Thanks for the support.
    Mike
     
  12. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    Messages:
    14,766
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    Kansas
    Leave your hive set up: It MIGHT attract a swarm! Swarms in Kansas happen until after the weather turns hot and dry.

    Also, after the spring honey flow the area beekeepers offer nucs. Well, around here they do, anyways.
     
  13. Oregonsparkie

    Oregonsparkie Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    386
    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2003
    Location:
    Hermiston,Oregon
    Dont give up yet. Get the bees from the cinder block. What I do if I want to find the queen quickly is I put a second deep box on top of the hive and remove all the frames. I put a queen excluder between the boxes and put the bees in the second box. They will filter into the lower box fairly quickly and all that will be left is the queen and a few bees. Once I know I have the queen, I get her into the lower box.

    If you have a queen then close off the entrance for a few days, this will force them into drawing comb and once they do then they generally stay. Its plenty early enough for even a small hive to grow in time for the honey flow. Of course you will need to feed them.
     
  14. Queen Bee

    Queen Bee Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    6,700
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2004
    Location:
    NC
    Did not mean that you were "beekeeping for dummies" :) ...Just love that book---so what does that say about me????? :D Yes, we have several older beekeepers that will not give you the time of day---they act like it is a club where no newbies are welcome. But most are great about sharing and helping...Keep looking until you find someone who will help. Debbie.