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Thread: Checkerboarding

  1. #201
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    Default Re: Checkboarding

    SERGE:
    Not that much. I average about 20 lbs per shallow super. A couple if mediums in the stack. I would guess a shade over 300. Not measured or weighed.

    To prepare for CB in late winter, enough honey must be left in the fall to have a box of capped honey overhead prior to serious expansion in late winter/ early spring. CB that one box of honey, and maintain empty comb at the top the rest of the way. CB is a one-shot deal. Do it once in the early season, and forget it. Just keep up with empty supers.
    Walt

  2. #202
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    Default Re: Checkboarding

    Sounds good, Walt. Yes, 300 lbs, and a 10 ft. high hive is impressive.
    Do I understand correctly that extra drawn out frames don't have to be kept in storage overwinter to make the CB work?
    Also you mention above, that CB is a one-shot deal. My understanding from reading one of your articles, is that the CB has to be kept-up every couple weeks until the reproductive cut off. But sounds like that is not the case?

  3. #203
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    Default Re: Checkboarding

    Don't understand the super storage question.
    I make no claim to being a writer, but I must have really been sloppy in that case.

  4. #204
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    Default Re: Checkboarding

    Walt I overwintered with two shallows on each hive as I believe you do! At cb time late Feb early March white wax usually second week of April, I had more that one solid super of honey left, mainly due to a late manipulation of winter stores I made between hives. In most cases a super and a half or more. No expansion into the solid supers.

    What should you do with extra honey frames @ cb time if you have them? Remove them and only cb one super?
    sc-bee

  5. #205
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    Default Re: Checkboarding

    Quote Originally Posted by SERGE View Post
    Sounds good, Walt. Yes, 300 lbs, and a 10 ft. high hive is impressive.
    Do I understand correctly that extra drawn out frames don't have to be kept in storage overwinter to make the CB work?
    Also you mention above, that CB is a one-shot deal. My understanding from reading one of your articles, is that the CB has to be kept-up every couple weeks until the reproductive cut off. But sounds like that is not the case?
    Not trying to butt in, but I don't understand the storage statement either as I have been following this post.

    One shot deal Walt means cb once but you have to continue adding supers above throughout season after the one time cb. Stay two super ahead.

    Is that correct Walt!
    sc-bee

  6. #206
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    Default Re: Checkboarding

    sc has it right. He's been doing it for more than one season.
    I seldom have a full box of capped honey in the upper shallow. They may cap three or four full frames on the fall flow, but any open cells are moved to backfill the broodnest at closeout.

    I normally leave the five center frames immediatly above brood in the deep where they are. We are doing this early in the season, with quite a bit of cold weather yet to come. I want the cluster to have good contact with overhead honey, and I have not learned to enjoy feeding bees. When stimulated by incoming pollen, they can grow through those five frames of honey quite quickly.

    The other four frames of honey in the lower shallow and any capped honey in the upper shallow can be alternated with empty added comb to make two shallows of CBed for the top.
    Any extra capped honey can be placed in outside slots without affecting results. Perhaps I shouldn't have gone into this. It just makes it sound more complicated than it really is.

    Walt

  7. #207
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    Default Re: Checkboarding

    Quote Originally Posted by wcubed View Post
    Don't understand the super storage question.
    I make no claim to being a writer, but I must have really been sloppy in that case.
    My apologies, Walt. I am sure it's my misunderstanding.
    I was curious if there are exceptions to the one time CB rule (meaning- do some hives ever try to backfill between the CB frames and it has to be CB'd again?
    Thanks
    Serge

  8. #208
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    Default Re: Checkboarding

    There is almost always a colony somewhere that is a maverick that doesn't play by their own rules. I havn't run across that maverick, Yet.
    Walt

  9. #209
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    Default Re: Checkboarding

    Walt,
    I think I ended up with surplus because of the late movement of supers to different hive to equal stores on all. I could have extracted a little late season but didn't fel it was worth the hassle.

    Thanks for the explanation of handling the extra supers of stores if you have them. It helps me understand alot. That problem puzzled me this year, I am glad to have clarification.

    Steve
    sc-bee

  10. #210
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    Default Re: Checkboarding

    Quote Originally Posted by wcubed View Post
    There is almost always a colony somewhere that is a maverick that doesn't play by their own rules. I havn't run across that maverick, Yet.
    Walt
    Good to know! Thank you Walt.

  11. #211
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    Default Re: Checkboarding

    Walt,
    What is your opinion about using screened bottom boards and top entrances instead of the standard bottom entrances. Any special recommendations with these when doing the CB method?

  12. #212
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    Default Re: Checkboarding

    Wow, 22 pages is a long read...
    I'm a newbee and I didn't reverse my brood boxes this year. I eliminated the bottom one because it was empty because I want to go with all mediums. This was a second year hive and it did not supersede.
    What I am having a hard time understanding with the CB method is the claim "doesn't interrupt the brood chamber" especially in the north. If you are going into the top box and manipulating the frames in an full, empty, full, ect arrangement isn't that an interruption of the brood chamber? I can't see a big difference between CB and reversal as a newbee. Both seem to me as giving space for brood expansion.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  13. #213
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    Default Re: Checkboarding

    Yeah, 22 pages is a long read, but this post from Walt is the crux of the matter:

    "...To prepare for CB in late winter, enough honey must be left in the fall to have a box of capped honey overhead [above the brood nest boxes] prior to serious expansion in late winter/ early spring. CB that one box of honey, and maintain empty comb at the top the rest of the way. CB is a one-shot deal. Do it once in the early season, and forget it. Just keep up with empty supers...."

    All bolding and words in brackets [ ] are mine.

    Reversal is the process of swapping BROOD boxes. Checkerboarding is the process of opening up the HONEY boxes immediately above the brood nest. Yes, both are brood nest management techniques, but reversal disturbs the existing brood nest and CB'ing does not. If I am remembering what I've read in Walt's articles correctly, CB'ing also invites the queen to expand the brood nest upward while reversal does not specifically encourage that expansion.

    --DeeAnna
    Last edited by DeeAnna; 07-12-2011 at 11:40 AM. Reason: last paragraph

  14. #214
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    Default Re: Checkboarding

    Quote Originally Posted by DeeAnna View Post
    Reversal is the process of swapping BROOD boxes. Checkerboarding is the process of opening up the HONEY boxes immediately above the brood nest.
    OK thanks for the clarification. I can see where there may be a glitch for us northerners. In real cold weather the brood chamber may go right to the top of the hive seeking warmth. I suspect that the bees are hopeful to get a long enough warm spell to go down and retrieve the honey below and bring it up around the cluster so they don't starve.

    If I did this in the early spring or late winter I would be surely messing with brood frames unless my bees are doing something nobody Else's bees are doing.

    Next winter I will go through with two mediums on top and one deep on the botttom and see if they do something different in the spring. It will be second season for one hive and third for the other. If they both don't race to the top I might be able to try checkerboarding on one and not the other just for an experiment. Although as I read though this topic checkerboarding is meant more for the third season yet there was a statement many post back that said second season is when they supersede. Maybe I am not remembering correctly.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  15. #215
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    Default Re: Checkboarding

    DeeAnna gets it. Follow her lead.
    Have tried upper entry and screened BB. Was not impressed with either. But my drivers are not standard. For me, any extra time or expense must be compensated with increased honey production. Any specialized equipment is a burden on both time and money, and if there is no noticable improvement in production, there is little chance of it becoming permanent.
    The management techniques that I promote are oriented to getting the most honey production with the least effort.

    Walt

  16. #216
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    Default Re: Checkerboarding

    Walt,
    Makes sense. Thanks for sharing.
    I run all mediums on my hives and am planning to overwinter my bees in three mediums. To be ready to CB, would it be better to have the two boxes with stores on the bottom and empty frame box on top, or full on the bottom and the two top ones both with five frames of honey frames in the middle? (I run ten frame boxes)
    Thanks
    Serge

  17. #217
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    Default Re: Checkerboarding

    We have no experience with an all-medium config. Your guess is as good as mine.

    Walt

  18. #218
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    Default Re: Checkerboarding

    Walt,
    Are there other times of the year that checherboarding is helpful to use, not necessarily for swarm prevention but as, for example, an aid for quicker build up for winter in the summer or fall?

  19. #219
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    Default Re: Checkerboarding

    Quote Originally Posted by wcubed View Post
    We have no experience with an all-medium config. Your guess is as good as mine.

    Walt
    As I understand this method there must be a full box of honey on top. If that is not the case then you can't checkerboard. You have to wait until next season and go through the winter with four boxes (mediums) in the hopes that they will not go up into the fourth box.

    It would seem to me that there is a point of diminishing return. You are leaving more honey on the hive through the winter that they don't use. The other thing that concerns me up here is manipulating the hive in the cold season (late winter, early spring). Unless I am still not clear on how this works.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  20. #220
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    Default Re: Checkerboarding

    We recommend that you DO NOT use CB at other periods of the season. In the same way that CBing interferes in backfilling during the swarm prep season, at other times the colony needs to backfill as part of their routine population control. In my area, with an extended dearth in midsummer, the broodnest is reduced to limit consumption of accumulated stores. CB really hurts them in the fall. Their preference for storing overhead keeps them from getting the broodnest backfilled for winter. Bad! Bad!

    Walt

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