Re: Checkerboarding verses Opening the Broodnest
this is my favorite thread. many thanks again to you walt, mb, and all the others who have been contributing.
i only a had a few hives that i could try checkerboarding on this year, but so far, no swarms.
these hives were overwintered in one deep and one medium super. when the time came to checkerboard, several of the medium frames of honey had already been consumed, so i tried alternating the honey frames with the empty comb frames in the one super to approximate checkerboarding.
when foraging started, i added a second super of drawn comb above the first super. when the population increased and they started filling the second super, i added a third super. all i had at this point was foundation, but i checkerboarded the foundation with the nectar filled comb from the second super, so that the top two supers were now alternating frames of nectar filled comb and foundation.
one of the hives had been bearding outside for the past couple of days. i inspected it today, and found that they had only modestly began drawing out the foundation frames in the second and third super, but had almost completely back filled the brood comb in the first super. i found several uncapped queen cells with jelly on the middle frames of the first super.
in the deep, there was not much backfilling, and lots of brood, but only a few eggs. i think i found the queen, but she was shrunk down almost beyond recognition.
my questions are:
1. could we already be past reproductive cut off and could these be supercedure cells?
2. did not having enough drawn comb cause them to run out of room upstairs too quickly and back fill the first super?
i also opened up the brood nest in the deep a few times by donating capped brood to some smaller hives and put in foundationless frames.
i decided to pull what i think was the queen and three frames of brood and made a nuc.
can we please not let this thread expire?
beekeeping since june 2010, +/- 20 hives, tf