# Thread: Pyramiding Up - Partial Checkerboarding for newbeeks?

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1. Join Date
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## Pyramiding Up - Partial Checkerboarding for newbeeks?

Hi Guys,

I've seen a number of people new to beekeeping asking how can they Checkerboard when they have little drawn comb.
Can "Pyramiding Up" be used like partial Checkerboarding when you don't touch the broodnest?

ie: Moving frames from the sides of lower boxes to a new top box and Checkerboarding those. (Then doing the same again, when the next super is due to be added.)

Here's an example with a hive that is wintered with two boxes using a Detailed Frame Notation (to keep track of where frames moved to, and show details of the frame).
What do you think? Also, is the brood structure what you would see in late winter?

Hive late winter:

Y0(H/H) | Y1(H/C) | Y2(H/B) | Y3(H/B) | Y4(B/H) | Y5(B/H) | Y6(H/B) | Y7(H/B) | Y8(H/C) | Y9(H/H)
Z0(C/C) | Z1(C/P) | Z2(B/C) | Z3(B/C) | Z4(B/C) | Z5(B/C) | Z6(B/C) | Z7(B/C) | Z8(C/P) | Z9(C/C)

After Pyramiding Up:

X0(E/E) | X1(E/E) | X2(E/E) | Y0(H/H) | Z0(C/C) | X5(E/E) | Z9(C/C) | Y9(H/H) | X8(E/E) | X9(E/E)
X3(E/E) | Y1(H/C) | Y2(H/B) | Y3(H/B) | Y4(B/H) | Y5(B/H) | Y6(H/B) | Y7(H/B) | Y8(H/C) | X6(E/E)
X4(E/E) | Z1(C/C) | Z2(B/C) | Z3(B/C) | Z4(B/C) | Z5(B/C) | Z6(B/C) | Z7(B/C) | Z8(C/C) | X7(E/E)

Where:
Z is the bottom hive body, Y is the second hive body and X is the third hive body (X added when Pyramiding up).
0 is the left most frame and 9 is the right most frame (Ten frame hive body.)
(H/C) means the frame is MOSTLY Honey with SOME empty Comb. (Assume Honey is along the top of a frame)

H - Honey
B - Brood
C - Empty Comb
E - Empty Frame (Foundation or Foundationless)
P - Pollen
Last edited by MattDavey; 12-22-2011 at 06:43 AM.

2. Join Date
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## Re: Pyramiding Up - Partial Checkerboarding for newbeeks?

You may have already read this. This first post by Michael Bush is explaining some about Dee Lusby's manipulation that she refers to as "pyramiding up".
http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...7820#post57820

This second post is in the same thread and by Michael Bush. It goes into more detail about pyramiding up and has a good visual depiction of pyramiding up that Michael Bush posted.

http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...7826#post57826

Merry Christmas!!!
Ed

3. Join Date
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## Re: Pyramiding Up - Partial Checkerboarding for newbeeks?

I've wondered about this too. Also, I wonder if "mt camp" sugar - or candy, fondant, etc - on top might not be an imperfect (but better than nothing) substitute for the top layer of reserve stores...

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## Re: Pyramiding Up - Partial Checkerboarding for newbeeks?

Thanks Ed, I had read Michael Bush's site on this but didn't realise how close my question was to the post you have listed.

So, does anyone do this?

5. Join Date
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## Re: Pyramiding Up - Partial Checkerboarding for newbeeks?

Thanks for the link to Michaels post as well. It answered a question I had right off the bat. I thought I would still point it out on this thread before any new folks make a possible mistake. In the graph above it shows that all pollen was removed from the hive. I suspect that was an oversight and that doing so would be a mistake. Michael's graph shows the pollen is kept in the lowest body. I still get the idea that pyramiding is stretching the brood nest up in a cone shape while filing in the edges with empty comb or even empty frames. This still keeps the main body of the brood nest at the bottom of the hive and the top box mostly either comb or empty frames.

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## Re: Pyramiding Up - Partial Checkerboarding for newbeeks?

It works well for me. As long as there are enough bees to cover the empty frames when you insert them into the existing brood nest they expand rapidly.

Empty Comb vs. Empty Frames - in my experience there is a spring timing issue that I need to be aware of. In very early spring if empty "frames" are inserted into the brood nest they are usually ignored. They do not seem to be interested yet in building comb. With empty "comb" they will immediately expand into it. Progressing further into spring a point is reached when comb building will begin right away when inserting empty frames into the brood nest. I'm not sure if anyone else sees this, but that's been my experience with opening up the brood nest or pyramiding.

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## Re: Pyramiding Up - Partial Checkerboarding for newbeeks?

It's not a matter of interest in building comb. The overwintered colony in temperate areas does not have wax making capability in the early buildup. They forfeit some housebee duties in an effort to streamline the workforce to those duties needed to concentrate on supporting building population. The established colony, on functional comb, doesn't need wax makers to expand the brood nest. In the swarm prep period, wax makers are generated to leave with the swarm. And all colonies build a cadre of sustained wax makers for main flow.

Walt