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Just over two weeks after install, very little comb built and no larvae


#1

I installed my 3# package on April 4th, checked a week later and the queen was released from her cage. Checked the hive today and there was some comb on about 4 of the frames and each of those frames was covered in bees. Could not locate the queen (though I did not spend much time trying). No eggs have been laid.

Our weather up here has been terrible, I installed when it was 43 and we have only been above 50 during the day 4 times since then. Most nights have had just above freezing temps.

They have eaten about 4 pounds of sugar cake and about 2 pounds of sugar water since I switched to feeding that.

My question then is should I be worried about slow comb build and no larvae or could that be accounted for due to the cold weather?


#2

Could be the cold, or it could be the lack of stores. They won’t let the queen lay (or they won’t let the eggs hatch) if there is no pollen in the hive. Baby bees need food, and until they have sufficient stores, you won’t see any brood.

:blush:


#3

Dawn is right. Brood needs protein.


#4

Feed them and try not to have the hive open in cold weather or you could loose what you have, the rest will happen when the conditions are right for the bees.
If there is no comb drawn that is a suitable depth for the queen to lay eggs in the workers will prevent her laying.
Cheers…


#5

I have seen a package queen take two weeks to lay. If she’s not laying now after that she’s probably failed or gone.


#6

So then the best option is to buy a new queen @Michael_Bush ?


#7

After 3 or 4 weeks, you may need a whole new package. The nurse bees from the initial package will soon be too old for comb-building and royal jelly production. :cry: Let’s hope it is just the cold weather though, and things will start rip-roaring away to success soon.


#8

If it has just now been two weeks, I would make one more check for eggs. A queen might get them going. What is best is a queen that was laying yesterday (or today). A caged queen could take two weeks to start laying (hopefully not, but sometimes it does) and that would make it more than four weeks at which time the youngest bees are two weeks from dying of old age and it takes three weeks to raise a batch of worker brood… It might be better to combine them with another colony and after a few weeks, do a split than it would to spend the money on a queen. But the queen might start laying right off, in which case it could work.