I hived my first package on April 11th, and I opened it up on the 17th to make sure the queen had been released, which she had been. All the bees were accumulating on the front half of three frames, and while I saw a lot of bees with full pollen baskets, I didn't notice any changes to the pre-waxed plastic foundations that came with my kit. I have a top feeder right above them that they don't seem to be touching. Is this typical? How long does it typically take for a new package to draw? I'm just worried that if they don't draw wuick enough, there won't be enough cells for new brood by the time the existing bees reach the end of their life-cycle. I know some things here in zone 4 are starting to bloom, and there is a whole river basin of Elm trees right behind the hive, which I know aren't great for collecting nectar, but do have fair amount of pollen from what I understand. Should I remake the syrup mix and try it again? Also, what on earth produced blue pollen?
Bee aren't drawing on foundation?
I do not know what plant species have blue pollen in your area. Maybe Siberian Squill? Here is an interesting link:
Bees ought to be drawing out the comb. To not be doing this suggests they are not getting enough nectar.
Yes, re-do the syrup, and make sure things are really clean so no mold or fungi are growing in it.
What is the daytime temperature? Are there many different plants coming into bloom around you? (up to a mile from the hive, if the weather is good)
Crayon, are your bees doung any better? What strength syrup are you using? I use 1-1 by weight, 1 pound of sugar to 1 pound of water, plus I spray the frames with it. I've never used plastic foundation but I had trouble with plain waxed, unwired foundation. The bees wouldnt touch one particular batch, but when I swapped it put for a different batch, they started using it.
Good luck! Terri
Thanks for your replies! The bees are doing much better! I painted some extra beeswax onto the frames and their numbers have exploded. I have kept the syrup on to help them through this first year, but everything seems to be looking good.
I've done 2 splits this year and didn't have to feed either of them, the flow is so good! I got a nuc and havent fed them either, just second and third honey supers on all my hives, even one of the new splits!