No comb expansion

I’ve been feeding my bees sugar water to help stimulate them to build out more comb, but I haven’t seen any noticeable results for the last 4 weeks.

1 hive is quite established, but they’ve only filled honey in 4 frames in the honey super… No new comb on other frames.

The other hive is a new split and in the upper brood box they’ve only build comb on 2 of the frames.

I’ve checked every week and refilled the food, but no noticeable difference…

Any ideas? Suggestions?

This time of year they frequently aren’t interested in building comb.

I’m confused by this - do you have a super on without the brood box(es) being drawn and full?

And the bottom box is drawn and full of brood pollen and honey?

How much are they taking per day/per week? The syrup probably spoils faster than a few days.

The established hive has 2 full brood boxes and I was hoping to get some honey this year (year 2). In the honey super there are 4 full frames and 6 empty ones. The 6 empties have been that way for 4 weeks.

In the new hive there is one full bottom brood box and the upper brood box has had 2 full frames for 4 weeks and 3 empty ones along with the frame shaped feeder.

I’m just surprised that so little has happened over the last 4 weeks.

I opened the new hive today and saw them building new comb, but in the empty space. I added extra frames to fill up the upper brood box in the house they will fill it up before winter.

So you’re using traditional frames in the super? If the bees have filled up the 20 frames in the two brood boxes (below the queen excluder) then you should be able to take the extra honey above the queen excluder for yourself.

Empty space?

Things move a lot slower when there isn’t the environmental cue for them to build. You’re likely in a dearth period.

Again, I am confused with what you’re describing - what empty space did you need to fill? The boxes should have all the frames in place, except where your frame feeder is.

Hi Fred, any chance your colonies have swarmed? That would explain the lack of growth going back to a month ago.

On the new hive, I only had the feeder and 5 frames. I didn’t fill in the whole brood box with empty frames until yesterday.

Does it spoil? The syrup I made a couple of weeks ago looks and smells the same. I don’t see any mold or notice anything.

Yes, it does eventually. Most common is a black mould, which grows in wispy strings. It usually takes 2-4 weeks to see it, unless the weather is very warm, in which case it can be less than 2 weeks. I put ascorbic acid (vitamin C powder) in mine to acidify it a little and deter the mould. This also makes it a little closer to nectar, which contains vitamin C naturally. :wink:

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