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Thread: Checkerboarding

  1. #1
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    I have been reading about Walt Wrights method of nectar and swarm management called Checkerboarding. Has anyone tried it out? And how well has it worked?
    The Busy Bee teaches two lessons: One is not to be idle and the other is not to get stung.

  2. #2
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    Walt Wright's ideas changed my life!

    They work real well if you feel comfortable giving your queen all the room she wants (some call this "open brood nest").

    If you want to read all his stuff, here is a link:

    http://www.knology.net/~k4vb/all%20walt%20articles.htm

    (the previous link needs to be all on one line)

    Grant
    Jackson, MO
    Beekeeping With Twenty-five Hives: https://www.createspace.com/4152725

  3. #3
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    Do a search here, also on "checkerboarding". There have been several discussions.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
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    I had hives go from so-so, to booming in 3 weeks by using this methoed. It is a really good way to make big, strong hives in a quick hurry. I admit it can be time consuming if you run alot of hives, but it is an awesome way to get stronger hives and reduce swarming.
    "I reject your reality, and substitute my own." Adam Savage

  5. #5
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    im kind of embarrassed to say this, but I could not find the down and dirty explanation. (but a whole lot of scholarly articles that overdo the scientific it as far as im concerned...) Maybe one day I will want to get more edumaficated on this here bee thang, but right now just give me the 5 step please.

  6. #6
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    Aug 2004
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    FordGuy, I posted my protocol for checkerboarding hives (nectar management) on the following thread: Bee Forum » Experiment participants wanted. Take a look and see if you can use it.

    http://www.beesource.com/cgi-bin/ubb...2;t=004509;p=1

    Jim

  7. #7
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    Mr. young, that makes sense - thanks.

  8. #8
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    Marking this for notification. If anyone knows how to do this without posting something, let me know through PM.

  9. #9
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    Roy,

    Can you and Walt Wright provide any insight if there are any genera of trees occurring USA-wide which can be used as an indicator when "Hardwood Green-up" has arrived? For instance, the old timers in Oklahoma would plant field corn when Blackjack Oak tree (Quercus marilandica) leaves were the size of squirrel's ears. The Blackjack Oak trees leaved-out later than the White or Red Oak trees. It would be great if the growth stage of leaves for either the widely occurring Maple trees (Acer L.) or Oak trees (Quercus L.) or other tree genera could be used as a gauge for determining when "Hardwood Green-up" has arrived, thus corresponding to "swarm cut-off date".

    Jim Young

  10. #10
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    Jim,

    That's a tall order. Walt has looked at planting charts for the country and the variations would surprise you. The different conditions in a single state alone (moisture, temperature, elevation, etc.) can cause wide variations in plant schedules.

    It is more important to observe what the bees are doing in YOUR hives and couple that to what the plants are doing in your area. Walt goes into considerable detail regarding the 'operational modes' in the hive in his manuscript and I am trying to get him to create a single-page 'How to' guide. He has other things higher on his priority list right now and I am not sure when he might get to it.

    In the mean time, there were some pretty good guidelines posted in the "Beesource Forums » General Beekeeping Forums » Bee Forum » Experiment participants wanted" thread, and Michael Bush has a good working knowledge of the principles involved.

    Hope this helps.

  11. #11
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    >Michael Bush has a good working knowledge of the principles involved.

    I suppose I have the general principles of what the hive is doing (spring buildup, swarm buildup, backfulling the brood nest), but I never really matched it up well to the blooms. I have read Walt's manuscript and tried to distill that down in the "Experiment" thread. I will be paying more attention this year.

    But, this year, the fruit trees have buds on them already and that's a good month and a half or two months early. My pear, apple and cherry trees all have buds. So I'm not sure how useful this year's observations will be.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  12. #12
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    Michael,

    Walt looked in his bees yesterday. He says they are already bringing in 'split loads'. He thinks things may happen very early this year in our area.

  13. #13
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    Whats a split load?
    My bees are extremely busy, can't wait to check for brood. There was no brood and little activity 2 weeks ago. I cought the first smell of pollen in the air yesterday, seemed strong.

    Binoculars work great to scan the trees.

  14. #14
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    I'll ask for a demur on this thread as it is mala in se as well as malum prohibitum if you experts don't dumb it down for me (me and probably a few others) just a little. split load please?

  15. #15
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    Early in the season it is common to see pollen only foragers and nectar only foragers. Later in the season, foragers will bring in both nectar and pollen on the same foraging trip. Then during the main nectar flow, they will bring in nectar loads only. The status of the colony in terms of brood condition can be determined by looking at the loads the bees are carrying. A bee with a full abdomen and full pollen baskets has been foraging for both. These bees are easily seen as they land at the front of the hive.

    Fusion

  16. #16
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    Berkey, OH, USA
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    Simply, a split load is a load of BOTH pollen (observed by pollen baskets on legs) AND nectar.

  17. #17
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    hmm, I guess I will have to learn to observe the difference between a bee with a full abdomen and a not-full abdomen.

  18. #18
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    I'm gonna need someone to draw me a picture! or post a picture...

    Is abdomen longer, fatter, how accurate is this? What if you are just looking at an old worker who is fat and sleek from age?

  19. #19
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    You folks in the south are making me jealous, I won’t see nectar or pollen being brought in for another six weeks.
    The Busy Bee teaches two lessons: One is not to be idle and the other is not to get stung.

  20. #20

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    I wouldn't count on it Brent! It should be another month before they start here, but I have seen the girls bringing in some dingy yellow pollen in on really warm days here!

    Maybe dandelions?

    [size="1"][ January 31, 2006, 06:44 PM: Message edited by: Hill's Hivery ][/size]
    If you see me runnin' you'd better keep up!
    http://hillshivery.blogspot.com/

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