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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
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    Jonquière, Quebec (ABOVE 48th parallel North!!)
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    Question

    Hello

    My last inspection at one of my hive (a new one) showed me this pattern:

    1st deep:Frame 1 to 10
    1: Drawn and empty
    2: Undrawn
    3: about 1/5 drawn, with honey and some pollen in it
    4 to 8: Brood just born (the queen is on one of those)
    9: Honey and pollen
    10: Drawn with a little honey and pollen

    2nd deep: (originally 10 foundation frames)
    1 and 2: Undrawn
    3: Interior face being drawn with eggs in it, some honey and pollen too
    4 to 8: Drawn and really full of capped brood
    9 and 10: Undrawn

    I added a third deep this week with all foundation to (I read somewhere to add a new box when about 5-6 frames below it are drawn and full of brood or honey), but it is yet to be drawn. The bees have to visit it because I am feeding them continuously with 1:1 syrup with a Miller type feeder.

    The question is: Should I rearrange the brood nest by taking the capped brood from the 2nd box down and taking the ones just "born" up? And what would be better for having the bees to build the untouched frames (I need drawn frames...)

    Hugo
    First season in beekeeping and enjoying it a lot...

    [This message has been edited by abeille (edited July 09, 2003).]

    [This message has been edited by abeille (edited July 09, 2003).]

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
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    Naples, Maine
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    Post

    Abeille,

    I'm not quite sure how many deep bodies that you need for Quebec, but, here in Maine we usually use 2 deeps. Anything more added on top of the hive would be supers. You can use a deep body as a super but, it will be pretty heavy when it is full and capped.

    You said:

    "My last inspection at one of my hive (a new one) showed me this pattern:

    1st deep:Frame 1 to 10
    1: Drawn and empty
    2: Undrawn
    3: about 1/5 drawn, with honey and some pollen in it
    4 to 8: Brood just born (the queen is on one of those)
    9: Honey and pollen
    10: Drawn with a little honey and pollen"

    This one seems to be O.K. from my experience. The queen will lay new eggs in the "just-emptied" cells as soon as the workers clean them.

    "2nd deep: (originally 10 foundation frames)
    1 and 2: Undrawn
    3: Interior face being drawn with eggs in it, some honey and pollen too
    4 to 8: Drawn and really full of capped brood
    9 and 10: Undrawn"

    Here, you have about 4-1/2 frames undrawn. An old-time beekeeper that taught me always told me not to add another deep body (or super) until the last one added has at least 8-10 frames drawn. He said that the bees will forget about the remaining frames and start working on the new frames. This will cause your hive to be less than fully developed and the queen will have fewer places to lay eggs. This will not let the queen build up the hive strength as well. The pattern of drawn to undrawn sounds like it is normal to me. Usually the bees will start to draw the center frames first and then work their way out to both sides as they need more comb.

    "I added a third deep this week with all foundation to (I read somewhere to add a new box when about 5-6 frames below it are drawn and full of brood or honey), but it is yet to be drawn. The bees have to visit it because I am feeding them continuously with 1:1 syrup with a Miller type feeder."

    First see my note above, and another thing I was told is that you want to be very careful when you move brood frames and drawn/undrawn comb around. The old-timer told me to make sure that I never place undrawn combs between full sections of brood comb. This will split the brood and can cause some bad changes in the egg laying pattern. The second thing that I would suggest is to leave the brood frames where they are. I would probably remove the third deep, forcing the bees to finish drawing out all of the combs in the first and second deeps before considering to add the third.

    "The question is: Should I rearrange the brood nest by taking the capped brood from the 2nd box down and taking the ones just "born" up? And what would be better for having the bees to build the untouched frames (I need drawn frames...)"

    I have typically found that the bees work best when I leave them alone. If anything, I'd suggest taking off the third deep, remove the feeder (if there is adequate forage for them now, I would think that there should be) and basically just monitor their drawing of the remaining combs. If you want to add the third deep, I'd wait for them to have drawn out 9-10 frames in both of the first 2 deeps before adding the third.

    "Hugo
    First season in beekeeping and enjoying it a lot..."

    I'm glad that you are enjoying it. I've been keeping bees for a few years and still find it amazing. There is always so much more to learn from them.

    Hope this helps,
    Paul


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
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    6,080

    Post

    Abeille,

    Your swarm season should be on the decline and since your bees have not only foundation to draw, but honey stores to save for winter, I would let them pack the existing deeps to the max. I always think that getting through that first winter is important and with most major honey flows over thats what I would concentrate on.

    Once they draw the deeps, then put on a super and hopefully you can get a nice fall flow. But this is not something that always happens.

    They still have a ways to go in what I would feel comfortable going into winter with.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Jonquière, Quebec (ABOVE 48th parallel North!!)
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    Big Grin

    Greetings Paul,

    Your answer is very appreciated.

    Here in Quebec we run our hives with one or two deeps, depending on the strength of the colony. Since I don't intend to have a lot of hives (maybe 8 next summer, now I have 4), I prefer working with deep supers too. All the boxes being alike, it is easier to manage them for me. But maybe as you said will I find it eavy to work with, so we'll see for next summer.

    Here the flow is going well I think, but I don't intend to harvest honey this season. My hives are nucs that I bought recently, and after checking for varroa I found some so I decided not to wait and treat them woth Apistan for 42 days. So I can feed them, ensuring that they have enough for secreting all that wax I need.

    But I will follow your advice and remove the deep super I just put on and wait.

    Best regards,

    Hugo
    Alma, Quebec

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Post

    If you want to run an "unlimited brood nest" configuration then you are right to run three deeps or four mediums for brood. That top deep will end up being mostly honey and, as Paul said, will be very heavy. Clayton and the Lusby's are fond of all deeps for a hive, but I'm a wimp. I'm tired of all those heavy deeps.

    I agree with Paul on the rest. As to adding another box, I'd wait a little. Meaning, since you didn't you could pull it back off. Not that it will be a disaster if you don't, but they bees will probably ignore the next box for a while and then ignore the outside frames on the bottom boxes.

    I don't rearrange a brood nest unless I have a problem with it being honey bound. If there's not room for the queen to lay, then I worry about it. The bees have gone to a lot of trouble to arrange things the way they want them and if you rearrange them they will just try to get back the old arrangment. As Paul says, if you make big gaps in the brood nest it's difficult for them to maintain it. On the other hand, sometimes they need the room and you make gaps so they can have the room. It is also a quick way to get some comb drawn to put it in the mddile of the brood nest. They don't like the gap and will quickly try to draw it out and the queen will lay it up soon after or during the drawing of it.

    I'm not trying to be critical, but "born" is an ambiguous term when refering to bees. They are layed, hatched, capped, and emerged, but I can't tell if "born" refers to hatched larvae or emerging brood. I'm assuming it's hatched larvae.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
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    Jonquière, Quebec (ABOVE 48th parallel North!!)
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    Post

    Greetings Bjornbee,

    Here the winter feeding with 2:1 syrup takes place around mid-september. I will feed the hives with 60 pounds of sugar diluted in a 2:1 solution. That is the official recommandation for our northern climate to winter the hives outside with two deeps. Since that hive has a 2002 queen, I ordered a new one that I'll receive august 8th. I intend to requeen by using a double screened frame technique, having two queens laying for a few weeks, increasing the amount of brood that will become my winter bees, and making sure that my new queen is good and well accepted.

    I also want to make them build as much frames as possible since all my hives are new ones, with only foundation to give them as a place to live. That is the reason why I wanted to place a third deep box (but maybe I did it a bit early )

    Regards

    Hugo

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Jonquière, Quebec (ABOVE 48th parallel North!!)
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    Post

    Greetings Michael,

    you wrote: I'm not trying to be critical, but "born" is an ambiguous term when refering to bees. They are layed, hatched, capped, and emerged, but I can't tell if "born" refers to hatched larvae or emerging brood. I'm assuming it's hatched larvae.

    You are right, born is unclear. I mean emerged. It is just that I am not always good in finding the right word, since I am french speaking and my english is not that good. So feel free to teach me the right words so I can improve.

    Hugo



    [This message has been edited by abeille (edited July 09, 2003).]

  8. #8
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    Post

    People who speak English as their first language often confuse hatching and emerging. It's an easy thing to confuse since when a chicken hatches it's out running around, but when a bee hatches it has several more life changes to go through bfore it emerges and then starts running around.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Dahlonega, Ga
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    41

    Wink

    Hugo,
    Your English is very understandable and clear. I would've never knew that it was your second language.

    Regards,
    Greysmoke

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
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    Dahlonega, Ga
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    Post

    Michael,
    You are absolutely correct, and I certainly would've been the first one to mess up this terminology. When dealing with the girls one has to speak the right "lingo" or I can imagine that it would be confusing.

    *learning something new everyday on this site*

    Regards,
    Greysmoke

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Jonquière, Quebec (ABOVE 48th parallel North!!)
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    Wink

    Good evening

    Thank you Greystoke for your kind words on my second language.

    I just visited my hive today and saw that the queen already laid in the newly emerged (this time I got it right )) frames in the bottom deep. The bees finished drawing frame 3 and are doing well at building frame 2. On the upper deep, there is now 6 1/2 drawn frames of brood, plus a frame 1/2 of honey. So only the two outer frames remain to be drawn. The third box (the uppermost) has the center frame with bees already working on it, alomg with the two adjacent faces of it, so I decided to leave the deep on. They emptied my Miller type feeder wich I filled with 2 gallons of 1:1 syrup last week. I gave them two more gallons today.

    BTW, I saw what you meant when you told me that smaller supers are easyer to manipulate when full: the second deep is really heavy now, so I will consider it for next year...

    I also have another hive that is really weak. Last week, I re-queened it, because the old queen wasn't producing a lot of brood (about 3-4 frames, but only in the top of it), and I found earlier two supercedure cells. I checked back today, 8 days from the introduction of the queen, and saw eggs in a frame, wich is a good sign, but didn't find the queen. I also noticed more capped drone cells than before, and a new supercedure cell at the top of a frame wich doesn't appear to have an egg in it.

    My first thoughts are that the new queen is dead and ther is a laying worker in the hive. As I said, it is a really weak hive that I didn't "joined" (again I am not sure of the right word) with another one just for the kick of trying to make it grow strong with time and a new queen. I will give this hive another week to confirm my feeling, and if there is no queen, I will join it with another hive.

    Should I do things another way ?

    Hugo

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
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    crown point, NY, USA
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    Post

    Hi Micheal,

    Clayton and the Lusby's are fond of all deeps for a hive, but I'm a wimp. I'm tired of all those heavy deeps.

    reply:

    It isn't that I'm soooooo tough. I'm not that big, I weigh about 150 lbs. Nowadays I move things around differently than I used to. I can still move full supers if I need to go fast. But if I don't I prefer to transfer frames. These are much easier to move :> )

    As for adding the super to the hive above, I'd let the colony develope some more. Then either add the super on again or you could even try adding the brood box (super) under the colony also.

    Clay


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Post

    >I just visited my hive today and saw that the queen already laid in the newly emerged (this time I got it right )) frames in the bottom deep.

    Sounds like the queen is doing what she should.

    >The bees finished drawing frame 3 and are doing well at building frame 2. On the upper deep, there is now 6 1/2 drawn frames of brood, plus a frame 1/2 of honey. So only the two outer frames remain to be drawn. The third box (the uppermost) has the center frame with bees already working on it, alomg with the two adjacent faces of it, so I decided to leave the deep on. They emptied my Miller type feeder wich I filled with 2 gallons of 1:1 syrup last week. I gave them two more gallons today.

    Sound like they are well on their way to being prepared for winter.

    >BTW, I saw what you meant when you told me that smaller supers are easyer to manipulate when full: the second deep is really heavy now, so I will consider it for next year...

    As Clayton says, you can try to move them a frame at a time, but that takes ten times longer and upsets more bees. It's a trade off.

    >I also have another hive that is really weak. Last week, I re-queened it, because the old queen wasn't producing a lot of brood (about 3-4 frames, but only in the top of it), and I found earlier two supercedure cells.

    Cups without eggs? Bees often build these and don't do anything with them.

    >I checked back today, 8 days from the introduction of the queen, and saw eggs in a frame, wich is a good sign, but didn't find the queen.

    Probably there is a queen (there certainly was) because there are eggs.

    >I also noticed more capped drone cells than before, and a new supercedure cell at the top of a frame wich doesn't appear to have an egg in it.

    I conisder capped drone cells normal. If the bees build the cells any queen will lay in them. When you see mostly drone that's bad.

    >My first thoughts are that the new queen is dead and ther is a laying worker in the hive.

    I consider a lot of double and triple eggs in a cell a signof a laying worker. Not capped drone. I'd look for the queen some more.

    >As I said, it is a really weak hive that I didn't "joined" (again I am not sure of the right word) with another one just for the kick of trying to make it grow strong with time and a new queen.

    Does it have a new queen?

    >I will give this hive another week to confirm my feeling, and if there is no queen, I will join it with another hive.

    A new queen might change everything.

    >Should I do things another way ?

    Either a new queen or a join (combine) is a good thing to do with a weak failing hive. It depends on how much you want to work and if you want to end up with two hives and if you want to spend the money for another queen or try to raise one.


  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
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    Jonquière, Quebec (ABOVE 48th parallel North!!)
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    Post

    Michael,

    to answer to your question, the weak hive as a new queen (wich I introduced 10 days ago). What I noted with the drone cells is that there wasn't that much with the old queen, and now I see much more. Not all are drone cells, but there is a noticable higher quantity of it. I hope to get my answer next week ,when the eggs I saw will be capped.

    I will keep in touch about this.


    Hugo

  15. #15
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    Dec 2000
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    crown point, NY, USA
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    Post

    Hi Micheal,

    As Clayton says, you can try to move them a frame at a time, but that takes ten times longer and upsets more bees. It's a trade off.

    reply:

    I should say also that I use bee escape boards too. Using biological methods I can use no chem's so it rules out fume boards and such. So I'm left with brushing, escapes, shaking, abandonment, or blower. I don't use a blower as Its not my style makes to much noise for me. But if you use escape boards and move frames two at a time you can go pretty quick. No bees bouncing, no need for smoking (but I have it ready), no crushed bees, light on suiting up. When I harvest a yard I try to put escapes on half the yard, and brush the other half (so as not to waste a trip). Extract when home and return the supers if mid season and harvest again above escapes next day. Then bottom super taking the next super for harvest. If a strong flow is on I can use abandonment on half the yard brush the other half. By the time I'm done most super will have only a few bees. Load up and go home, clanking out a few bees if necessary. Why do I brush? Well I find it the best way to take single frame when opening up 3rds. It allows the beekeeper to be amoung the bees. Also you learn the sounds bees make and over time can tell there mood by sound. From a gentle hum to a deep growling sound. With fume boards and even escapes you just don't get to observe this so well. I always figured its like any animal owner, if you didn't want to spend time with them you need to ask yourself why you own them? My fascination with bees has been strong for 20 years now. I love there complex simplicity ;> )

    Clay


  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Post

    I've ended up with the same basic system for robbing. I've never even tried the fume boards. I have tried a variety of escapes and like the triagular one the most. It doesn't get them all out but most of them and then I have to go a frame at a time. But I've moved the boxes at least once by then.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
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    crown point, NY, USA
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    Post

    Hi Micheal,

    I used to use alternating fume boards back in my chemical usage days. They do work well. But after observing the bees for the next few days they just didn't seem to behave properly. But in those days I guess I just didn't care so much and speed was the most important thing. Then I heard that (at the time) that some packers were refusing honey because the use of honey robber and such chemicals were so strong it was making the honey unsaleable. I went to sniff test the honey and sure indeed there was a faint smell of the chemical on the honey. I decided then and there that this was unacceptable the image of honey to the public needs to held at a high standard. Then the learning process of harvesting 50 or so colonies by brush and board began.......

    Micheal, have you used Dadants cone escape boards? How would you rate them with the quebec style boards (triangle)?

    Clay

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Post

    >have you used Dadants cone escape boards? How would you rate them with the quebec style boards (triangle)?

    I haven't. I've seen pictures of them. I have used mutiple of the little ones that fit in the inner covers. Several of them work several times better than one, but the triangular ones are much better and I thought they were as good as I could hope. I just brush the few remaining bees off.



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