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  1. #101
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    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    So I think I had a huge flow in the spring. a decent flow through most of the summer and I should have harvested that honey when I first saw it.
    Not the way I see it. If you are feeding that implies you should take no honey otherwise why are you feeding? Remember if you feed you are doing something that wouldn't be natural so the reactions are not natural.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  2. #102
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    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    Okay I missed that there is a med on top of the two deeps as a brood. nest. Now I am confused as well. According to that I never got past having a brood nest on my hive.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  3. #103
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    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    No Daniel you had a brood nest. It can be from one medium (the size of a nuc) to a whopping three deep hive. I want to hear what Michael does for a reversal with that medium in the mix.
    Here is the way I see it: If you are a big operation and have lots of equipment of different sizes you can do anything to maximize production. If you are a small backyard beekeeper you are better off not complicating things with a whole lot of different equipment. Keep it simple and don't worry about not getting 20 pounds extra of honey. If you need another 20 pounds of honey get another hive. Most people want you to have two anyway.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  4. #104
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    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    Ace,
    Are you not the same guy who showed us a frame from a deadout, and drew some grandios and inaccurate conclusions from it? Your experience base is showing and it's not very flattering.
    Walt

  5. #105
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    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    Are you referring to post #80? I am more than happy to hear what you have to say about it. Why do you think they made that semi circle brood pattern?
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  6. #106
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    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    Just to be clear, are these brood or honey supers? Excluder or no excluder? I'm guessing no excluder and honey supers?
    Yes, no excluder, honey supers.

  7. #107
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    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    Quote Originally Posted by MattDavey View Post
    Thanks Michael. I assume the supers are drawn comb, not foundation?

    Daniel, he said the brood nest is two deeps and a medium. So part of the brood nest is in the medium before supers are added.

    Matthew Davey
    Correct

  8. #108
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    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    Looks like we need clarification on this:
    You start off deep, deep, medium then add medium, medium. When you reverse what goes where? Do the deeps stay together or are you putting that bottom deep on top of the first medium? QE or not?
    No QE.

    Most hives are deep, deep, medium...medium in any position, bottom, middle, deep. I'm looking for total volume of cavity, not any specific configuration. The first supering is done before dandelion...tree bloom time Walt talks about, maybe a bit later bloom than in for him. These are two medium extracting supers. Two to three weeks later the hive is reversed. The top and bottom boxes are reversed around the middle. At this time the colony is checked for size of cluster, amount of brood, weight, and for swarm cells.If cups with eggs, or cells with young larvae are present, they are removed, and the colony is reversed. Another super is added if necessary...on top if no cells are started, and beneath the stack if cells are present. If there is brood in the bottom super and honey in the top, they're reversed when placed back on the hive. If the colony has gotten ahead of you, two supers of extracting combs can be added...one below and one above the first two.

    Colonies that have older sealed cells are handled differently. Cells can be removed as you inspect the broodnest, leaving one ripe cell taking great care not to damage it. You must know for sure that there is a queen before all the cells are removed. When you find the queen, she can be removed and the comb with queen cell placed carefully back in hive. If you believe the colony was ahead of you, and has a good queen and was just in need of more room, then cut the cells, open the broodnest, reverse, super...whatever seems appropriate for that colony. Not all colonies are alike and not all respond the same. No manipulation has the same effect on all colonies...no matter what that manipulation is.

    In a week to ten days, the colony can be checked again by interlooking...looking at combs from the bottom up by tipping up the broodnest. If cells are again present, a more radical approach should be taken. Splitting will usually end swarming...not always. In that case, the split can be used to requeen the colony. Splitting will reduce the honey crop in every case, so splitting should be the last resort...unless you plan on using the split to requeen. In that case you can elevate it over the inner cover, and unite when their queen has got a nice broodnest set up.

  9. #109
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    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    Ace,
    Yes, #80. Since you didn't deny that the pic came from a deadout, will add a few comments. My point was that one shouldn't draw conclusions about NORMAL characteristics from effects seen in a crippled or dead colony. Does that make good engineering sense?

    You go on to offer that the picture shows no indication of reservation of the colony to expansion through the interbar gap. I contend the opposite.

    Understand that the expansion dome/arch of brood is a general characteristic of the expanding broodnest. Outside that arch is the honey reserve in the shoulders/corners of the box. What you have captured in the comb appearence is the delay timing or hesitation at the interbar area. They died or absconded at that point. (They typically leave a small band of honey across the top of the arch.)

    A snapshot in the growth period is not proof of the delay, but the fact that growth was stopped long enough to capture it in residual comb after the demise of the colony does indicate some time passed. Had they been healthy, they might well have increased the population enough to grow across the gap in a week or so.

    The delays are short in the population build up period of spring. Where it becomes problematic is later in the season when the broodnest is receding. If the broodnest is elevated in the stack, growing downward often results in completely failing to jump the gap. (They are not growing into broodnest heat rise.) This leaves the brood nest higher in the stack at fall preps.

    Those of you moving to all-medium configuration will see this tendency sooner or later. By adding more gaps in the stack, you increase the probability of some seasons having the fall broodnest elevated at mid season.

    Walt

  10. #110
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    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    Ace as for your frame. and your comment "If the frame below also has a semi circle" It is in the if for me. My observations indicate the frame below looks just like this one. An upside down bowl of a semi circle. it is as if the queen and bees treat each frame as a separate brood chamber. the chamber does not continue on uninterrupted but appears to me to have been so interrupted they started over making a whole new brood nest. But every frame of brood I have ever pulled from my hive has that arch of pollen and honey over it. the bees do seem to me to see that strip of wood as the top of the nest. It is in this that I do find some merit to the issues of med frames in a brood nest. I find the same issue is true with a deep frame as well. Just not as many breaks in two deeps as there are in three meds. Is this enough of a problems for me to not use mes fraems for the nest? Right now I am thinking no but am still looking at it. I am thinking it may be a hair that does not need splitting. The underlying issue for me is how long of disruption is it for the queen. if it is only a few minutes. no big deal. if it puts her of laying for a day. well that is another issue. The most productive period I saw in my queen was when she had 15 fraems to hop around on just like this. So if it comes down to no space or broken up space. broken space is preferable. If it is between large space or small space. I am not sure it makes enough of a difference.
    Last edited by Barry; 11-22-2012 at 10:01 AM. Reason: uncalled for personal remarks
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  11. #111
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    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    To me, a brood pattern which encompasses two frames one above the other indicates the size of the population of bees in the colony. A good sized strong colony has no trouble expanding its brood pattern across bottombars and top bars down into the box below. If bottombars and tops bars were a deterent to a laying queen we would see nothing other than full frames of capped brood.

    I do see those too by the way.

    What are the determining factos concerning where the queen will lay? Proximity to honey and pollen stores? Which cells have been prepared by the Housecleaners? The size of the area which worker bees can maintain at the proper temperature? What else? I'm sure there are other things I am not thinking of.

    Then there are the factors which stimulate the queen to lay, such as a nectar flow and length of sunlight.

    How do we best use what can be know to dampen swarming tendencys?
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  12. #112
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    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    The first supering is done before dandelion...tree bloom time Walt talks about, maybe a bit later bloom than in for him. These are two medium extracting supers. Two to three weeks later the hive is reversed. The top and bottom boxes are reversed around the middle.
    Is "before dandelion" when you see the very first dandelion flower? If I waited for dandelion bloom (when most plants are flowering), it would be well into swarm season.

    Can you maybe give a time in weeks in relation to the start of swarm season?


    So to be pedantic, your steps would be something like this?

    1. Add two medium supers to the winter hive, X weeks before swarm season.

    2. (X - 2 to 3) weeks before swarm season, reverse the brood boxes so that the top box and bottom brood boxes are reversed.

    3 a. If queen cells have been started at the time of reversal, remove them and add another medium super of drawn comb if necessary, underneath the previously added supers (directly on top of the brood nest).

    b. If no queen cells have been started then add another medium super of drawn comb on the top of the hive if necessary.

    c. If the hive has already filled most of the supers, then add a medium super of drawn comb below the previous two supers and another super on the top of them.

    d. If sealed queen cells are found, remove the queen and keep one queen cell, destroy the rest.

    4. One week after reversal (max 10 days), check for queen cells again. If more queen cells have been made, then split by removing the frames with queen cells. These can be placed in a box above the inner cover with its own entrance and then reunited when a brood nest has been established.

    Thanks
    Matthew Davey

  13. #113
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    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    Walt, If the greater issue with the breaks is that the queen is reluctant to move back down once she has gone up. could this be dealt with by reversing brood boxes? Sounds something like what Michael Is describing.

    Mainly if a gap causes a problem. does it matter if it is one or two gaps the bees are faced with. a gap is a gap is a gap and the queen will resist moving down over it. Ultimately the answer is a brood nest made of one continuous frame deep enough to hold all of the brood nest.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  14. #114
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    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    What are the determining factos concerning where the queen will lay? Proximity to honey and pollen stores? Which cells have been prepared by the Housecleaners? The size of the area which worker bees can maintain at the proper temperature? What else? I'm sure there are other things I am not thinking of.
    Where in the cavity the entrance is.

  15. #115
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    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    >>Is "before dandelion" when you see the very first dandelion flower? If I waited for dandelion bloom (when most plants are flowering), it would be well into swarm season.

    Can you maybe give a time in weeks in relation to the start of swarm season?<<

    Yes, before or just at the first dandelion flower...not the flow. I rarely see swarm cells at this point in the season. I do think it's important to have supers on if you're in an area, or a season that has a significant flow from maple/willow as we have here. The tree blooms get the bees going, and the dandelion flow fills the broodnest...sometimes a 50 pound or more flow here. That's when the bees start cells....especially if there aren't supers on yet. They used to tell us not to put our supers on before the dandelion flow ended...strong dark and crystallizes. Well, it's better to have dandelion in the supers than bees in the trees.


    >>So to be pedantic, your steps would be something like this?

    >>1. Add two medium supers to the winter hive, X weeks before swarm season.

    X is difficult to pin down exactly. It would vary with region and year. Perhaps best stated... X= before they need it.

    >>2. (X - 2 to 3) weeks before swarm season, reverse the brood boxes so that the top box and bottom brood boxes are reversed.

    Right, but that reversal should be timed...in my area...to the dandelion flow.

    >>3 a. If queen cells have been started at the time of reversal, remove them and add another medium super of drawn comb if necessary, underneath the previously added supers (directly on top of the brood nest).

    Yes, and maybe even one on top if the colony is really strong and gathering nectar well. Doesn't hurt here in my area to seemingly over-super a strong colony. The amount of comb space a colony needs to store nectar is much greater than the comb space they need to store the honey that came from that nectar.

    >> b. If no queen cells have been started then add another medium super of drawn comb on the top of the hive if necessary.

    Yep

    >>c. If the hive has already filled most of the supers, then add a medium super of drawn comb below the previous two supers and another super on the top of them.

    Yes, but these are the colonies with which I produce cut comb honey. Place a cut comb super/foundation below the two full supers.

    >>d. If sealed queen cells are found, remove the queen and keep one queen cell, destroy the rest.

    Yes, that's one way. Or destroy the cells and check back in a week or so.

    >>4. One week after reversal (max 10 days), check for queen cells again. If more queen cells have been made, then split by removing the frames with queen cells. These can be placed in a box above the inner cover with its own entrance and then reunited when a brood nest has been established.

    Yes. You stop the swarm, bring a new queen into laying condition, have two queens laying for a time...although separated. Population is boosted and colony is requeend when units are united.

  16. #116
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    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    Walt, If the greater issue with the breaks is that the queen is reluctant to move back down once she has gone up. could this be dealt with by reversing brood boxes? Sounds something like what Michael Is describing.

    Mainly if a gap causes a problem. does it matter if it is one or two gaps the bees are faced with. a gap is a gap is a gap and the queen will resist moving down over it. Ultimately the answer is a brood nest made of one continuous frame deep enough to hold all of the brood nest.
    Yes, that's one benefit of reversing. Also gets rid of crystallized honey left over from winter, and rotates up bottom combs.

    Ultimately...the question is the bottom line. How does this supposed gap between stories, effect anything? I have colonies in multiple boxes make more than 200 pounds of honey this year, average was 108. Very strong colonies going into winter. Little feeding this year. Nucleus colonies building up in multiple boxes building big clusters, draswing out 6-8 frames of foundation, wintwering beautifully. So, if this supposed gap in any way effects the colony negatively...how?

    Facts and figures please.

  17. #117
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    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    Not the way I see it. If you are feeding that implies you should take no honey otherwise why are you feeding? Remember if you feed you are doing something that wouldn't be natural so the reactions are not natural.
    Ace I had sugar water on the hive because that is what I was adviced to do any time I have bees drawing foundation.

    Here are some more details on what I saw. I was feeding them sugar water in order to get foundation drawn. I had been feeding them for several weeks as I continued to add frames of foundation. I had a pretty good since of what they would accomplish with a bottle of sugar water. This was sometime in June. I woudl have to look at my records for exactly when. But suddenly over about a weeks time the bees started filling this upper deep with honey. I had added a med on top of it but they ignored it. I think partially due to it only being foundation and the bees wanted empty comb to fill. There is no way that the honey came from the sugar water. 70 lbs of honey from 10 lbs of sugar water. If so I have some great bees for you.

    Of course this was honey with unknown amounts of sugar in it now. No problems as I considered this winter stores for the bees.

    I was concerned about what would be happening with the brood nest at this time. but I also had that empty box on top that was being ignored. I know I was thinking either I will learn the effects of a back filled brood nest or the bees just don't have that deep filled enough o move up yet. I was also aware that things in my hive had progressed far beyond what I had prepared for in this first year. my comment on this group around that time clearly expressed that. I was not ready to contend with large honey production. in fact I thoguth I woudl have to feed the bees fairly well in the fall. I was just hoping to get them to draw as many fraems as possible this first year.

    So anyway I forgot to forward the memo on my plans to my bees and so they had one of tier own.

    I think in all I ended up with a collision of trying to get foundation drawn. a flow that was really good and no idea what to do to keep the honey at the top of the hive. In short I had no idea what I was seeing or what to do about it.

    I didn't get any honey out of it but in the end this hive produced a full deep and two full meds of honey either from nectar or sugar water this year and where the source for making two nucs.

    I still don't understand why the bees would not move up into the med. But they wouldn't maybe had it bee drawn empty comb they would have taken to it better. maybe I should have placed it under the deep they where filling with honey. I know from that point on I never thoguth the brood nest was okay. My suspicion is I spent the majority of the summer with a restricted brood nest but the bees still did not swarm.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  18. #118
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    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    Ultimately the answer is a brood nest made of one continuous frame deep enough to hold all of the brood nest.

    Congestion will still occur when the limits to expansion are met. And the swarming mode will kick in before that happens and swarming will occur almost no matter what you do.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  19. #119
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    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    I'm looking for total volume of cavity, not any specific configuration.
    Not all colonies are alike and not all respond the same. No manipulation has the same effect on all colonies...no matter what that manipulation is.
    Here we see eye to eye.
    so splitting should be the last resort.
    We differ here because we have different goals. Splitting is a way for a back yard beekeeper to increase colony numbers and keep colony populations down to a manageable size. What for you might say? You get the pollination services of the bees, some honey and get less resistance from neighbors around you because you are not intimidated so much by the bees and take better care of the hive. I think a small hive is easier, you may disagree.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  20. #120
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    Default Re: Factors contributing to Swarms and Swarm Prevention

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    My observations indicate the frame below looks just like this one. An upside down bowl of a semi circle.
    Don't forget I was there and I can tell you that you are wrong. As I said, I don't have a photo of it but I remember what it looked like. The frame under the frame shown in the photo was a completion that made a circle when in the hive. I can't this is exactly what you will see in your back yard but I can say what happened in mine. My experience however short has got me thinking that there is almost no rule in beekeeping that hasn't been broken.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

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