Help - Are my bees getting enough food

Hi I am worried that my bees aren’t getting enough to eat .
I am new to bee keeping and got my first flow hive and added a nuc of 4 established frames (plastic) there looked like the frames had brood and larva and the queen was spotted. I added additional frames in the hope to have natural drawn comb, however 5 weeks in and the bees have only managed to draw half of comb on one of the new frames . My biggest concern is there is very little honey on the plastic frames mostly brood and Im worried they aren’t getting enough to eat. On a recent inspection many of the bees had their heads in the combs drinking the little honey that was there.The population doesn’t seem to be growing much at all either , tAny advice would be much appreciated. I’m in the Lockyer Valley region in Queensland.

Hi Bedelia, welcome to the forum. I’m in Buderim.

You should be seeing a honey arc on the top corners, which could be capped or uncapped. If you see those honey arcs are empty with no eggs, your colony could be low on food. You could consider feeding via an inverted jam jar with small holes in the lid via the hole in the crown board, or you could try a baggie feeder.

The growth of the population will depend on how much worker brood is in those frames. They may have had a slow start, which is dependent on how many bees, coupled with how much brood was in those 4 frames you started with. Plus how much food there is for the bees to forage on.

If you’re not seeing much capped honey or nectar stores then i would be feeding. A local bee keeping club would be your best source of local information ( where the more experienced bee keepers can give you better advice on whats happening locally. If they are feeding their bees then you probably need to as well. We’ve had prolonged and heavy rainfall here in Sydney (thanks La Nina) which kills nectar flow and I’ve had to feed our hives for some time as they have had almost no honey or nectar stores. There are lots of different methods to feeding. I prefer a top feeder but you could also look at a frame feeder or entrance feeder or make your own.