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Thread: Checkerboarding

  1. #81
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    Hays NC
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    Default Re: Checkerboarding

    Mike
    I run a deep and super , how can i make use of the things you are talking about?Can i reverse the super? Or can i CB the super?
    Thanks Jim

  2. #82
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    Default Re: Checkerboarding

    Mike:
    Now we're getting somewhere. Havn't told you that reversal isn't effective for your area. And , as I understand it, you get the colony storing overhead before reversal. Can't argue with success. It works for you. Locally, reversal is not as effective. It might be more so if we added your wrinkle. An article in this month's BC has been submitted to Barry to add to the list in POV on my reservations about wintering in the double deep. Don't think it's best in Dixie. It's the regionality thing. And yes, we've already mentioned the importance of maintaining empty comb at the top - once they have expanded through the honey reserve. It seems that the reserve is not a problem for you.

    Think I have been fairly straightforward in agreeing that my opinions are conclusions based on observation, with virtually no scientific tests of verification. That permits you to disregard them as you choose.

    Walt

  3. #83
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    Default Re: Checkerboarding

    Mike:
    Surely, you jest. Almost all how-to info in beekeeping is somebody's opinion. Yours, mine or others. Picking one we agree on like overhead storage of nectar is a key ingredient of swarm prevention: I have seen no scientific test that would make that opinion irrevocable. And even the opinion is not found in my reference books. I have no way of knowing whether you arrived at that opinion independently or it's a consensus opinion in your area, but I know I derived the opinion independently. Had no 'guidance" in the early years.

    The literature has forever recommended early supering. What's missing is how early is "early" Some of that same lit talks about supering at fruit bloom. That is too late for me.

    Would it surprise you to learn that I find your management approach supportive of mine? Same objectives, different means, both effective. Why you see this as a personal affront is puzzling. Did you not see a posting on another thead where I said I respected the opinions of the Micheals Bush and Palmer?

    Walt

  4. #84
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Coweta County, Georgia, USA
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    Default Re: Checkboarding

    Quote Originally Posted by Bee Draggle View Post
    Steve717,

    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.

    Your post has cleared up a lot of questions in a very understandable format. Sometimes it's hard to viualize these things. I know that shallows with drawn comb is the what you use to CB, but what if you don't have any shallow with drawn comb? It seems one has to start somewhere? I've thought abot cutting down deep frames into shallow frames but that's a task I'm not anxious to do. What would you recommnd?
    I have the same problem, no shallow supers with drawn comb. I expanded greatly this year and have no drawn honeycomb right now.

    If the colony is still in the establishment phase, because they were started this year, you may be able to add shallows of foundation and get them to make wax early.

    If you’re wondering how to super with foundation I found some good advice from George Imirie

    Supering: With Foundation - April 2004

    Supering: With Foundation - April 2002

    I will be vigilant for swarms and capture any I can because they will make honeycomb quickly. If I find any queen cells I’ll make a split with the existing queen and a couple of frames of brood and honey simulating a swarm to the hive without half of the hive flying away.

    Any swarms or splits will go into nucs for future need of brood, queens or expansion.

  5. #85
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    Charlottesville, VA, USA
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    Default Re: Checkerboarding

    Like StevenG, my winter brood nests consist of two deeps, and either a medium super or feeder box on top for extra stores. Most often the cluster is in the bottom of the top super with a honey dome at the top of the top deep. My question for either Walt or Mike P or preferrably both of you is how would you recommend manipulating the brood nest to break up the honey dome without disturbing the cluster? I have tried reversal but then the honey dome is under the empty deep and the queen won't move up. CBing seems to cause too much disruption to the cluster. Any suggestions?

    I think sjbees explained this but I am too ignorant to comprehend. Please help a third year beek.

    Pete M.

  6. #86
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    Default Re: Checkerboarding

    Sorry, cluster in the bottom of the top deep (not super), honey dome at the top of the top deep.

  7. #87
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    Default Re: Checkerboarding

    The Master Beekeeper is distinguished by the simplicity and economy of his actions. There is nothing you can do regarding arrangement of combs that will increase the honey flow and growth of the colony. The less time you spend on individual colonies the more colonies you can keep. Hobbyists and small beekeepers have too much time on their hands and spend it puttering around and developing complicated theories regarding bee " management ".

  8. #88
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    roswell, georgia, USA
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    Default Re: Checkerboarding

    BKgardener,

    I don't think MP is monitoring or responding to this thread anymore - or can. If you're interested in reversing, this is how MP described it to me in this recent thread:

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=235738

    You'll have to wade til toward the end of the pages, cause as you can expect, a lot of other opinions/methods.
    EAS Georgia Certified. "Tradition - Even if you have done it the same way for years doesn't mean that it is not stupid."

  9. #89
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    Nov 2008
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    Charlottesville, VA, USA
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    Default Re: Checkerboarding

    Thanks hoodswoods. That thread was helpful. Let me make sure I understand.

    According to MP, if at the end of winter, my cluster is at the bottom of the top deep with a honey dome over it (at the top of the top deep), by reversing the deeps, placing the empty, bottom deep on top of the deep w/ the cluster and dome in it, the bees will move the honey up into the supers and the crystals out, making way for the queen to move up into the empty deep?

    I feel like I did that last year and the bees just filled the empty deep (now on top) with nectar before the queen was able to move into it. Maybe I was too late reversing? I will have to remember to watch for the dandelion bloom this year.

  10. #90
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    Dec 2009
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    Canada BC Delta
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    Default Re: Checkerboarding

    Quote Originally Posted by BKgardener View Post
    Like StevenG, my winter brood nests consist of two deeps, and either a medium super or feeder box on top for extra stores. Most often the cluster is in the bottom of the top super with a honey dome at the top of the top deep. My question for either Walt or Mike P or preferrably both of you is how would you recommend manipulating the brood nest to break up the honey dome without disturbing the cluster? I have tried reversal but then the honey dome is under the empty deep and the queen won't move up. CBing seems to cause too much disruption to the cluster. Any suggestions?

    I think sjbees explained this but I am too ignorant to comprehend. Please help a third year beek.

    Pete M.
    If your bees are consistently located at this level in the hive year after year why wouldn't you change the configuration of over wintering hive to 3 mediums for reversing/CB or deep and a medium for CB? Seems to me configuration and manipulation type is dictated by location.
    This is really a question for everyone.
    Thanks!

  11. #91
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    Default Re: Checkerboarding

    Delta,

    I think of a recent post that got a number of responses somewhat surrounding your question/statement - of course there were a lot of opinions:

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=236183
    EAS Georgia Certified. "Tradition - Even if you have done it the same way for years doesn't mean that it is not stupid."

  12. #92
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    Default Re: Checkerboarding

    Could somebody please explain the personal animosity towards Walt and checkerboarding. I don't get it. Sure, he's an opiniated beeekeeper. But look around here on Beesource, not exactly a shortage of opinionated beekeepers. What's the deal with the snittiness. Is it that he has articles in the bee mags or what? I'm confused.

    As to what Tom Laury said, I would point out that it takes a few minutes, tops, to checkerboard a hive and then you don't have worry much about swarming the rest of the year. So I'd say that it's efficient.

  13. #93
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    Default Re: Checkerboarding

    he's an opiniated beeekeeper.
    Yes, very much so. Not necesarilly a bad thing but the arrogance is offputting. I get the feeling that it's more about "do it my way" than it is about beekeeping.
    I would point out that it takes a few minutes, tops, to checkerboard a hive and then you don't have worry much about swarming the rest of the year. So I'd say that it's efficient.
    A few minutes X $8-10 per hour X a few hundred/thousand... There are faster, more effecient ways.
    Last edited by cow pollinater; 12-22-2009 at 07:02 PM.

  14. #94
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    Default Re: Checkerboarding

    [QUOTE=NeilV;487335]Could somebody please explain the personal animosity towards Walt and checkerboarding.

    I think beekeepers can become totally invested in their own system of beekeeping and become very defensive when a new system threatens their long held ideas and beliefs, especially if new methods are presented forcefully with an aire of authority. Sometimes it's simply a matter of not wanting to change familiar hive configurations especially if it means having to acquire additional woodware. It seems to me if your own systems is working for you and you're satisfied with the results then forget CB or any other system. However, if you're having beekeeping problems with what you are currently doing then why not try a different approach.
    Bee just and just bee

  15. #95
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    Default Re: Checkerboarding

    I am a newbie at bees. Would someone please explain what CHECKERBOARNING is? Never heard that around here.

  16. #96
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    Default Re: Checkerboarding

    Yep - old Walt is definately opinionated. It's a fine line between confidence in what you'ved learned and arrogance. Try to stay on the confidence side of the line, but it may come across as arrogance. Those who know me best will tell you that I'm more reserved than arrogant.

    What was learned didn't come easy - cost me most of my net worth. Thought I was doing a service for the beekeeping community. Really naive. The beekeeping community didn't want to know, and rebuked me for even suggesting that techniques in vogue were questionable.

    Yes, I'm proud of what was learned. If that comes across as arrogance, so be it.

    Walt

  17. #97
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    Default Re: Checkerboarding

    Is checkerboarding really still considered a new thing?

    Walt, you should have written a book and made some money off of it. For some reason, I've found that people are far less hostile toward an idea if they're paying to hear it, even though the idea doesn't change. I'm beginning to suspect that some people just like giving their money away and will get mad at you if you don't take it from them.

  18. #98
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    Default Re: Checkerboarding

    It often seems that the most outspoken opponents of ideas or methods, on all sides, are those who have no desire or intention to even attempt something new or different than what they have become comfortable with.

    If what you're doing works well and you are satisfied with the results, keep on rollin'. But for those with the curiosity and available time, what's the harm in trying something new? In this business there are most likely several roads which all lead to the same destination. It could be that more than one is "right".
    To everything there is a season....

  19. #99
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    Default Re: Checkerboarding

    I can see that checkerboarding is not really suited for migratory, commercial beekeepers who are primarily making their living on pollination contracts. They are doing something different than hobbiest like me and the average sideliner. I would even begin to suggest that I have any idea how to tell commercial pollination beekeepers to do that work.

    However, the average sideliner type, at least around here, relies on selling honey direct to the consumer at retail prices. Honey yield is very important, which means that swarms equal lost profits.

    If we assume that it takes 5 minutes per hive at a wage rate of $10.00 per hour, then the cost per hive is only $1.20. To cover that cost, you would only need to increase yield per hive by about 8 ounces of honey. Based on what I've seen and others have reported, honey yields can go up by lots more than that due to using checkerboarding (both due to avoiding swarms and having bigger broodnests).

    So if checkerboarding works at all, it should be economical for sideliner types who rely on honey production for their income.

    What am I missing?

  20. #100
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    Default Re: Checkerboarding

    Quote Originally Posted by SgtMaj View Post
    I've found that people are far less hostile toward an idea if they're paying to hear it,
    For those that start getting hostile, starting the first of the year, they will have to pay me if they want to access the forums. Thanks for the idea!
    Last edited by Barry; 12-23-2009 at 09:26 PM.
    Regards, Barry

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