Moving frames

Basic beekeeping, this is beekeeping after the first winter until about the third or fourth year. You are a beekeeper, but you still have a lot to learn. Talk about normal everyday beekeeping here.
Grappling Coach
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Moving frames

Postby Grappling Coach » Mon Jun 12, 2017 8:44 pm

I added a super to the top of my existing 2 brood boxes on a couple hives that are doing really well. However, I am noticing that they are filling the brood boxes with honey as soon as the bees emerge, instead of building new comb in the super. When I put the supers on, I moved a couple of frames of honey up to help get them started on it. Should I move the frames of honey out of the brood boxes into the super or leave them. I am afraid that they will become honey bound and swarm or have the numbers crash due to little brood rearing. There were 4 or 5 frames of solid capped brood in the second box, but the first box has some capped drone and lots of uncapped honey.

moebees
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Re: Moving frames

Postby moebees » Mon Jun 12, 2017 9:09 pm

Are you using a queen excluder?
Sam Droege, a biologist for the U.S. Geological Survey—“bees are not optional."

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Re: Moving frames

Postby Grappling Coach » Mon Jun 12, 2017 9:45 pm

No excluder

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Nordak
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Re: Moving frames

Postby Nordak » Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:25 pm

What you are most likely seeing is the flow tapering. You're in SW Missouri, so probably close enough to my general region to experience dearth. The fact the bees aren't wanting to draw new wax and instead store it in the brood nest are signs here the flow is starting to diminish. I'm not sure what your flows are like, but that's my guess. If that's the case, you'll be hard pressed to get them to building comb. If you are wanting to stimulate comb building, you could try feeding slowly. I've heard dumping syrup to them too fast will result in the bees just plugging the brood nest further. My prior experience with feeding during times of little to no flow seem to follow that reasoning. I've found they would rather store nectar than build wax during times of dearth.

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Re: Moving frames

Postby moebees » Mon Jun 12, 2017 11:18 pm

Nordak is probably correct. I wasn't thinking about dearth.
Sam Droege, a biologist for the U.S. Geological Survey—“bees are not optional."

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Re: Moving frames

Postby Grappling Coach » Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:14 am

The queen is laying heavy in the second brood box, but the bottom box has very little worker brood. Mostly drones and honey.

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Re: Moving frames

Postby Grappling Coach » Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:15 am

Is it time for robber screens on my weaker hives???

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Nordak
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Re: Moving frames

Postby Nordak » Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:56 am

What you could try is reversing your brood boxes and move honey into the super like you said. If the bottom is mainly capped drone and honey, I'd move the drone brood into the top box/super. Once those drone hatch, the bees should fill them with nectar if any kind of nectar is available. Worst case scenario, you end up condensing them down later if they don't draw more comb.

Most of the time a reduced entrance works well enough, but you could use a robber screen if you wanted.

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Re: Moving frames

Postby GregV » Tue Jun 13, 2017 4:50 am

Grappling Coach wrote:The queen is laying heavy in the second brood box, but the bottom box has very little worker brood. Mostly drones and honey.


Let me guess - you have a top entrance only (in the second, upper box)?
If this theory is correct, this is pretty typical with top-only entrances (see MB's writings, for example).
Queen is likely to lay where the most oxygen is found.
Else - ignore this. :)

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Re: Moving frames

Postby SiWolKe » Tue Jun 13, 2017 4:52 am

I would not move up the drone brood and honey comb because then the bees might breed drones again on bottom and breed less workers.

It´s normal to have drone brood and honey stores at the bottom this time of year because the bees make drones where it is colder and the honey stored near the entrance ( with bottom entrance) is used directly for the foragers so they don´t have to cross the broodnest.

You can take out some honey stores out of the brood box to give more space and put in some empty frame or foundation to have them work.
I did that some days ago and put in empty frames and comb was build immediately ( worker comb).

Store the honey and give it back if they starve.
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Re: Moving frames

Postby Nordak » Tue Jun 13, 2017 5:11 am

GregV wrote:
Grappling Coach wrote:The queen is laying heavy in the second brood box, but the bottom box has very little worker brood. Mostly drones and honey.


Let me guess - you have a top entrance only (in the second, upper box)?
If this theory is correct, this is pretty typical with top-only entrances (see MB's writings, for example).
Queen is likely to lay where the most oxygen is found.
Else - ignore this. :)


I wondered this as well.

Sibylle, not to disagree, but if the worker brood is in the second brood box, and it is full of worker comb, the bees should utilize this for either more worker brood or continue to store honey once reversed. Hard to say which. With the drone brood separated, it is unlikely, assuming the brood chambers are deeps, that the queen would likely utilize the super for more drones, but instead the bees should utilize it for nectar. Of course, all of this is assuming you can get them to draw comb for empties placed in the second brood box and super. If they are willing to still draw comb, which where I live that window of opportunity has passed, Sibylle's suggestion of opening up the broodnest is a good option if you're worried about swarming. Admittedly, I'm a better TBH manager than langstroth so take my advice as more theory than practice. I was just thinking of what I might try in your case. Right now in my environment, they are slowing down so I'd be comfortable leaving them alone. Your flow, or lack thereof, greatly affects the proper course of action.

Ask ten beekeepers, they'll give you 30 different answers. ;)

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SiWolKe
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Re: Moving frames

Postby SiWolKe » Tue Jun 13, 2017 6:17 am

Nordak wrote:
Ask ten beekeepers, they'll give you 30 different answers. ;)


No problem for me, I like the 30 answers. Makes your brain work to find out about your own situation.
I´m not trying to convince anybody just give my thoughts and humble experience. ;)
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Re: Moving frames

Postby GregV » Tue Jun 13, 2017 2:59 pm

This is one reason I avoid getting into vertical, multi-body hives - this move up/move down management of the bees is just too strange and busy as for me.
Why they are going up?
Why they going down?
Why different hives do it differently?
Should you have top or bottom or both entrances?
When you do the box moves?
The bees can not just move the boxes themselves - darn it!
On and on it goes....

I honestly don't care to think of these multitude of these things because I am busy planting potatoes. :D
Horizontal hives are my thing.
Move a frame close to the entrance; move a frame away from the entrance.
This pretty much does it all. Simple. :)

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SiWolKe
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Re: Moving frames

Postby SiWolKe » Tue Jun 13, 2017 4:23 pm

Everyone has his reasons to use his system.

If you have a two brood box ( or more ) system you can do like Dee Lusby, take one whole box off as a split, no shifting of frames and still two strong colonies.

If you use an excluder you can take a whole box off to harvest, put a lid on and carry away and carry back. No need for an extra box to carry stuff.
Good with an outyard.

I´m experimenting with one brood box not too small so I´m not forced to split too often, the square dadant seems to be perfect for that because the frames are not too heavy to pull and look at, but in future times I have to do three splits, one very small with queen and two queenless. Then I can leave them alone for the rest of the year.

I do not plan to have bigger colonies, rather will split more because of the mites. I plan not to move boxes up and down because I believe the bees arrange their homes themselves. First they may go up to breed then they store honey and go down again. Or swarm if swarm fever gets them.

Expanding of brood area and honey stores will be with one or two mediums on top.
These I can harvest or leave as food or take off before winter preparations, depending on the situation.
They are easy to lift, even full of honey.
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Re: Moving frames

Postby moebees » Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:08 pm

I honestly don't care to think of these multitude of these things because I am busy planting potatoes.


Kind of late in the season!
Sam Droege, a biologist for the U.S. Geological Survey—“bees are not optional."

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Re: Moving frames

Postby GregV » Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:58 pm

moebees wrote:
I honestly don't care to think of these multitude of these things because I am busy planting potatoes.


Kind of late in the season!

I am very, very late on everything this year. What should have been planted in April, got planted in June (like beets and carrots even).

Blaming it on the bees and the weather!

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Re: Moving frames

Postby Grappling Coach » Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:15 pm

Thanks for all the answers and discussion. I do not have a top entrance, only a bottom one. I did move one frame that was almost solid honey up and just shifted everything in, putting an empty frame on the outside. Since they do not seem to be building lots of comb, I figured that I would not leave an empty frame in the middle.

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Re: Moving frames

Postby Grappling Coach » Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:21 pm

When the nectar flow does slow down, will there be less activity at the hive entrance? Right now they are very active.

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Nordak
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Re: Moving frames

Postby Nordak » Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:26 pm

A good sign here is the bees start washboarding and you'll notice a significant drop off on numbers of bees bringing in pollen. If they are still busy and you still see them bringing in quite a bit of pollen, you probably still have some nectar around.

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Re: Moving frames

Postby Grappling Coach » Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:53 pm

What is washboarding?

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Nordak
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Re: Moving frames

Postby Nordak » Wed Jun 14, 2017 1:40 am

Don't ask me why they do it. That's still a mystery.

https://youtu.be/lbwumXVTOz8

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Re: Moving frames

Postby moebees » Wed Jun 14, 2017 2:12 am

Its honeybee line dancing! :lol:
Sam Droege, a biologist for the U.S. Geological Survey—“bees are not optional."

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Re: Moving frames

Postby GregV » Wed Jun 14, 2017 2:14 am

Grappling Coach wrote:I do not have a top entrance, only a bottom one.


But do you ventilate through the top?
That still might be a part of the picture...
We mess with them too much to our liking.

Basically, for a classic distribution of the comb usage, the nest should be something like Tom Seeley depicts in his book (pic).
NaturalBeeNestBySeeley.png
NaturalBeeNestBySeeley.png (185.91 KiB) Viewed 1180 times

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Nordak
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Re: Moving frames

Postby Nordak » Wed Jun 14, 2017 3:11 am

moebees wrote:Its honeybee line dancing! :lol:

Lol. I guess bees need something to do to occupy their time.

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Re: Moving frames

Postby SiWolKe » Wed Jun 14, 2017 4:32 am

Mine cluster outside and sleep while the foragers work their p. off :lol:

Seems like the brood breeds itself with our temperature of 30°C.

Now and then some young bees "washboard". The smaller have normal activity and stay inside.
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