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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    North Alabama, SW Kentucky
    Posts
    1,914

    Post

    I have 1 strong hive and have 4 packages on order. Has anyone used double-screen boards to help a new hive get started over an already established hive? What about stacking two packages together?

    I don't have any double screens, so I"m wondering if I would find a use for them and when I should use them.

    WayaCoyote
    WayaCoyote

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, Alabama
    Posts
    1,191

    Post

    I've been meaning to ask where in North Alabama you are located. I have bees at Rainsville and also at Hamilton. I think you are somewhere North of Huntsville but am not sure.

    Double screens have real problems if used during the winter. They can be used successfully in spring to boost a weak colony above a strong one. There is no advantage to putting a package on top of a package unless you want to run them as a 2 queen unit.

    The one significant reason to have a few 2 screen units around is if you intend to move your bees. I have successfully moved bees at night without covers but only over short distances. If moving more than a few miles, the screens provide much needed ventilation.

    Managing over double screens in the spring would be something like this:

    0. Feed the bees in the packages heavily just before you start to work.

    1. Remove a few frames of brood and some of honey from your overwintered colony and place them in empty brood boxes for the packages.

    2. Put a double screen on top of the overwintered colony.

    3. Put one (or 2 if mediums) of the brood boxes on top of the screen and install a package. You must close the package up long enough to get established (overnight usually works) so I recommend doing this late in the day. This presumes you follow the regular steps of using foundation and frames, etc. Use a very small entrance for at least the first 3 days.

    4. After the bees have been in place on top for a day, put a feeder on the package and fill it. Do not use entrance feeders, and the reason for waiting is to avoid encouraging robbing. You would install the package late in the evening and the next day again very late would fill the feeder. Do this with minimal disruption of the package!

    Fusion

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,492

    Post

    I've always had good luck installing a package in a five frame medium depth nuc. They really take off when they can control the environment. Then I move them into something bigger in about a month.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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