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  1. #81
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    Elkton, Giles, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: Checkerboarding verses Opening the Broodnest

    Brood comb is already at brood-rearing depth. In the early season the bees won't use cells too shallow for brood - even to store nectar. Depending on your uncapping technique, cells might be too shallow for brood. Wax color doesn't matter.

    Walt

  2. #82
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
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    9,759

    Default Re: Checkerboarding verses Opening the Broodnest

    So they won't build it back out to where they can use it for brood? I'm confused. How would they ever use foundation?
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  3. #83
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Danbury, CT
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    2,887

    Default Re: Checkerboarding verses Opening the Broodnest

    Keep it simple:
    If it has brood in it, it is brood comb, if it has honey in it it is honey comb, if it is empty, it is drawn comb.

    For most purposes no other definition matters.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  4. #84
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    4,110

    Default Re: Checkerboarding verses Opening the Broodnest

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    So they won't build it back out to where they can use it for brood? I'm confused. How would they ever use foundation?
    I'm guessing that early in the season they don't have resources to produce very much wax? I'd never heard that, but it makes sense.

  5. #85
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    Aug 2008
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    Elkton, Giles, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: Checkerboarding verses Opening the Broodnest

    The established colony doesn't have wax making capability in the early season, even with nectar coming in. In the swarm prep period they generate wax makers to leave with the swarm, but the overwintered colony doesn't have sustained wax makers until main flow.
    Walt

  6. #86
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    4,639

    Default Re: Checkerboarding verses Opening the Broodnest

    i am coming into spring with five colonies, and enough drawn comb to checkerboard them. i also have some meduim supers that still only have foundation.

    i am not going to use a queen excluder. my plan was to move the first super to the bottom if it got filled up with brood, leave it there through winter for pollen, and use it to checkerboard next year.

    my question is: would i be better off putting the supers with foundation on the bottom to start with, leave the drawn comb upstairs, and let it get back filled with honey later in the season?

  7. #87
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Elkton, Giles, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: Checkerboarding verses Opening the Broodnest

    Sq.
    The colony is reluctant to draw F any time through the season when it is used below the brood nest. While 1st year colonies are programed to build down, overwintered tend to avoid it. Your supers of F are usable at the top after the start of new wax at main flow. To get more F drawn during the flow, add the F at the top of the brood nest - bottom super. The broodnest will be receding, so add the next below the last. More work, for sure, but you will get more comb drawn.

    If you only have five supers of drawn comb, you might be better off to only CB a couple of hives and use some other technique for swarm reduction on the rest. You need to keep the CBed in overhead drawn comb up to repro c/o. Brood nest expansion through the CBed supers is accellerated and may only take 2 weeks. Foundation above that doesn't help much.

    In Jackson Co. you have a fair spread in season timing as a result of elevation. Depending on whether you are in the river valley or the mountains makes a difference. Somewhere in between, you could be exactly the same as my timing. Note that Huntsville in the valley is almost a full 2 weeks earlier than here. (Only 30 miles)

    Good luck with your choice of options,
    Walt

  8. #88
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    Jul 2010
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: Checkerboarding verses Opening the Broodnest

    very much appreciated walt. and yes, i am on a ridge top. i have a total of seven supers with drawn comb, enough to begin checkerboarding on the five hives, with some extra, hopefully enough to make it to new wax.
    thanks again for the advice of bottom supering the foundation.

  9. #89
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: Checkerboarding verses Opening the Broodnest

    walt, i have one hive that is already raising brood and even has drones. on inspection yesterday, the one medium super had five frames of capped honey and four frames of empty comb, so i alternated the honey with the empty comb. there are still plenty of stores in the deep. i did not add the second medium of empty comb, because there was not enough in the first medium to checkerboard with. any suggestions?

  10. #90
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    Elkton, Giles, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: Checkerboarding verses Opening the Broodnest

    Tough one. Check when you get a chance. If they fill the deep to the point of being crowded, and are not putting nectar in the med, pilfer a few outside frames of honey from the others to create another alternated box. Add it at the top.

    If I understand, you have a deep with one med box of alternated above. The problem with that is the colony works to the top of their honey, and they seem to not be able to tell the difference between solid honey and alternated frames of empties. By having two supers of alternated, they build through the lower and you are home free.
    Let's take this off-line via PM.
    Walt

  11. #91
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clackamas Oregon
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    755

    Default Re: Checkerboarding verses Opening the Broodnest

    Walt, thanks the box configuration is exactly what I was looking for. By the sounds of it I don’t have nearly enough drawn foundation to try this year. A quick question about drawing wax, since we have been on it a fair bit in this thread, if I give them some capping wax will they “rework” it to draw out the foundation? I was adding some wax to my plastic frames today and thought about that.
    “Why do we fall, sir? So that we might learn to pick ourselves up” Alfred Pennyworth Batman Begins (2005)

  12. #92
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    dadeville, alabama, USA
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    Default Re: Checkerboarding verses Opening the Broodnest

    If you are in an area where there is hive beetle.....Be carefull spreading and breaking up the brood nest. You spread the bees too thin, you are liable to find the hive slimed or powdered, depending on which of the two phenotypes of beetle you have. Here in Alabama, beetles can cause damage from February to November. WE try to keep the bees tight as much as possible and expand only when it is a must. Beetles changed our management. TED
    ALABAMA BEE COMPANY-A member of the Sioux Honey association -*Sweetening a golden tommorrow*

  13. #93
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    Dec 2008
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    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
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    2,728

    Default Re: Checkerboarding verses Opening the Broodnest

    Thanks Ted, that explains alot of differences in management style between us Yanks and y'all. Sounds like you must walk the "almost swarming" line pretty close.

    Crazy Roland

  14. #94
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    dadeville, alabama, USA
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    Default Re: Checkerboarding verses Opening the Broodnest

    We control swarming by pulling a couple of frames to make up nucs in the spring. And yes we do walk a tight line on almost swarming. And we do loose swarms...We used to produce thousands of two and three pound packages of bees for sale each year. Canadian border closure and later the advent of the beetle changed all that. Now if you shake a colony too hard, it then is a death sentence for that colony. So if you spead the brood chamber, you thin the bee's coverage of those combs, and the beetles have a feast..The people that do produce packages, use an awful lot of things like filiprinol in their bees. Stuff I consider items that should never be placed in a beehive. TED
    ALABAMA BEE COMPANY-A member of the Sioux Honey association -*Sweetening a golden tommorrow*

  15. #95
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    Elkton, Giles, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: Checkerboarding verses Opening the Broodnest

    minz; (playing catch up)
    If you put cappings wax above the inner cover it disappears with time. I think its used as a substitute for stored wax (burr comb) in the brood nest. I see no evidence that it is used for drawing new comb. That may be because new comb is fashioned by the wax makers themselves.
    Walt

  16. #96
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    West Point CA
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    67

    Default Re: Checkerboarding verses Opening the Broodnest

    Roland or bluegrass if I have no drawn comb to use can foundation frame work?

  17. #97
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    West Point CA
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    67

    Default Re: Checkerboarding verses Opening the Broodnest

    BeeGhost,

    I would think you will have a good wild flower flow in March - April and Blackberries after that. Depending were you are you are in Livermore orchards are going from Feb - May too.

  18. #98
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    Dec 2008
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    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
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    2,728

    Default Re: Checkerboarding verses Opening the Broodnest

    Rurbanski - I am not qualified to answer your question. My climate is too different. Wcubed might be a better source of info. I can say that putting foundation in the brood area when there is no nectar flow often results in chewed out foundation because the bees use the wax elsewhere.

    Crazy Roland

  19. #99
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    3,064

    Default Re: Checkerboarding verses Opening the Broodnest

    Ted, It sound to me like you are describing what I call "With every blessing comes a curse" I suppose you can turn that around and say with every curse comes a blessing if you want.
    I grew up in Kansas where you can grow just about anything. But there is also every insect swarm , plague, fungus and disease also. I now live in Nevada where you can't grow much more than rocks. and there are no pests to speak of either. I cheat and make my own soil and am able to grow some very nice gardens with few diseases and such. You may have a mild climate to keep bees in but then you never get a break either.

  20. #100
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    dadeville, alabama, USA
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    Default Re: Checkerboarding verses Opening the Broodnest

    Hey, rocks are nice. That is what I got an actual education in but only work in the field when a job comes along-economic geology. Since those jobs with an occasional mining company are sparse in the hills of the southeast, beekeeping has filled the niche nicely for my adult life. TED
    ALABAMA BEE COMPANY-A member of the Sioux Honey association -*Sweetening a golden tommorrow*

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