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Hive #1 in Esperance, NY

Just wanted to say hi.
First timer with a single Flow 2. Installed a nuc eight days ago and performed my first inspection today.
I did not spot the queen but there’s plenty going on to suggest she is in fine form.
I was on the fence regarding foundationless frames but the bees seem more than happy with them.


I placed two between the outer most frames of the five frame nuc on install and they are almost filled.
Do you think I should exchange them with empty frames from the hives edge? Would that encourage the bees to draw out further?
Covid has undermined the local mentor program so the internet must provide all!

Thanks!

Andy

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Hi Andy and welcome. That is a beautiful frame! It looks and sounds like your colony is coming along nicely.

To answer your good question, with nighttime temps still hovering in the 40s here in PA, don’t do it. You’d be taking a risk in NY with frames containing open brood by putting them at the edges. Internal hive temps need to stay at 95F to raise healthy brood, which bees can do by generating heat from their bodies to compensate for cold outdoor temps. That means the more they have to work to keep it warm enough, the less they can accomplish otherwise. They might even have to abandon brood at the edges if there aren’t enough bees to maintain warmth.

Just let nature unfold :star_struck::cherry_blossom:

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Definitely leave the brood in the center, this is where the queen naturally lays eggs, and then the bees place pollen and nectar/honey on the outer frames. It acts as an insulator.

By the way, I grew up in Esperance, NY!! Are you an implant or did you grow up there as well?

Cheers!

Hi Eva,
As far as I could tell both frames are empty freshly drawn comb. I did not spy any eggs or other activity.
The outer foundationless frames are basically untouched. Hence my wondering if a switch were in order.


pic taken May 9th
I slipped the yellow arrow frames between the outer two frames of the nuc on installation.
If they are just comb would exchanging them with the blue arrow frames be advantageous for comb growth? It may well be a moot point as it’s been a couple of days since the inspection and they could well be full of eggs. Wondering now for the next hive!
Thanks for feeding back.

Hi Erin,
I just moved here at the end of Fall last year. So it’s my first Spring along with the bees!

:slight_smile:

Gotcha, yes - in warmer conditions this could be reasonable, but as Erin pointed out even empty combs provide insulation. By the looks of your earlier photo they’re honey cells, made ready for incoming nectar to be fed to young larvae, so best to keep them in the handy position the bees placed them in. Think of them as advantageous for colony growth! :blush::+1:

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