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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Athens, greece
    Posts
    133

    Default checkerboarding and frames with foundation

    I want to expand the brood nest of my three hives, and I am wondering if checkerboarding works with frames with undrawn foundation, or only with empty frames.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,821

    Default Re: checkerboarding and frames with foundation

    Those frames of foundation can play a valuable role in keeping underemployed nurse bees from sitting around plotting to swarm. They also get drawn very neatly and completely. It serves the same general purpose but is not technically the same.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Athens, greece
    Posts
    133

    Default Re: checkerboarding and frames with foundation

    Thanks for the reply
    You mean that I can not put the undrawn frames, among the brood frames? So I have to put them next to the last brood frame?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,456

    Default Re: checkerboarding and frames with foundation

    It's only March, and we could easily get cold weather again, at least where I live, so I'm hesitant to insert much extra space into the brood nest unless there enough bees to fill that space immediately. If you get a cold snap, the bees will abandon the brood outside what the cluster will cover and it will die. Most importantly, the drones will be left to die, and then they will make drone comb in that empty frame instead of brood comb.

    Foundation is probably a better choice at the moment, although that depends on your particular forecast.

    If you think you will have warm enough weather for the bees to be flying every day and not clustering at night, you can put a foundationless frame in the brood nest if you have enough bees to immediatly draw it out and you have white wax in the hive. I'm putting empty frames at the edge of the brood nest in my hive, I don't trust the weather to stay warm all that long right now, and until another round of brood emerges there aren't enough bees to my mind.

    Peter

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,821

    Default Re: checkerboarding and frames with foundation

    Hey Pete, it is probably pretty warm in the mediterrainian now. They are south of Florida I think in Greece

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,456

    Default Re: checkerboarding and frames with foundation

    You're right, I missed the Greece part of the address. It's been a hectic day.

    So long as there are enough bees to quickly draw comb in the foundationless frame it's fine to put one in. If there isn't a good honey flow, though, my limited experience is that they draw a partial frame of drone comb if they are not in expansion mode, which you then have to deal with since it's in the middle of the brood nest.

    Still, the mountains in Greece are still fairly cool, I'd bet.

    Peter

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,245

    Default Re: checkerboarding and frames with foundation

    i had the chance to expand the brood nest in a few of my hives this spring. as far as drawing new comb, these bees definitely prefer the empty frames to the ones with foundation.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Athens, greece
    Posts
    133

    Default Re: checkerboarding and frames with foundation

    Thanks guys.
    I think Athens is in the same latitude as west Virginia and Kentucky. Of course, sea is near and changes the climate. But the 14 days weather forecast is steady with temp from 23 C -8 C.
    The cherry-trees just started to blossom.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Posts
    909

    Default Re: checkerboarding and frames with foundation

    Sounds like you are about on time with central US. Cherry trees just startin to bloom in Fort Wayne but we are a couple of weeks ahead of normal (at least). In that case I would be careful splitting the brood nest. Wait until you are sure the temps will stay warm, have enough bees to cover and nectar coming in.

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