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New swarm - will the queen starve?


Hi everyone I’d appreciate some advice.

I’m in Torquay, Victoria, Australia and we are having a very iffy spring (cold, raining and blowing gales - with the odd sunny day).

I collected my first swarm last Monday (7 days ago).

I currently have them in a Technoset hive brood box (which I collected and transported them in - I plan to transfer them to my Flow Hive in three weeks time when they are settled).

On Thursday I opened the hive to insert more frames with wax foundation board. I also installed the Technoset feeder and added 2.5 litres of sugar syrup AND I put the queen excluder between the brood box and the feeder (not sure why I did this - I think I was worried about the queen being on the feeder when I open the hive next time and me not being able to find her - remember I am new to this).

I checked the feeder yesterday and all the syrup was gone (so they had consumed 2.5 litres in 3 days! Is this normal?)

I added another 600mil that I had already made up.

My question is - do the worker bees feed the queen or is there a possibility she will starve? I am assuming the workers are building comb for egg laying and I am unsure if they feed the queen during this time of transition (given it will take some time to draw comb, then at least 21 days before new bees are born).

So is there a problem with me adding another 2 litres of syrup this week (which I can do without disturbing the hive)?

Should I disturb the hive and remove the queen excluder so she can feed herself?

Thanks for your help.



Hi, I wouldn’t be too concerned, the workers take care of the queen and it is highly unlikely she will move up to the feeder. With all the bad weather you are having down there, I would keep feeding them for the time being unless you see a lot of flowering trees in your area with bees over them and your weather is consistently warm sunny days.


Ok thanks Rodderick I was just worried my lack of knowledge would end in a dead queen! It is like watching a episode of Game of Thrones!!! But I am loving watching them.


No harm in feeding if you are not planning on extracting honey anytime soon. Bees are natural born hoarders and won’t be eating all that sugar solution, they will be storing it. However being spring, they need a lot of carbohydrates to expand the hive, build comb and forage.


Terrific. Thanks. I’ll make up some more syrup tonight. The weather here is still ugly.