Why are they not filling up frames

New beekeeper, here in Florida A friend gave me a split hive, WE think there is a queen in there. They have not done anything with the other frames at all. They are only on the 3 frames they came with. I have had for 2 months now. When should I be concerned that I may NOT have a queen and they aren’t filling up the frames? To be clear I have not put the Top on yet, still waiting for the bottom frames to start building up gives on them.

Hi & welcome to the forum. You need to inspect those frames to see if the split is queen-rite. Once you know that the colony is queen-rite, it’s just a matter of waiting for the bee numbers to grow. When you do the brood check, take note of how much worker brood is in the frames.That will give you a guide as to how much the population will grow in the foreseeable future, baring in mind that the current bees wont live all that long. Six or seven weeks in total.

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Thank you! About how long does it take to fill up the bottom frames?

Hi & you’re welcome Dawn. How long it takes to fill the bottom frames depends on a lot of factors. A strong nuc can fill up the bottom frames in as little as six weeks during a strong nectar/pollen flow.

Do you have a local mentor? A local mentor should be able to answer that question, based on local knowledge of what’s in flower during the season.