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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
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    Ridgeway, VA , USA
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    72

    Post

    I would like for someone to please explain the unlimited broodnest management. And
    some of the reversing procedures in the
    spring and does this work better with drawn
    comb for extracting or foundation for comb honey production. Some of the pros and cons.
    Thanks! Duane in Va.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    crown point, NY, USA
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    Post

    Hi Duane,

    Here are some earlier post I wrote so you can get info from them:

    Hi,
    Don't know your experience wintering nuc's. So I recommend combining the two colonies. Dequeening is optional. But I would dequeen the weaker. Wait half day or so and combine by placing on top. Use newspaper if you want but if you wait it shouldn't really be needed. Have you ever run colonies in unlimited brood nest management (3 deep)? Don't run double queen colonies at this time of year. In the spring just split the large combined colony if strong enough.

    Clay

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Yes, I think it best to unite the colonies, and will try to kill the weaker queen first. What is the brood management technique that you mention? I had planned to wait a few days for the bees to mingle, then put a bee escape under the top deep (I have two deeps in the larger colony.). After the bees have left, I will remove the third deep,take out the two remaining frames of brood, and use them to replace any empty frames in the lower deeps.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Hi,
    The management technique I am talking about isn't so much a technique but an old style of management. The use of double brood chamber in the US was to have a small enough brood nest to be able to move with ease but large enough to prevent swarming. Adopted by the commercial beekeeper(especially pollenators). In the spring colonies are split to retard swarming and make up losses. But splitting colonies causes loss of field force thus less potential crop. Not so good if one is managing for honey alone and doesn't earn $$$ from pollenation. But to secure a good crop without swarming or splitting one needs to utilize a third BROOD CHAMBER for maximum production. In double boxes often excluders are used to restrict the queen. Note the word restrict! In the use of 3 boxes the queen is encouraged to lay a maximum of eggs at all times and is never restricted. Small economical splits can bee made later in the season as brood can be taken from three chambers not two. Also feed will be minimized to almost zero. Maximum food that is all natural will be left for winter. No syrups to make or pollen patties to brew. Your work load is minimized. And you still get large populations of bees. Efficient use of your time. Many say that the bottom brood chamber is empty in the spring. I say look again! It is full of pollen. Why make patties when honeybees can provide for themselves? How does one stimulate in the spring? Add wet supers! Much can be learned from they old management style of unlimited brood nest. Try it you might like it. Those who should not use it are those whom are physically weak and can't handle heavy lifting or wish not to produce as much honey as they could (just home use). Or some in the UK and other parts who have strains of bees that don't keep large brood nests. Any questions just ask.

    regards,

    Clay


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Clay--
    Thanks for taking the time to write such a detailed reply. I was unable to find the queen, so I combined hives without dequeening. If neither queen survives, with the bees create a new queen this late in the season?
    Unlimited brood nest management sounds too good to be true -- and I do have a few questions!
    What is a wet super? Why isn't it necessary to feed either syrup or pollen substitute?
    Why isn't this management style used more frequently, since it seems to have so many advantages? (I have to lift brrod chambers to reverse them in the spring, and to clean the bottome board, so using 2 brood chambers doesn't eliminate lifting.) Are there any books or articles on unlimited brood nest management?
    Again, thanks for your help.
    Margot


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Hi Margot,
    What is a wet super?

    reply:

    One that still has honey residue in it after extracting is called wet. Dry means it was given back to the bees to clean the honey out(this may cause serious robbing). This residue of honey is used to stimulate brood rearing in the spring thus no syrup and you have suped the colony at the same time.

    Why isn't it necessary to feed either syrup or pollen substitute?

    reply:

    Because the bees have more in a three deep set up top (third box is plugged out with honey) for winter and the second brood chamber is quite full too! The old rule is to never take honey that isn't surplus, don't take from the brood chambers. There is one exception being honey bound. One needs to use judgement there. Why feed artificial feed when the bees have lots of the real deal?

    Why isn't this management style used more frequently, since it seems to have so many advantages?

    reply:

    New beekeepers aren't taught this anymore. Also these colonies can get five or more deep supers tall. How could you move them when they get so big? It doesn't lend itself well to commercial pollenation, or anywhere the bees are on the go. It is for permanent apiaries where the beekeeper makes money by honey and other hive products.

    I have to lift brrod chambers to reverse them in the spring, and to clean the bottome board, so using 2 brood chambers doesn't eliminate lifting.)

    reply:

    This is one of those things to beekeeping: lifting. You will need to place the empty bottom brood chamber on top in the spring(it still will have lots of pollen, thus you need no pollen pattty) and thus reverse. But the cluster won't be split this way, only when being moved(unless you can move two boxes at once).

    Are there any books or articles on unlimited brood nest management?

    Swarming: its control and prevention by Snelgrove. There are others, I will look them up for you. They are old books however, but still very good. Also I recommend the book, Beekeeping, a manual for english speaking beekeepers by Wedmore. You will have to look hard in used and rare book stores might be a copy or two left at barnes and nobles. com.

    regards,

    Clay

    AM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Margot,
    I can see that Clay, Robert and Richard have been helping you much here concerning information on Unlimited broodnests, combining colonies, and feeding and using wet supers. Even as to recommending books to read.

    Clay wrote me an email and asked me to put my two-cents worth in, but so far most of the bases seem to have been covered and you have already combined the colonies fine from what I am reading.

    Unlimited broodnests are an old traditional style of keeping honeybees not seen too much in todays modern world. It is production for hive products at its best.

    Most beekeepers that use unlimited broodnests today are in rural settings where such traditions can still be followed by those willing to put forth the work. The rewards can be great, both in pleasure and in products produced such as honey, pollen, propolis, wax, and yes the bees themselves for both food (protein supplement) and resale (to other beekeeers).

    A basic unlimited broodnest is about 3 deeps. Within it is contained the whole broodnest and accompanying pollen and honey, normally in a ratio of 10-10-10 not counting probably also another 10 equivalent in water to use the stores effectively in consumption.

    For every bee produced in a colony it takes a cell equivalent of water, pollen and honey to support -one- bee! With the unlimited broodnest all these are present at all times, because on a natural old system of beekeeping the bees would fill the broodnest area first and then anything above that would be for the beekeeper as his reward for keeping his animals healthy.

    In olden days it was looked up as tithing back for your animals so to have on hand food necessary to sustain them for the coming year just in case difficulties should arise in climate/weather conditions or ?

    I'm not going to go into requeening here, but you have done good and the bees might surprise you and keep both queens for awhile, though the old queen will probably die over winter and the younger will survive to carry on. This would follow natural tendencies as happens in nature, with mother, daughter supercedures in the fall season going into winter, so adequate fall brood is available to have winter carry over bees, so in the spring the colony is more certain to start up successfully again.

    I will leave you now, as you are in good hands and seem to have many good friends watching and advising you here.

    Basically all you need to do now is watch stores to make sure the bees don't run out, make sure the brood combs were combined and all the brood placed together and around that frames of honey on the sides and top for insulation, to help against the cold, as each frame of honey equals so much R-value as in actual home insulation, besides food.

    Then in the spring with help from here, just work them up as normal.

    Best regards to you:

    Dee-

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    To all the beekeepers who have taken the time to offer such helpful advice--
    I think it's probably too late to try to winter over three brood chambers at this point, since I don't have enough full frames, espcially of pollen. I'm feeding syrup now, however, and bees are taking it readily. I'll open the hive this week-end, but will probably use two brood cahmbers plus the shallow full of honey which I've saved for winter stores. This arrangement worked well last winter. I put a piece of foam inside the outer cover, for insulation and prevention of condensation -- and the bees took the northern New England winter in stride.
    I will try three deeps next season -- but still wonder why, when it has so many advantages, this method isn't used by more beekeepers.
    Many thanks to all the geneous members of the beekeeping community for sharing their experience.
    Margot


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Hi Margot,
    but still wonder why, when it has so many advantages, this method isn't used by more beekeepers.

    reply:

    Here's one reason, you need more equipment so cost is more to run a colony. Also, this method is to heavy for pollenation work. Many modern beekeepers like to stip every nugget of honey from a hive. Then replace with syrup to compensate. this is unnatural and a bit unhealthy in my POV to do this time after time. Also who is telling new beekeepers this method? No one anymore. But now you are awhere of it and can utilize it if you like. There is much to learn going the old way.

    Clay


    This is good starter Info.

    regards,

    Clay




  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    crown point, NY, USA
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    Post

    Hi,

    Here is more:


    I'm beginning to understand more about this system of manaagement ( and will order Snelgrave's book soon) but I still have questions:
    How does the use of three deeps eliminate supplemental feedings of syrup and pollen, and yet produce more honey? Do you use any shallow supers, or just deeps?

    Why does a queen excluder reduce the amount of brood? Doesn't the queen just stay in the available deeps, and lay the same number of eggs?

    If you leave three deeps on during the winter, can the cluster produce enough heat to survive in the larger area?

    And, on a completely different topic, what is the difference between this board and the BeeData Bulletin Board?

    Thanks to the many beekeepers who've provided detailed answers to my questions!


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Hi,
    How does the use of three deeps eliminate supplemental feedings of syrup and pollen

    reply:

    The bees fill them naturally. You Don't touch their honey as they make theirs first. This insures winter survival and what is surplus is yours.

    and yet produce more honey?

    reply:

    In bad years you won't produce more honey. BUT.....your bees will have food to survive that is natural. Yes you will get surplus just not as much. The reverse is true in good years. All that is happening is that instead of stripping your bees of honey and pollen then replacing it with syrup and pollen sub. you are leaving the real deal there. Also you eliminate most of (if not all)the lugging of feeders and syrup and all that is involved with that.For example if you harvest 80 lbs of honey. Yet you feed back 40 lbs worth in syrup. Did you really make 80 lbs that was surplus? No only 40. This is some of the thought behind this management style. This style of management takes care of the bees first then the beekeeper. You will find that if you do this the bees will in turn take care of you(profit).

    Do you use any shallow supers

    reply:

    Yes, I do. The three brood chambers are deeps so that combs are interchangable. the third deep is often quite full of honey and the queen rarly goes above. Thus I use excluders very sparingly. Shallows are good for cut comb honey too.

    or just deeps?

    reply:

    I use these too! They make they hive very flexible so combs are interchangeable. I will be going more in this direction. What ever the super you want to use use it, its your choice. I like both. Just don't add a third type super size or your will have a frame sizing mess. (note: section supers are fine as they can't be confused)

    Why does a queen excluder reduce the amount of brood?

    reply:

    The answer is in its name it excludes the queen. What happens when the two brood chambers are full of honey pollen and brood? If you had the third available the queen would just keep on laying. Swarm! Swarm! Swarm! Congestion! The queen is restricted with an excluder. Thus less bees as she has no options to lay more brood = less production. Easier to just let her lay and manipulate frame where you what them. Use excluders only when neccessary.

    Doesn't the queen just stay in the available deeps, and lay the same number of eggs?

    reply:

    Yes this would be true, not always. BUT when honey and pollen start filling in these combs she runs out of room quickly. Swarm, congestion! Many queens are quite prolific.An unrestricted queen is better in my POV.

    If you leave three deeps on during the winter, can the cluster produce enough heat to survive in the larger area?

    reply:

    Of course! I live in the Adirondack mountains of NY. Honey is a natural insulator. It has a good R value. Bees only heat what they need not the whole hive. This isn't a problem.

    Clay- keep asking






  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Ridgeway, VA , USA
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    Post

    Question 1: Do you have problems with the
    queen laying above the 3rd deep in your
    surplus honey?
    Question 2: How do you put wet supers on
    in the spring when you have not yet collected
    any honey to extract?
    Question 3: Do you do anything special in
    the spring to prevent swarming other than
    moving the bottom deep to the top? And when
    would be a good time to do that? In relation
    to first major nectar flow.
    Question 4: How often do you go through the
    3 deeps and check out everything? And how
    thorough are you when going through? Do you
    check every single frame or what is your
    normal procedure?
    Question 5: How many supers do you add in
    the spring and when do you add them?
    Question 6: Do you requeen every year?
    Question 7: How do you store your drawn
    comb in the winter months?
    Just some things on my mind after reading the reply. Thanks a bunch for your time! It is greatly appreciated!

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    crown point, NY, USA
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    Post

    Hi,

    Question 1: Do you have problems with the
    queen laying above the 3rd deep in your
    surplus honey?

    reply:

    Yes the queen does from time to time lay up in the fourth. I don't see it as a problem. Just manipulate the brood down and honey up. Or sometime if alot of brood I take the fourth box off add a cell and make up colonies.


    Question 2: How do you put wet supers on
    in the spring when you have not yet collected
    any honey to extract?

    reply:

    They are wet from the following season. I store them after extraction wet.

    Question 3: Do you do anything special in
    the spring to prevent swarming other than
    moving the bottom deep to the top?

    reply:

    I reverse as one normally does just using three boxes instead of two. Other than adding supers early not much. The goal is to encourage the queen to lay as much as possible with out any restrictions, thus the word "unlimited" brood management. I normal have about 1 or 2 swarms per 50 colonies. This type of management cuts down on congestion the major cause of much swarming.

    And when
    would be a good time to do that? In relation
    to first major nectar flow

    reply:

    Somewhat earlier than when you see the first dandelions. I reverse a little earlier than most. You need to get a feel for what works in your area.

    Question 4: How often do you go through the
    3 deeps and check out everything? And how
    thorough are you when going through? Do you
    check every single frame or what is your
    normal procedure?

    reply:

    A few times a year. Some hives that have problems get more visits those that look OK get less. Twice a year very through. The rest of the time a frame or two to check queens. Sometimes to check if the third is plugged out and to see if it must be opened up.

    Question 5: How many supers do you add in
    the spring and when do you add them?

    reply:

    Two deep for starters (or equivenant). For sections I cut the colony down to a single putting the daughter behind. Add two section boxes. Adding more as needed.Then recombine later in the season.

    Question 6: Do you requeen every year?

    No. Every other year. Mostly from my own stock (99%). I raise queens every year for nucs that I overwinter. I requeen in the fall usually. I'm a firm believer in locally adapted stock.

    Question 7: How do you store your drawn
    comb in the winter months?

    reply:

    Some inside some out. I like my section boxes inside. I stack the supers tall put on lids to keep mice out. No chemicals for wax moths. It gets cold here so theres little problem. Basically just need to use lids to keep out rodents.

    Clay



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Post

    I have trouble imaging storing wet supers for the winter. Don't the ants and the mice get into them?

    Has anyone considered that a retrogressed bee hive with 4.9mm cells has a third again as many cells? Wouldn't two boxes, then be enough for the queen to have plenty of room?

    I've tried three boxes and here's all of my reasons not to:

    The top deep box is REALLY heavy. So is the 2nd from the top. Only the bottom one is a reasonable weight.

    The queen is much more difficult to find in three boxes than in two.

    The hive is automatically almost 10 inches taller, and taller is one of my problems in the first place. I get a booming hive and I end up with a sky scraper.

    If you have to time to do more managment (and if you alread are doing more managment, e.g. using brood comb in the brood nest for varroa control etc.) Then you can pull some of the honey bound frames out and put above the excluder (making sure the queen isn't on them of course) and put some empty extracted frames on for the queen to lay in, or (if you're in the middle of regressing like I am) you can put an empty frame in it's place and let them draw it out. It doesn't even matter if they have brood in them as long as you don't take the queen.

    This brings up the other subject, which is that you can't do this unless you're running the same kind of frames above and below the excluder. If you run three mediums below and mediums above this can work. I run deeps below and half size (two four frame deeps side by side) above. But 10 frame full deep supers are too much work for me.

    I build the four frame boxes. I put a 3/8" notch on the bottom of one side so the bees can communicate between the two boxes. I also use them for four frame nucs and the notch acts as the entrance. The bottom board is just a flat board.

    I haven't tried the half boxes for a third brood chamber because I don't like splitting up the brood nest with the side walls. But maybe it would work better than I think and maybe it wouldn't. Maybe someday I'll get around to trying it out.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
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    Ridgeway, VA , USA
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    Post

    Thanks for the info. I still have a few questions.
    Question 1: If I used the queen excluder above the 3rd brood box (unlimited brood area) what kind of surplus could I expect?

    Question 2: Could you explain what you are
    looking for when reversing in the spring?
    I've never had any experience with reversing.
    I'm just now converting over to the double
    brood arrangement.

    Question 3: With one brood box I spend a
    decent amount of time examining each frame.
    Mostly looking for swarm cells, etc...
    With this unlimited brood arrangement what
    are some of the things you look for in examining a hive, to only have to examine a
    good hive only 2 times a year?

    Question 4: Could you clarify this a little.

    For sections I cut the colony down to a single putting the daughter behind. Add two section boxes. Adding more as needed.Then recombine later in the season.

    Question 5: Do you see any need for using (para- dichloro-benzene) in winter for wax moths?

  8. #8
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    Jun 2002
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    Ridgeway, VA , USA
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    Post

    Also : Do you use upper entrances and if so
    how do you use them with the unlimited brood
    management? Thanks, Duane in VA.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Cache Valley, UT
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    5

    Post

    Have been reading with much interest on this topic of unlimited brood nests. One question I do have is when I stored my wet supers from last year I noticed some molding on the frames does this affect the bee's? They seemed to have cleaned them out allright and are doing well. This is my first post and will post an intro later.

    Thanks,




    [This message has been edited by Cachebeeman (edited August 06, 2002).]

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    crown point, NY, USA
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    Post

    Hi Michael,


    I have trouble imaging storing wet supers for the winter. Don't the ants and the mice get into them?

    reply:

    I stack them tight with lids. No real ant or rodent problems as lids are used.

    Has anyone considered that a retrogressed bee hive with 4.9mm cells has a third again as many cells? Wouldn't two boxes, then be enough for the queen to have plenty of room?

    reply:

    3/4 of my colonies are now on 4.9 or in the process of. As you know the broodnest fills in with nectar and pollen limiting available cells even in a 4.9 broodnest. Still three brood chamber seem more effective to manage brood. Also if you have a copy of ABC XYZ read up on the section of utilizing the "food Chamber" which is a part of unlimited broodnest manage. Not only does one have to manage brood but food for winter.

    I've tried three boxes and here's all of my reasons not to:

    The top deep box is REALLY heavy. So is the 2nd from the top. Only the bottom one is a reasonable weight.

    reply:

    I should be heavy it means the bees have food. Beekeeping is work lifting heavy boxes is the norm. But if one wants smaller colonies split them and run two brood chambers for a smaller lighter work if that suits you.

    The queen is much more difficult to find in three boxes than in two.

    reply:

    One only needs to find queens for requeening. Eggs let you know you are queenright. If there is a problem the colony will be weak thus much less brood to look through. To waste little time much can be seen just examining the the entrance of the hive to know whats happening.

    The hive is automatically almost 10 inches taller, and taller is one of my problems in the first place. I get a booming hive and I end up with a sky scraper.

    reply:

    Unlimited broodnests aren't everyones cup of tea. I like them stacked tall personally.


    and if you alread are doing more managment, e.g. using brood comb in the brood nest for varroa control etc.) Then you can pull some of the honey bound frames out and put above the excluder (making sure the queen isn't on them of course) and put some empty extracted frames on for the queen to lay in,

    reply:

    Yes this is called opening up in unlimited broodnest management.

    Manage your hives as you like. If what you are doing works for you go for it. There are many ways to manage bees. Just making the info avaiable to those who would like to manage in this method.

    regards,

    Clay


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
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    crown point, NY, USA
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    Post

    Hi Duane,

    Question 1: If I used the queen excluder above the 3rd brood box (unlimited brood area) what kind of surplus could I expect?

    reply:

    About the same. But you really shouldn't need one.

    Question 2: Could you explain what you are
    looking for when reversing in the spring?
    I've never had any experience with reversing.
    I'm just now converting over to the double
    brood arrangement.

    reply:

    Healthy cluster. You just want to put expansion space over the bees to work up into without splitting the cluster. Some colonies work down and sometimes don't need reversing. Go with common sense in these situations.

    With this unlimited brood arrangement what
    are some of the things you look for in examining a hive, to only have to examine a
    good hive only 2 times a year?

    reply:

    Full brood patterns, eggs, honey stores, pollen, and diseases.

    For sections I cut the colony down to a single putting the daughter behind. Add two section boxes. Adding more as needed.Then recombine later in the season.

    reply:

    Its the basic Killion method for sections. Get a copy of the book HONEY IN THE COMB (or the video).

    Question 5: Do you see any need for using (para- dichloro-benzene) in winter for wax moths?


    reply:

    No. Never! I refuse to you such chems.

    Clay


  12. #12
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    Dec 2000
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    Post

    Hi,


    Also : Do you use upper entrances and if so
    how do you use them with the unlimited brood
    management? Thanks, Duane in VA.

    reply:

    Yes. I do. Notch in inner covers. Not really part of the unlimited broodnest management just an entrance and vent.

    Clay


  13. #13
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    Post

    Hi,

    One question I do have is when I stored my wet supers from last year I noticed some molding on the frames does this affect the bee's? They seemed to have cleaned them out allright and are doing well.

    reply:

    No. They clean them. It hurts nothing.

    Clay


  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2002
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    San Mateo, CA
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    Post

    "I get a booming hive and I end up with a sky scraper."

    YIPPEE... may my apiary in July look like the downtown of any major metropolitan city. The more 400 lb. crop skyscrapers you have THE BIGGER YOUR CROP WILL BE !!!! Thats the whole idea !!!!

  15. #15
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    Jun 2002
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    Ridgeway, VA , USA
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    Post

    Clayton, This unlimited brood management
    really sounds good. I will make plans to
    make one of these (TOWERS OF HONEY) this spring. And give it a try. I love experimenting anyhow. That's the fun of it. Thanks for all the help and info.
    Duane in VA.

  16. #16
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    Post

    I certainly did not mean to criticize anyones method of managment. I was merely pointing out the things I didn't like when I tried it.

    Here's what I like about the unlimited brood nest concept:

    I like to run my hives with no queen excluder because it seems a bit unnatural to me to make the poor bees squeeze through those little openings. Also, the old plastic and zinc ones did not seem that smooth and it would seem it would wear out their wings. The newer plastic ones and the wood bound metal ones seem much better, but still running one without the exluder seem more natural.

    You have to worry less about being honey bound, just because there's more room for the queen to work, but still, it's a good idea to check for it.

    You don't spend any energy worrying about the bees when it was a long winter and it's too cold to go check on them and you're afraid it took more stores than you anticipated.

    I'm a computer programmer and I could give you 100 reasons you don't want to program, 50 of which are "you have to maintain it", but that doesn't stop me from doing it.



  17. #17
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    Jun 2002
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    Post

    Question 1:When is the best time of the year to combine colonies to create one unlimited
    brood colony?

    Question 2:What is the best way to set
    up this colony from 2 or 3 colonies and
    what kind of arrangement should the brood,
    pollin, honey frames be in, in this colony.

    Thanks. Duane in VA.

  18. #18
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    Post

    Here's my humble opinion:

    >Question 1:When is the best time of the year to combine colonies to create one unlimited
    brood colony?
    Is your only motivation for this to create an unlimited brood nest? You don't need to combine to do that. Just pull out the queen excluder and put in another brood box, of if it's too close to winter, add it next year. If you have a good reason for a combine (one or two weak colonies) then by all means do it. Most any time of year that the bees are active works for a combine. (In other words not in cold weather)

    >Question 2:What is the best way to set
    up this colony from 2 or 3 colonies and
    what kind of arrangement should the brood,
    pollin, honey frames be in, in this colony.
    You want to end up with three brood chambers, but if you are combining two hives with two you'll end up with four. I suppose how I would go about it depends on the bees situation. If there's a honey flow or not etc.

    My first step would be to get to the colonies used to each other. A double screen board is nice for this. The biggest risk for a combine is if one hive is much stronger and more aggressive they may attack the other one. The nice thing about the double screen is they have some time to get used to each other before you remove it. I've done most of mine with just one layer of newspaper. The bees chew out the newspaper and usually they are friends by the time they are done.

    What I would use would depend on the bees. If there's a honey flow and there's no robbing and they are not bored, they usually combine easily. If there's been robbing going on, there's a dearth etc. they will not combine easily. You might find it would help to feed both colonies before the combine (if there is a dearth) so they will be happier and less bored. If you have doubts about them getting along use a double newspaper.

    You haven't got a lot of choice at first when you combine as to the arrangement. You'll have to have all of one colony on top of the other until they get aquainted.

    After a few days of them getting along you could go through all of the brood chambers and sort frames from the four brood chambers (two from each hive) to the three. Work from the current hive location to a bottom board and a couple of empty boxes right next to it. Put the brood in the box on the bottom board, and the honey in the other box. Make sure the queen is in the brood and not the honey. When you have emptied a brood chamber you can use it for the next brood chamber on the new hive. Keep filling the brood chambers with brood until you can't find any more. Odds are you'll have room in those bottom three boxes for a few frames of just honey. If you end up with more brood than will fit in three boxes you can put some above the queen excluder (if you're using one) as long as there is no queen in them. Or if you are not running an excluder just put them in a fourth box.

    As to which queen to keep, I'd keep the one from the hive that is the most productive and the most gentle (usually they are the same hive). Just kill the other one, or if you like leave her and you may end up with a two queen hive.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Ames, Iowa
    Posts
    3

    Question

    Wouldn't a good way to shift to Unlimited Broodnest Management be to just add a clean deep super to the top in the Spring? (Feeding the bees as necessary the first year)

    Bruce

    [This message has been edited by Sub_Diver (edited August 14, 2002).]

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Marion, North Carolina
    Posts
    423

    Post

    I have read all the following post and was wondering if anyone would like to take a stab at how many bees would possibly be in a hive like has been described. I realize that certain conditions could change that result.

    If you had a very good queen and a major honey flow?

    Any ideas!!!

    thanks

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