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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Trout Lake, Washington
    Posts
    21

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    I am installing some new packages in hives with 5.1mm foundation this spring. After reading many of MB's posts I am going to start gearing up to make a transition to all medium HBs for many of the reasons he has put forth not the least of which is the weight. Since it sounds a bit tough to regress directly to 4.9mm might it be advisable and practical to transition through the 5.1 for a year then regress to the 4.9 in the mediums in the second year? Seems like a good approach to me. I could do several a year through the deeps at 5.1 and move them right along to the 4.9 mediums the following year. My deeps would only be used for the 'first' regression. I realize it is a little more involved then my simple scenerio above, but you get my approach. This would keep the number of deep colonies to eight or so and I would continue to build numbers with the mediums.

    (MB) Would you mind outlining just what equipment you would put together to make a 'clean' transition to all mediums? All wood? Plastic? Etc? I am asking specifically about the brood chambers. If you had a blank checkbook---what is the best route?

    Thank you,

    Forrest

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,205

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    >I am installing some new packages in hives with 5.1mm foundation this spring. After reading many of MB's posts I am going to start gearing up to make a transition to all medium HBs for many of the reasons he has put forth not the least of which is the weight.

    Why not cut them down to mediums right now?

    > Since it sounds a bit tough to regress directly to 4.9mm might it be advisable and practical to transition through the 5.1 for a year then regress to the 4.9 in the mediums in the second year?

    Sure. It would be easier if they were all the same sized frames though. You just have to deal with the difference in frame size. You won't be able to just feed in the 4.9mm (mediums) until the 5.1mm (deeps) have all been replaced, you'll have to try to get them to move the brood nest up and leave the 5.1mm behind. I'd put some 4.9mm medium frames in the brood nest (when you are ready to start) and pull them up one box (to bait them into the medium) when they are drawn and have some brood in them. If they draw comb on the bottom before you get to it, cut it out and tie it into medium frames.

    > Seems like a good approach to me. I could do several a year through the deeps at 5.1 and move them right along to the 4.9 mediums the following year.

    Once you have some drawn 4.9mm comb, you won't need the 5.1mm. Until then, I'd keep it until you have enough 4.9 drawn comb, but large bees will happily use the 4.9mm. The regression is only necessary because the large bees won't BUILD 4.9mm. It is not because they won't USE 4.9mm.

    > My deeps would only be used for the 'first' regression.

    As I said, you only need a first regression to get them to draw it. Otherwise you can go straight to drawn 4.9mm.

    >(MB) Would you mind outlining just what equipment you would put together to make a 'clean' transition to all mediums? All wood? Plastic? Etc? I am asking specifically about the brood chambers. If you had a blank checkbook---what is the best route?

    I never had a blank checkbook before...

    There is no plastic 4.9mm so it's irelevant. Wood is the way to go if you want to regress. There is no reason you can't put some medium frames in the a deep box IF there is a drawn deep on each side of it. They will eventually build some comb on the bottom bar, but you can pull it before that happens or tie that comb in a frame if it does.

    You could also just cut all the 5.1mm deep frames down to mediums and have it done with.

    When I'm trying to get them up into mediums from deeps I tend to pull all the frames I can (anything that doesn't have brood) and put five frames of brood in a five frame deep nuc and put five frame medium nucs on top. You can force them up more quickly this way.

    I work with what I have and work with what the bees are willing to do.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Drums, PA, USA
    Posts
    331

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    I am in the process of doing the second transition. I have a few stubborn hives, that refuse to draw out 4.9, other than drone, so I put them on pierco last year. (5.2) I am going to put in and gradually replace all with 4.9 this year. Hopefully, the transition goes well. With 4.9 on crimped wire, it will sure beat wiring all of those frames again!, especially with 11 frames per box, and 12 more hives! that will grow!
    Dale Richards<br />Dal-Col Apiaries<br />

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Trout Lake, Washington
    Posts
    21

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    Thank you for the thorough and considered response. I will charge forward. So the comb they will draw on the bottoms of the mediums will likly be 4.9mm?

    Should I consider starting additional packages directly on medium 4.9 in the future?

    Thanks

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Trout Lake, Washington
    Posts
    21

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    Hook: Please keep us posted on how this goes.

    Thanks

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Trout Lake, Washington
    Posts
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    MB: After rereading your response it sounds like a reasonable approach may be to generate a substantial quantity of drawn 4.9 and use it to start new packages since the problem seems to be getting the larger bees to draw it-not use it. In which case it would become unnecessary to even use the 5.1 deeps as a step in the process.

    Forrest

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    North Alabama, SW Kentucky
    Posts
    1,914

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    Forrest wrote &gt; Since it sounds a bit tough to regress directly to 4.9mm might it be advisable and practical to transition through the 5.1 for a year then regress to the 4.9 in the mediums in the second year?

    I've been really exploiting my fully regressed hives so much that I'm setting back process. I was trying to get them to produce enough 4.9mm for the packages and splits and potentially swarms. I've decided to let them finish taking care of their own needs first and foremost. I think accepting a slower process like you discribe is probably kinder on the bees.

    Forrest wrote&gt; Seems like a good approach to me. I could do several a year through the deeps at 5.1 and move them right along to the 4.9 mediums the following year.

    Michael replied &gt;&gt; Once you have some drawn 4.9mm comb, you won't need the 5.1mm. Until then, I'd keep it until you have enough 4.9 drawn comb, but large bees will happily use the 4.9mm.

    I agree with Michael here. I had only two hives, both of which were regressed, so I melted down the semi-regression combs. Then I decided to purchase some packages of LC bees. I dearly wish I had kept the mid-sized comb. As it is, I essencially have to regress these from beginning all over. That stuff can come in handy until you have sufficient # of hives to steal 4.9 from when hiving packages/swarms.

    Waya
    WayaCoyote

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Trout Lake, Washington
    Posts
    21

    Post

    Excellent. Thank you for the input.

    Forrest

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,205

    Post

    &gt;Thank you for the thorough and considered response. I will charge forward. So the comb they will draw on the bottoms of the mediums will likly be 4.9mm?

    That was not what I was saying, but, yes, that's a real possibility. They are often about 5.1mm at the top and 4.9mm at the bottom.

    &gt;Should I consider starting additional packages directly on medium 4.9 in the future?

    If you have drawn 4.9mm yes. If not, I think putting a new package on 5.1mm makes sense.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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