New Episode, #23

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Solomon
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New Episode, #23

Postby Solomon » Thu Jun 04, 2015 2:44 am

Check out the new episode on Expansion Model Beekeeping.

http://tfb.podbean.com/
Solomon Parker, Treatment-Free 14 years, ~24 colony baseline
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Allen Newberry
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Re: New Episode, #23

Postby Allen Newberry » Thu Jun 04, 2015 2:18 pm

Great episode!

taun
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Re: New Episode, #23

Postby taun » Thu Jun 04, 2015 5:42 pm

Loved the episode. I'm excited about trying to make expansion. When you talk about taking a frame of brood and adding it to another hive or brood and stores from several hives to make a new one do you take the bees that are on each frame and combine them? Do they fight each other?


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COAL REAPER
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Re: New Episode, #23

Postby COAL REAPER » Thu Jun 04, 2015 6:36 pm

awsome. yesterday i just broke down a hive 3 deep, 1 shallow, and 1 medium to pull the queen that is in her third year. will break up into nucs in 10 days. that queen is still laying well. will see how she keeps going.
you mentioned being able to make expansion for 4 months in a season. that is going to be hard where i am without feeding i think. i didnt have my first flying drone from an overwintered hive until may 15, though this season got off to a slow start with our winter. and we hit our dearth the first or second weak of july that runs until some time in september.
anyway, great episode!
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Re: New Episode, #23

Postby Solomon » Thu Jun 04, 2015 6:50 pm

taun wrote:When you talk about taking a frame of brood and adding it to another hive or brood and stores from several hives to make a new one do you take the bees that are on each frame and combine them? Do they fight each other?

Yes, take the bees too. Bees will not generally fight when mixed if they are mixed in a neutral hive. If you put a lot of bees in an already existing hive, they tend to fight more. However, one or two frames is usually no problem at any rate, and especially if you're putting them into a weak hive. But if you're going to be combining a lot, either use some sheets of newspaper between the boxes or put them all into a new stack. Bees can tell immediately that they're not in their home and it makes them much more humble about picking fights.
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Re: New Episode, #23

Postby Solomon » Thu Jun 04, 2015 6:51 pm

COAL REAPER wrote:you mentioned being able to make expansion for 4 months in a season. that is going to be hard where i am without feeding i think. i didnt have my first flying drone from an overwintered hive until may 15, though this season got off to a slow start with our winter. and we hit our dearth the first or second weak of july that runs until some time in september.

And feeding during a dearth introduces its own problems. Naturally, it has to be adapted to each individual set of conditions. Most of the time, that four months is split somewhere in the middle.
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Chuck Jachens
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Re: New Episode, #23

Postby Chuck Jachens » Mon Jun 08, 2015 2:40 pm

I have been listening to the podcast (#23) and have a question. When creating nucs by taking a frame from each and start a new one, how are you getting newly hatch eggs for the new nucs in the following weeks? Are you adding a queen cells that were started by a queen rearing hive of does the new nuc have to start by creating a queen cell?

I was trying to do the math of the rapid nuc expansion over a 20 week period and get hung up at a queen takes 23 to 27 days to start laying after the egg hatches. If using queen cells, then capped queen cells are day 8 to 15, so it takes roughly two weeks to get a laying queen.

I have 4 hives and was thinking of pulling 3 top bars from each and making 4 new 5 frame nucs (with 2 empty bars) next spring, and repeating every 2 weeks until I get 12 nucs. I am hoping 6 are successful and move them to full size top bar hives. any in excess of 6 could be used to start new nucs that I could over winter as replacements for my 10 hives (goal), use the overwintered nucs to replace any of the 10 that did not make it, and sell any left overs. Then I could repeat just making nucs to replace any lost full size hives and sell the rest of the overwintered nucs. It is a 3 year plan to get to a sustainable system of not buying packages and staying treatment free.

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Re: New Episode, #23

Postby Solomon » Mon Jun 08, 2015 2:54 pm

Chuck, you got me. The math is a little off if you plan to do straight walkaway splits. However, you can do it if you add either a queen cell or another frame of open brood from one of the original nucs. The queen cell option could be actualized by borrowing queen cells from other nucs already in the process of making them from the previous week's activities. That way, you're seeding the newest nucs with the second newest nucs' cells.

Week one, split from original nucs

Week two, split from original nucs again. Week one will still have queen cells, so week two nucs can have those cells. Now, math wise, you've made double the splits that you made in week one.

Week three, split from original nucs.

Week four, split from original nucs, add queen cells from week three's batch. Early queens from Week one and two may begin laying eggs.

Week five, split from original nucs. Most queens from week one and two should be laying by now.

Week six, split from original nucs, add cells from week 5, all queens should be laying, early layers from week one and two may be ready to donate a frame of eggs.

Perhaps a little complex, I should have been more conservative in my figures.
Solomon Parker, Treatment-Free 14 years, ~24 colony baseline
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Re: New Episode, #23

Postby Chuck Jachens » Mon Jun 08, 2015 5:01 pm

Thanks Solomon, using queen cells from the new nucs helps explain a lot.

My plan to make nucs on a 2 week schedule should work just about right for the first four new nucs to have queen cells ready to emerge in one to two days. Depending on the number of queen cells made, I can adjust the number of new nucs I make at in week 2 (4 from the old hives plus half of the new queen cells (leaving 2 cells per Nuc).

At week 4, the first 4 new nucs should have up to 4 new laying queens and the ones that don't can be recycled back to the old hives. Then use queen cells from the 2 week new nucs (there were 4) to fill in the remaining empty nucs. This should greatly increase my chances of having more than 6 successful nucs with laying queens. By week 4, the original nucs should be ready to swarm so I can take drawn bars from them for the newest nucs.

I am going to need to diagram this out so I can see it on paper given different success of making laying queens.

By the way, great podcast, I have listen to it numerous time driving to and from work.

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Re: New Episode, #23

Postby lharder » Tue Jun 09, 2015 2:57 am

I'm experimenting a bit with 2 frame nucs. I get a few queen cells going with a cell starter/finisher, then give each queen cell 2 medium frames of bees, brood with some stores. Once the queen starts laying I will give a frame of brood/week until they fill a single nuc box. For failures I will shake them out if they are short of bees and give the comb to someone, or give them a frame of brood with eggs to try again. The idea is that it takes resources to build a good queen, not so many to see her through her mating flight. Once she starts laying, more resources are needed to support her and get the nuc to take off. Once they reach a certain size they seem to build comb and numbers quickly and can support new nucs. I don't know my thresholds yet, but I am thinking I would like to hold my nucs in 2 5 frame medium boxes with about 7 frames full and 3 empty frames to build.
Once the nuc building season is over, I can let them fill the box, perhaps even adding a 5 frame box if necessary underneath. I had nucs building comb at the end of September last year.

I wasn't paying too close attention to the expansion math, but one thing I'm considering is the need for that first batch of brood to emerge and support the nuc. So its about 25 days for a queen to start laying, but another 21 days for those first bees to emerge. If you give capped brood to a newly laying queen, you shorten this process from a minimum of 12 days or so and things start rolling.


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