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Thread: Checkerboarding

  1. #21
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    Default Re: Checkboarding

    tecumseh

    You're not helping.

  2. #22
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    Default Re: Checkboarding

    I get by just fine using the Richard Taylor way, take three frames of comb out of the middle of the lower brood box and replace with foundation in the spring. This gives the bees something to do and helps delay swarming or stops it altogether.It also gives me three frames of drawn comb to start a nuc, But no method is a sure thing in beekeeping,at leaset i haven't found it. Jack

  3. #23
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    Default Re: Checkboarding

    brooksbeefarm

    Just three frames from the lower deep and no reversal?

    Use the three for nucs.

    I like it. Helps accomplish comb renewal too.

  4. #24
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    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    Exclamation Re: Checkboarding

    This thread will come to a close if the name calling and personal jabs don't end. Lighten up.
    Regards, Barry

  5. #25
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    Sep 2007
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    Coweta County, Georgia, USA
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    Default Re: Checkboarding

    Back to the original question....

    The proper method of Nectar Management or Checkerboarding...
    The winter configuration of the colony is a deep and 2 shallows. There is a shallow on the bottom which is empty honey comb, and one on the top of the deep which is full of capped honey. The hive will be from bottom up; shallow, deep, shallow.

    FFFFFFFFFF (shallow)
    BBBBBBBBBB (deep)
    EEEEEEEEEE (shallow)

    On a warm day in late winter reconfigure the colony by placing the deep on the bottom and the 2 shallows on top. In each shallow alternate the frames with empty and full honey comb. The hive will be from bottom up; deep, shallow, shallow.

    The frames and suppers will be:
    FEFEFEFEFE (shallow)
    EFEFEFEFEF (shallow)
    BBBBBBBBBB (deep)

    At the same time place a shallow super on top to give the bees a place to expand.

    You cannot use foundation for checkerboarding; the bees need the empty comb to allow the queen to lay eggs and the workers to store nectar.

    This technique is an efficient way to prevent swarming while promoting honey production and pollen storage for the fall.

  6. #26
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    Dec 2008
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    Default Re: Checkboarding

    Steve717

    Thank you. As always, a picture is worth a thousand words.

  7. #27
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    Munfordville, Ky. U.S.A.
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    Default Re: Checkboarding

    Wow, after having read this forum twice I can't figure out whether I have been [I]dazzled by brilliance or baffled by bullcrap.[I] What I have figured out is that I would rather watch for swarms and try to catch them rather than try to figure out who is right and who isn't. A FAIRLEY NEW BEEK.

  8. #28
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    Leetonia, Ohio
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    Default Re: Checkboarding

    Welcome to beekeeping valleyman!

  9. #29
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    Default Re: Checkboarding

    Quote Originally Posted by throrope View Post
    brooksbeefarm

    Just three frames from the lower deep and no reversal?

    Use the three for nucs.

    I like it. Helps accomplish comb renewal too.

    Richard Taylor, wrote articles for the Bee Culture mag.,a long time beekeeper that had a way of explaining things he done in beekeeping that worked for him and made it plain and simple.He passed away a few years ago and no one has come close of replacing him that i'm aware of. His books on beekeeping are still available. Jack

  10. #30
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    Default Re: Checkboarding

    Barry, don't close the thread, just delete the offenders... the thread is very valuable.

    Valleyman... One thing you'll learn is to experiment. try the different methods in your own hives, and you'll quickly discover what works, and what doesn't. Unless, of course, the weather or the bees decide differently!

    What I have found valuable is to go to the Point of View section on Beesource, and read all the articles. It is amazing the wealth of valuable information there.

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
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    Colora, MD, USA
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    Default Re: Checkboarding

    In defense of Checkerboarding: I've been keeping bees for about 12 years now. Prior to checkerboarding I would always have swarms. I keep anywhere between 3 and 12 colonies. I used to reverse boxes in the early spring and when I saw queen cells would use a Snellgrove board(double screen) to try to prevent the swarms. It usually worked but it was really labor and time intensive. Since I've been checkerboarding (about 3 years now) I have not had one swarm!!
    I know this for a fact for the following reasons.. I raise my own queens and I mark them with a different color for each hive so if a colony swarms I can tell by the color which colony it came from. I have quite a few friends that do not mark their queens and swear their bees never swarm.. trust me.. they do.. and checkerboarding eliminates it.

    Randy B

  12. #32
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    Default Re: Checkboarding

    Randy, are you using the 1 deep and 2 shallows for brood?

  13. #33
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    Default Re: Checkboarding

    Would variations of the above scheme work? Like using one deep above the brood nest instead of two shallows? And what if there are not enough full frames at that time? Should I pull out frames of honey from the brood deep to move up. Should I leave more empties in the center or at the sides of the upper super(s)? Does any of that matter?

  14. #34
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    Default Re: Checkboarding

    No one has talked about any variation that works. Walt has had enough problems promoting the method that does work.

    Checkerboarding works because the bees think they don’t have much honey left and the honey cap is no longer in place. The foragers get busy collecting all the early nectar they can find and the queen can lay many more eggs because of the empty comb. No honey cap allows the workers to move up into the upper supers and store nectar. The colony can’t swarm because it appears they don’t have enough stored honey for the colony to survive.

  15. #35
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    Default Re: Checkboarding

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    This thread will come to a close if the name calling and personal jabs don't end. Lighten up.

    Now I remember why I don't frequent BeeSource much anymore.

    tecumseh with a little "t", I'm surprised you're still hanging in there after all this time.

    Barry, maybe a sticky is needed to remind some folks to lose the attitude and convey to them that this is a friendly place above all else, if you don't have one somewhere already.

    -trout
    Once you see the bandwagon, it's too late.
    www.goldfinch-acres.com

  16. #36
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    Default Re: Checkboarding

    I am a new BEEK and I have heard the word Checkerboard. Would some please explain what it is?

  17. #37
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    Elkton, Giles, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: Checkboarding

    AQ WI:
    As posted above, don't have a good answer that I'm prepared to defend, But can tell you what I plan to try next. (We can fail in parallel) Very early, in late winter, Place a box of overhead capped honey below the brood nest. (reverse) Add foundation above the brood nest and add F as necessary to maintain room to grow into.
    Rationale: 1)Honey below the brood nest shouldn't separate them from feed; 2)If the cluster enfolds the overhead F It may induce the early wax making that is unique to second year colonies.
    With only two 09 swarms to work with, the results may not be representa tive, but may provide a clue as to whether or not the approach is worth any further effort.

    In WI where your cluster would normally be at the top of the hive in late winter, hive body reversal would be your best bet. The raised empty will give them room to grow into. Periodic reversal (2 weeks) will offset swarming through the swarm prep period. (see below)

  18. #38
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    Default Re: Checkboarding

    Mike:
    I recognize that it's not necessary to point out where we agree to you, but it might be just as important to the beginners tracking this thread as where we differ. Bear with me.

    You are correct in that reversal does not slow them down in development. In fact, if flying weather and field forage are supportive at the time, reversal creates a step function in brood nest expansion. When growing into overhead honey that honey must be consumed to make space for expansion, but empty comb overhead allows them to expand in one step to the level of brood volume that can be protected by the cluster volume. Brood seems to just Jump into the raised empty.

    You asked about "Reproductive swarm cut off." It is described in the copy of the "manuscript" that you have (maybe had) It is also described in an 03 article available in POV (Full Season) Am not a writer by training or inclination and perhaps those descriptions are not clear. To summerize:

    Repro c/o occurs locally in the early apple blossom period and is the point in colony development when reproduction is abandoned in favor of existing colony survival. Colonies with swarm cells in work continue to proceed to issue of the swarm, but those that didn't start swarm cells yet turn their attention to preparing to store survival winter honey. Those slower colonies that missed the deadline can still swarm later if they get overcrowded, but those swarms are not reproductive swarms. Overcrowded swarms, induced by the inept beek, are caused by the colony motivation to protect accumulated stores.

    Note that hive body reversal causes overcrowding. The step function in brood volume is is not normal. Periodical reversal compounds the problem.
    The colony deprived of the natural brood nest reduction of swarm preps has more population than that proportional to stores and cavity size. The late swarm is intended to reduce population.

    Walt

  19. #39
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    Default Re: Checkboarding

    Not sure what "step function" means. By "Jumping" into ther raised empty the bees have upward expansion, the pressure is removed, and swarming mostly disappears...there are always some that will persist...in any method. That overhead honey that must be consumed, won't be in my area, The Dandelion/Fruit Bloom is too strong. It will sit in the combs and become even harder...which renders it un-extractable. Placing it on the bottom board gets rid of it...the bees dig it out and use the liquid portion and discard the crystals out the door.

    You claim that there are two types of swarms...reproductive swarms and overcrowded swarms. And that overcrowded swarms are really only trying to "protect accumulated stores." How do you know that? Show me any way that there is a difference between the two. Where is your science that shows any difference. If none, then this is all a nice story with some facts being true but then your interpretation being a story.

    Hive body reversal creates overcrowding?? Really?? How?? I think this is another of your claims that are intended to bolster your theories without paying attention to what is really going on. If anything, the bees feel less crowded after reversing. It breaks up the backfilling of the broodnest. It opens up empty brood cells for the queen's expansion, and nectar management. With supers space above, there is wide open comb space above the cluster.

    How can you say that the late swarm is intended to reduce population? This is another one of your interpretations to fit your thesis. A fact for which you have no science. Another part of your story. It's these bold claims that lead me to question your thesis.

    Here's a good one that sounds great...but is it true.......

    "The colony deprived of the natural brood nest reduction of swarm preps has more population than that proportional to stores and cavity size."

    Are you saying that by reversing a colony, there is no broodnest reduction that happens in swarm preparations? Gosh, I hope so. Why would you want the colony to reduce the size of the broodnest right at the time that is so crytical for broodnest expansion...if you want to make a good honey crop. You seem to be saying that this non-reduction is a bad thing. Swarming is averted by expanding the broodnest. The bees reduce the broodnest by backfilling, reducing the eventual population of the colony...even if they don't swarm. I believe it's most important to keep the queens in full lay all the time with no reduction in the broodnest.

    I'm trying to build polulation in my colonies at the time you say they should be going through broodnest reduction...and if they don't, it is in some way harmful to the colony? I have to disagree. It's all about population in beekeeping. Population at the right time makes honey bee colonies successful...whether for honey production, queen rearing, or wintering.

    It takes huge populations to make a 200 pound crop. Something like these colonies....

    Last edited by Barry; 12-23-2009 at 09:11 PM. Reason: quotes

  20. #40
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    Default Re: Checkboarding

    Good thing that is a pic in the early fall. If that was a June pic it looks like a given they would swarm(in my eyes).

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