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At just under one week since homing the new hives, I was excited to see for the first time, that the bees were actively bringing pollen back to the hive. I also noted that there were a good number of the male drones. So, this morning I planned to check and make certain that the queens had been set free from their boxes and that all was in good condition. Well, everyone was fine, but I was surprised that there was not one stitch of comb started yet.
The daily weather has been in the high 60s to mid-70s and the nights in the 50s. But last night dropped to freezing. It’ll be the same for tonight and then pop back up again. It is a bit harder for the bees to work the wax if the hive temperature is not up.
I also discovered that both hives completely drained their 3-quart in hive liquid syrup feeders – thirsty little critters. That, I did not expect. In nature, when nectar flows from the flowers, it stimulates wax extruding. That can be artificially stimulated by feeding them a 2:1 water to sugar syrup. My concern here is, that they need comb for the queen to lay eggs in and raise new workers. New works are more productive at comb building. This demonstrates to me the difference between buying a nucleus hive that comes with brood and honey comb already in it and just plain boxed bees. Both can thrive, but the "nuc" hive gets a little bit of a head start.
So, I moved the feeder into the top brood box so that I don’t have to disturb the hive so much to refill it. I’ve also decided to add an external feeder jar so that I can better monitor their consumption and refill more easily. I’ll check the external and refill every day as needed but won’t check the internal feeder again until next week.
Well, I’m sure the bees know more about what they need to do than I do. Given that they are healthy and robust, I’ll trust in them to do what is necessary. In the meantime, I’ll just keep an eye on them and do my job of keeping their syrup filled.