Question from a new bee keeper in Nebraska. I installed my new package in a brand new deep brood box on April 1st. I have been giving them 1 to 1 sugar water ever since to assist in drawing comb. However, about two weeks ago I gave them a pollen patty to assist in brood production. They ate all of it and are still eating all the sugar water I am giving them on a weekly basis (about 2 quarts a week). My first brood box is filling up to the point where I am going to install a second brood box in the next few days or maybe even trying to split them. I would like to continue feeding them sugar and even another pollen patty to help fill the second brood box. Am I being overly aggressive with feeding and supplementing my bees. I am worried they may get to big, to fast and maybe swarm. On a side note, the flowers and dandelions are blooming, so I assume there should be plenty of natural food sources. Should I stop the sugar water, pollen patty, or both. Keep in mind that the equipment is new, so it has ZERO drawn comb.
Hey Brian, welcome! To me it sounds like your bees have really needed the food you’re giving them, or they wouldn’t bother with it. Even with a good spring flow on, the occasional day of bad weather can seriously hinder a new colony from bring that nectar in at a steady rate. You’re right to start thinking about swarm prevention though. Do you know if other beekeepers in your area do double brood boxes? If so, that would be the ticket.
I doubt very much that a nuc began only 6 weeks ago in strong enough to make a split or even if there is a reason to do it.
Nothing wrong with offering them feeding, if the is enough natural foraging they would leave what your offering.
I’m assuming what you have now is a single brood box hive and maybe in your area your next step would be to add a second brood box, but only do that when the present brood box is full of comb and bees and the cells are at least 80% in use for stores and brood. I would check with other bee keepers in your area for advice on needing a double brood hive.