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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    brooklyn, ny
    Posts
    27

    Default 8 frame medium brood/ general setup

    hi all - i've purchased all 8 frame medium equipment (great idea from mr. bush) and am getting ready for my packages to arrive next weekend. I assembled 9 supers this morning. only split one and only put two handles upside down. only whacked my thumb once. then I guess the coffee kicked in or I got the hang of it or both...

    some questions -
    should i pitch the hives forward slightly. i am using no foundation.
    my thought is to level them then pitch slightly for drainage..

    when i install my (3lb) packages should I use 8 frames?

    I may have room for 9 frames as I've trimmed my top and sidebars an eighth inch. thoughts?

    after how long should I add the upper brood box.

    how many boxes will i use for brood?

    should i use an excluder?

    considering brushy's inspector jacket with hood. any thoughts?

    thanks for any comments or suggestions...

    nick

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,300

    Default

    MB also inspired me to use 8-frame medium supers, I set mine up perfectly level, but I have screened bottom boards that are not entrances, so drainage is not enhanced by tilting. I like level because whenever and wherever I want to use foundationless frames, I don't have to worry about that issue causing comb misalignment. When my colonies aren't in honey production mode I use top entrances only. So far everything appears to be working very well.

    It is also nice to be able to use nine thinner frames in the 8-frame supers. This is particularly nice in the supers dedicated to brood. I find myself going to seven frames in many honey supers.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    brooklyn, ny
    Posts
    27

    Default

    thanks joseph - how is your top entrance set up? i was reading richard taylor's book and he suggests sliding the second brood box back and protecting from rain with a strip o wood - in addition to the bottom entrance, to improve ventilation...what is the advantage to your method? do you use top and bottom entrance during honey production? nick - son of a bee since 1964..

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Nevada County, CA
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    1,083

    Default

    There are lots of easier ways to improve ventilation than leaving a gap between supers. I like to take popsicle sticks and wedge the lid up. This leaves a gap that is too small for robbers to get in unless your lid is warped, and small enough that the bees can propalize it shut if they need more warmth rather than more ventilation. Whenever possable try to find a system that the bees can reverse if they need to. They know more about what they need than we do.
    doug

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Nevada County, CA
    Posts
    1,083

    Default

    There are lots of easier ways to improve ventilation than leaving a gap between supers. I like to take popsicle sticks and wedge the lid up. This leaves a gap that is too small for robbers to get in unless your lid is warped, and small enough that the bees can propalize it shut if they need more warmth rather than more ventilation. Whenever possable try to find a system that the bees can reverse if they need to. They know more about what they need than we do. Unless you have a strong hive, an extra entrance is only an invitation to robbers and new packages are especially vulnerable.
    doug

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,300

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by nmallardi View Post
    thanks joseph - how is your top entrance set up? i was reading richard taylor's book and he suggests sliding the second brood box back and protecting from rain with a strip o wood - in addition to the bottom entrance, to improve ventilation...what is the advantage to your method? do you use top and bottom entrance during honey production? nick - son of a bee since 1964..
    Before and after the honey flow I just slide my covers back about 1/4 inch. During the honey flow I use an excluder on top of the brood supers, with a small hole drilled into the upper quarter of the top brood super to let the drones out, on top of the excluder I add, what I call an entrance rim, then above the entrance rim go the honey supers, I stagger each subsequent honey super so there is about 1/4 inch opening in their front edge, like you mentioned Richard Taylor recommending for the brood supers.

    I tried using three 8-frame medium supers for brood, but the three hives I provided with a third super, just filled it with honey. Using two 8-frame medium supers, with nine frames in each has kept the bottom one almost free of honey, and almost completely full of brood, the second brood super has the five - six central frames full of brood, and pollen and honey fill the outer three to four frames. Whenever I am inspecting and discover the outer frames full of honey (I leave the pollen filled frames alone) in the upper brood super, I've been moving them up into the honey supers and inserting empty foundationless frames or empty combs (if I have any) into the center of the upper brood super, between frames of brood. Something to help keep the queen occupied.

    Of course each location has its own unique needs. This works for my bees in my current location. Our only major honey flow is from mesquite (its like a flood of nectar), which begins in April and ends in late June, or early July. Afterwards weak colonies are vulnerable to robbing. As the flow slows, I plan to realign the supers, eliminating the majority of the extra entrances, and to reduce entrances on Nucs and any other weak colonies. I also plan to remove the entrance rims when I am ready to harvest, but before that I will likely close my top entrances, just leaving the excluder and entrance rims between the brood supers and honey supers until I do harvest, removing them - leaving a honey super for a food chamber after harvest, then the only entrance will be through the top super with its cover slid back. My covers have two small 1/4 inch openings (just large enough for a single bee) that are still good for ventilation (the bottom of the hive is still a screened opening) if I were to actually close the cover, such as in the case of robbing.

    I guess some of the advantages are; plenty of ventilation for curing nectar into honey, lots of access for foragers bringing in nectar, and easier temperature control for the bees trying to keep the brood nest warm and the honey area cooler.
    Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 05-08-2008 at 07:29 AM.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    brooklyn, ny
    Posts
    27

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sierrabees View Post
    There are lots of easier ways to improve ventilation than leaving a gap between supers. I like to take popsicle sticks and wedge the lid up. This leaves a gap that is too small for robbers to get in unless your lid is warped, and small enough that the bees can propalize it shut if they need more warmth rather than more ventilation. Whenever possable try to find a system that the bees can reverse if they need to. They know more about what they need than we do. Unless you have a strong hive, an extra entrance is only an invitation to robbers and new packages are especially vulnerable.
    this makes sense thanks, especially as you mentioned when they are most vulnerable. by the time it gets real hot i hope to have stronger colonies and can revisit this issue at that time.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    brooklyn, ny
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    27

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Clemens View Post
    Before and after the honey flow I just slide my covers back about 1/4 inch. During the honey flow I use an excluder on top of the brood supers, with a small hole drilled into the upper quarter of the top brood super to let the drones out, on top of the excluder I add, what I call an entrance rim, - WHAT IS THIS EXACTLY? then above the entrance rim go the honey supers, I stagger each subsequent honey super so there is about 1/4 inch opening in their front edge, like you mentioned Richard Taylor recommending for the brood supers. DO YOU COVER (PROTECT)THE OPENINGS AT ALL?

    I tried using three 8-frame medium supers for brood, but the three hives I provided with a third super, just filled it with honey. Using two 8-frame medium supers, with nine frames in each has kept the bottom one almost free of honey, and almost completely full of brood, the second brood super has the five - six central frames full of brood, and pollen and honey fill the outer three to four frames. Whenever I am inspecting and discover the outer frames full of honey (I leave the pollen filled frames alone) in the upper brood super, I've been moving them up into the honey supers and inserting empty foundationless frames or empty combs (if I have any) into the center of the upper brood super, between frames of brood. Something to help keep the queen occupied. THIS SOUNDS GREAT

    Of course each location has its own unique needs. This works for my bees in my current location. Our only major honey flow is from mesquite (its like a flood of nectar), which begins in April and ends in late June, or early July. Afterwards weak colonies are vulnerable to robbing. IS IT THAT DURING THE FLOWS THERE IS LITTLE ROBBING SINCE NECTAR IS PLENTIFUL? As the flow slows, I plan to realign the supers, eliminating the majority of the extra entrances, and to reduce entrances on Nucs and any other weak colonies. I also plan to remove the entrance rims when I am ready to harvest, but before that I will likely close my top entrances, just leaving the excluder and entrance rims between the brood supers and honey supers until I do harvest, removing them - leaving a honey super for a food chamber after harvest, then the only entrance will be through the top super with its cover slid back. My covers have two small 1/4 inch openings (just large enough for a single bee) that are still good for ventilation (the bottom of the hive is still a screened opening) if I were to actually close the cover, such as in the case of robbing.

    I guess some of the advantages are; plenty of ventilation for curing nectar into honey, lots of access for foragers bringing in nectar, and easier temperature control for the bees trying to keep the brood nest warm and the honey area cooler.
    HOW DOESCLOSING OFF BOTTOM ENTRANCE KEEP BROOD WARMER IF THERE IS A SCREEN BOTTOM?? MANY THANKS FOR YOUR INPUT!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    brooklyn, ny
    Posts
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Clemens View Post
    Before and after the honey flow I just slide my covers back about 1/4 inch. During the honey flow I use an excluder on top of the brood supers, with a small hole drilled into the upper quarter of the top brood super to let the drones out, on top of the excluder I add, what I call an entrance rim, - WHAT IS THIS EXACTLY? then above the entrance rim go the honey supers, I stagger each subsequent honey super so there is about 1/4 inch opening in their front edge, like you mentioned Richard Taylor recommending for the brood supers. DO YOU COVER (PROTECT)THE OPENINGS AT ALL?

    I tried using three 8-frame medium supers for brood, but the three hives I provided with a third super, just filled it with honey. Using two 8-frame medium supers, with nine frames in each has kept the bottom one almost free of honey, and almost completely full of brood, the second brood super has the five - six central frames full of brood, and pollen and honey fill the outer three to four frames. Whenever I am inspecting and discover the outer frames full of honey (I leave the pollen filled frames alone) in the upper brood super, I've been moving them up into the honey supers and inserting empty foundationless frames or empty combs (if I have any) into the center of the upper brood super, between frames of brood. Something to help keep the queen occupied. THIS SOUNDS GREAT

    Of course each location has its own unique needs. This works for my bees in my current location. Our only major honey flow is from mesquite (its like a flood of nectar), which begins in April and ends in late June, or early July. Afterwards weak colonies are vulnerable to robbing. IS IT THAT DURING THE FLOWS THERE IS LITTLE ROBBING SINCE NECTAR IS PLENTIFUL? As the flow slows, I plan to realign the supers, eliminating the majority of the extra entrances, and to reduce entrances on Nucs and any other weak colonies. I also plan to remove the entrance rims when I am ready to harvest, but before that I will likely close my top entrances, just leaving the excluder and entrance rims between the brood supers and honey supers until I do harvest, removing them - leaving a honey super for a food chamber after harvest, then the only entrance will be through the top super with its cover slid back. My covers have two small 1/4 inch openings (just large enough for a single bee) that are still good for ventilation (the bottom of the hive is still a screened opening) if I were to actually close the cover, such as in the case of robbing.

    I guess some of the advantages are; plenty of ventilation for curing nectar into honey, lots of access for foragers bringing in nectar, and easier temperature control for the bees trying to keep the brood nest warm and the honey area cooler.
    (questions above in caps also - )
    HOW DOES CLOSING OFF BOTTOM ENTRANCE KEEP BROOD WARMER IF THERE IS A SCREEN BOTTOM?? MANY THANKS FOR YOUR INPUT!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,300

    Default

    Originally Posted by Joseph Clemens
    Before and after the honey flow I just slide my covers back about 1/4 inch. During the honey flow I use an excluder on top of the brood supers, with a small hole drilled into the upper quarter of the top brood super to let the drones out, on top of the excluder I add, what I call an entrance rim, - WHAT IS THIS EXACTLY? <Here is a link illustrating an "entrance rim": Entrance Rim.> then above the entrance rim go the honey supers, I stagger each subsequent honey super so there is about 1/4 inch opening in their front edge, like you mentioned Richard Taylor recommending for the brood supers. DO YOU COVER (PROTECT)THE OPENINGS AT ALL? What do you mean by "protect"?

    I tried using three 8-frame medium supers for brood, but the three hives I provided with a third super, just filled it with honey. Using two 8-frame medium supers, with nine frames in each has kept the bottom one almost free of honey, and almost completely full of brood, the second brood super has the five - six central frames full of brood, and pollen and honey fill the outer three to four frames. Whenever I am inspecting and discover the outer frames full of honey (I leave the pollen filled frames alone) in the upper brood super, I've been moving them up into the honey supers and inserting empty foundationless frames or empty combs (if I have any) into the center of the upper brood super, between frames of brood. Something to help keep the queen occupied. THIS SOUNDS GREAT

    Of course each location has its own unique needs. This works for my bees in my current location. Our only major honey flow is from mesquite (its like a flood of nectar), which begins in April and ends in late June, or early July. Afterwards weak colonies are vulnerable to robbing. IS IT THAT DURING THE FLOWS THERE IS LITTLE ROBBING SINCE NECTAR IS PLENTIFUL? Yes, there is usually very little or no robbing when there is an abundance of nectar available. As the flow slows, I plan to realign the supers, eliminating the majority of the extra entrances, and to reduce entrances on Nucs and any other weak colonies. I also plan to remove the entrance rims when I am ready to harvest, but before that I will likely close my top entrances, just leaving the excluder and entrance rims between the brood supers and honey supers until I do harvest, removing them - leaving a honey super for a food chamber after harvest, then the only entrance will be through the top super with its cover slid back. My covers have two small 1/4 inch openings (just large enough for a single bee) that are still good for ventilation (the bottom of the hive is still a screened opening) if I were to actually close the cover, such as in the case of robbing.

    I guess some of the advantages are; plenty of ventilation for curing nectar into honey, lots of access for foragers bringing in nectar, and easier temperature control for the bees trying to keep the brood nest warm and the honey area cooler.

    (questions above in caps also - )
    Quote Originally Posted by nmallardi View Post
    HOW DOESCLOSING OFF BOTTOM ENTRANCE KEEP BROOD WARMER IF THERE IS A SCREEN BOTTOM?? MANY THANKS FOR YOUR INPUT!
    Bees use their bodies to form a curtain (cluster) between the open air flow the screen may provide and the combs. It is amazing how efficient this can be - they can vary the density of their cluster, or even use coordinated fanning to move air where and when they need it. Think of it as intelligent, living, ventilation control. With the bottom screened to permit free air flow, doesn't mean that the air "will" flow freely, remember too, that immediately above the screen is a slatted rack, providing some baffling of the incoming air, and additional surfaces for the bees to cluster so they can directly control their internal hive environment. The plastic queen excluders I place immediately above the brood supers also further restricts the warm moist air from rapidly leaving the lower brood nest area. While the entrance rim and the offset supers and cover permit the bees to direct outside dry air through the honey supers reducing its moisture content, while the evaporation helps to cool the honey supers.
    Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 05-13-2008 at 03:58 PM.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    brooklyn, ny
    Posts
    27

    Default

    amazing creatures- i cant wait to get my bees. just hope i don't screw things up too bad or fall off the roof...

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,408

    Default

    >should i pitch the hives forward slightly. i am using no foundation.
    my thought is to level them then pitch slightly for drainage..

    If you have solid bottom boards, yes, that's what I'd do. With Screened Bottom Boards, I'd make them level.

    >when i install my (3lb) packages should I use 8 frames?
    >I may have room for 9 frames as I've trimmed my top and sidebars an eighth inch. thoughts?

    Put all nine in if you have them shaved down.

    >after how long should I add the upper brood box.

    When they have about six or seven of those frames all drawn and filled.

    >how many boxes will i use for brood?

    As many as they fill. Probably four or more.

    >should i use an excluder?

    I wouldn't. What would it accomplish for you? To keep the queen from laying in another eight frame medium?

    >considering brushy's inspector jacket with hood. any thoughts?

    It's probably fine, but I haven't had one. Mine are from www.beeworks.com.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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