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Will Not Build Comb In 2nd Brood Box


I found a larger sdcard for the camera and just let it run while doing this inspection and it is a long video but everyone knows how to skip through them and not have to watch the whole thing. I can’t imagine why this colony of bees are not building comp in this 2nd brood box, or why I can never see eggs even with my glasses on, or why I never see the queens. The little holder and all the tips from this forum has helped though. Thanks


Everything that happens in a bee colony has a time delay. You take a package of bees and install them in a box. They start drawing comb. The queen lays eggs. They start rearing brood. But it takes three weeks for any of those to emerge. In the meantime the older bees from the package keep dying off. In six weeks all of them will be dead. In three weeks half of them will be dead. So for that first three weeks after the package is installed the population dwindles. After three weeks (if the queen started laying immediately) the young bees finally start to emerge. In about six weeks the population is up to what it was when you first installed the package. In another three it has doubled. In another three it has doubled again (quadrupled). They draw comb when they need it. They drew it at first because the queen needed somewhere to lay and they needed comb to live on. As the population dwindles, they don’t need more comb at the moment. They will once the new bees start to emerge though.


A Quiz:
Package was installed on 4/8 with 1:1 syrup feeding. After a few cold & rainy days, two weeks of perfect weather & natural forage from about 4/11 to 4/25 ensued. Inspection on 4/23 showed 60-70% comb drawn, much of which was crossed & then corrected without major incident. The past four days have been the same or colder than today, with rain.
Given the weather outlook & current conditions in this beekeeper’s area, should she expect to add a second brood box in the upcoming week; and if so, when?


Only the bees can tell you that! :smile:

It is possible, although unlikely based on what you have described. My criteria for adding a box are:

  1. All comb fully drawn
  2. 80% of the comb full of brood or food
  3. Every frame covered with bees

Based on the (likely unreliable) forecast shown, I would inspect next Sunday and decide at that point. :blush:

2nd brood box if/when? Nairne, SA, Australia

@Dawn_SD You get an A+ :sunglasses::+1:

Good advice. Had a feeling I should wait…but I miss them!