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  1. #21
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    Default Re: Leave them alone for 10 days question, confirmation

    If you add too much space too quickly, they will move up into it with a fairly small number of bees and just use the lower par tof the hive for pollen storage, or not at all.

    They will also tend to use only the center frames and leave the outer frames empty. Swapping the frames around will only result in empty but drawn frames since there are not enough bees to fill them.

    A nucleus hive won't expand much at first, just draw out the frames just outside the ones originally in the nuc. As they do that, more brood space becomes available, and after the first round of brood emerges, they will grow in size much more quickly.

    Swarms on the other hand will build comb like crazy -- the large one I caught three weeks ago drew out four full frames of foundation between Friday evening and Monday afternoon. Four more frames over the next week, too. Should really take off in the next week as brood emerges from those first five frames which were full of capped brood last week (one frame was an old brood frame, fully laid by the queen in a couple of days).

    I don't check more than once a week unless I see something at the entrance that makes me think there is something wrong with the hive, it really does disrupt the bees when you open the hive and pull all the frames out. A quick peek by lifting the cover will tell you if you need more space, and you can just tilt the brood boxes up to check for swarm cells in the spring, you don't need to pull every frame every time you look in. You should do a complete inspection at least twice a year, checking for disease, mites, and queen quality. You can check for stores in the fall by lifing the hive at the rear to see how heavy it is, and if it's gaining weight as it should be, no need to look inside.

    Moving frames around in a hive with a small population can be a problem, especially in cool weather. You can split the brood nest enough to end up with significant chilled (hence dead) brood, you can squish the queen and they won't have enough population to replace her, and you may not be able to buy a replacement quickly enough to save the hive. Lost one myself that way this spring, must have squshed the queen when I inspected as they made an emergency queen cell, but never got a laying queen again and dwindled away to nothing a month before I could buy another queen.

    Peter

  2. #22
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    Default Re: Leave them alone for 10 days question, confirmation

    If you would like a couple of specifics where you mangled their processes by "helping":

    You moved pollen away from adjacent to brood frames. They want it where it was. They feed pollen to older larvae, and they don't, or can't, move pollen from cell to cell. When expanding the brood nest they can, and do leapfrog pollen with nectar and then brood. When that pollen is consumed as feed, brood fills the gap.

    You moved frames of cells being filled with sugar water away from the brood nest. Think you called it honey. They can, and do, move move nectar to expand the brood volume in the growth mode. Had those frames stayed where they were, you would have some brood increase there by now.

    Give 'em a break, and don't help so much.

    Walt
    Last edited by wcubed; 05-25-2012 at 06:09 PM.

  3. #23
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    Default Re: Leave them alone for 10 days question, confirmation

    Walt, I have been thinking on your comment. I started to write a lengthy reply supporting my thinkign but deleted it in favor of jstu gettign to the point. Your view favors a prolong production of 1,400 bees per day rather than taking measures to increase the laying to as much as 7,000 eggs per day. the number I understand a healthy queen can lay. this increase could happen in as little as one day if a queen is capable of that sort of increase in laying.

    Older larva I take it is the larva in the last two days of development. putting 2800 larva at risk int eh first 24 hours. a potential 7000 larva over 5 days in order to allow the queen to lay as many as 35,000 eggs in that same 5 days. I may have starved 7000 larva. I also may have given the queen the room to lay those 35,000 eggs.

    I also realize there are other factors related to how many eggs the queen in fact lays. Given this nuc had a lot of bees that did not have room on the frames it is my thinking there are considerable bees to cover comb and allow an expansion of the nest. They have a none stop supply of sugar water and are foraging. I also see at least some pollen coming into the hive. I cannot say at this time if it is a lot or not. I have nothing to compare to. my thinking is that pollen would be the major limiting factor to how many larva can be sustained. It is also my opinion that they can sustain far more larva than are currently being produced. I have considered adding pollen patties to the top of the hive but so far have not done so.

    IN all I still see an increase in laying is preferable to sustaining a longer period of lesser production. even if it means the loss of the larva produced during the time of restricted laying. In addition it is in the best interest of the queen to get her up to full potential in the least amount of time possible. A queen restricted in her laying is being harmed. possibly irreversibly so.
    So taking into consideration more than just that every single larva survives I am not sure that what I have done is not the correct thing to do.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  4. #24
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    Default Re: Leave them alone for 10 days question, confirmation

    Walt, one other question concerning the comment "They want it where it was" in regard to the location of the pollen frame. Is it? they have been stuck in a box with only 5 frames of room and are making due. This nuc was placed in this box and their queen hatched there. but with such limited room is anything arranged they way they would want it?
    I am not arguing, in fact you have made the most thought provoking post of this entire thread. Part of that thought is because some of what you say is counter to other information I have read. Your post caused me to think about just why I ever thought the queen needed more room in the first place. it was not something I just made up. It is my understanding that you are saying enlarging the brood nest makes it impossible or at least difficult for the bees to care for the larva. Yet enlarging the brood nest is a standard practice in swarm prevention. As I see it this is just as much a honey bound nest as any other. in fact drastically so. I am not sure any hive that is established would tolerate such conditions for long it would have swarmed most likely multiple times long before now. Or am I going about expending the nest wrong?
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Leave them alone for 10 days question, confirmation

    My comment on people over manipulating their young hives is similar to Walt's statement. At some point beekeepers should watch how a 5 frame hive grows. In other words, for 5 frames they want it where it was. When they go to 6 frames you can watch how things change. They know how to expand a bee nest. It is true that once in a while one will swarm when it doesn't make any sense to us, but by far they tend to do the same things.

    The tops of the frames tend to stay the same, honey and pollen. The lower parts of frames change and honey is moved or used and brood is put in its place. If it is warm, you moving stuff around in their hive isn't the end of the world for them but new beekeepers should give them more credit for knowing what to do at that stage. As they get bigger, what they want and what we want will be different (they want to swarm), so we do make some major changes to their nest (take brood for example, or move undrawn frames into the center of their brood nest).

  6. #26
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    Default Re: Leave them alone for 10 days question, confirmation

    We have had a cold snap for the last two days. It is supposed to end tomorrow. It was actually snowing yesterday. Today only got to 55 degrees and tomorrow is supposed to be 72. We went from an 80 plus degree day to snowing over night. Stinks but that is the sort of weather we have here.

    I won't be able to check just what is going on in my hive and how the frame moving effected them until Monday. that will make it 9 days since I last checked on them. I have not seen the queen or verified she is still laying since I installed them on the 14th.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  7. #27
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    Default Re: Leave them alone for 10 days question, confirmation

    Opening the brood nest is for an established hive growing fast to head off swarming. Not an issue of making more space, it's more an issue of making sure there are empty cells for the queen to lay in, since the bees are filling the brood nest with nectar in preparation for leaving the hive queenless for a couple weeks after the laying queen departs with the reproductive swarm.

    You may get some chilled brood in any case, as warm weather winds up the brood production, but it won't hurt anything. Happens all the time, only causes the hive to crash if they are way undersized.

    I would check weekly for progress, no need to take the whole hive apart, but you should verify that you have all stages of brood and that the bees are drawing comb properly, and to see if they need more space. Once you get a better feel for how things work, you will be doing less looking inside. Your hives will be built out full size, you will know how many supers to add and when by what's blooming and how the supers look, and other than checking for swarm preparation, you only need inspect a couple times a year for general health and welfare unless you see something at the entrance that makes you thing you have trouble inside.

    Peter

  8. #28
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    Default Re: Leave them alone for 10 days question, confirmation

    psfred, by adding space I meant giving more cells in the nest for the queen to lay. Enlarging the nest is what I call it so that may be something I made up and that is confusing. As for enlarging the hive. that can't be avoided when placing a 5 frame nuc in a 10 frame body. With the cold snap I am not sure what I did was not a good thing. a lucky good thing since some think it was also the wrong thing to do. It allowed the bees to fill int eh space that woudl have been foundation sooner making less cold air space in the hive. I have seen how the bees crawl head down in empty comb to cluster. this may have given the comb to crawl into rather than being stuck to the roof, walls or hanging on bare foundation. At best it was luck because nothing about what I did took a cold snap into consideration.

    As for the Pupa outside the hive. Late yesterday I made one more check there was actually a live not completely developed pupa crawling around at the entrance of the hive. What the heck??? are the bees pulling living pupa from the comb? IF so why. I understand they will do this if they think the brood is diseased. Possibly the think they got chilled. Not sure but it really erks me if bees are killing perfectly good sisters. I also noticed several bees just inside the entrance licking the floor. I figure they are keeping condensation mopped up. It also seems to me that being stuck inside is not doing much for their attitudes. I did see a few bees leave the hive the instant the temp got near 60 or so. They are still taking it out on the sugar water. IF the increase in taking up the water is any indication of how much nectar the foragers can bring in in a day, it is fairly impressive. maybe half a quart or so. I realize it takes longer to get a load of nectar than it does to fill up on sugar water. but still that is a lot of liquid for a small number of bees. I actually saw a couple of bees return yesterday with large loads of pollen. Today is suppose to be 70 or so. The rest of the week gets even warmer. I will check on the brood and laying tomorrow and see if they are ready for a second box. Since nobody but me had any thought about the moving of frames I will leave them alone and just add foundation to the top. I suspect they are already arranging things to their liking from my last visit by now anyway.

    I built a spare deep body yesterday so I have a place to put frames while inspecting the hive. I did this one right using my new Dado blade to cut the finger joint. Sorry I don't even consider a lap joint. Might as well just but the ends together than use one of those.nice tight joints on this box. Tight enough I have to use a mallet to get the boxes assembled. Much better than the ones I cut by hand. One trick I really like about a finger point. You can drill a hole from the top edge of the box through the first two or three fingers. then use a dowel or better yet Metal rod to pin them together. that is a corner that never pulls apart. It is a method used to build a box for holding excessively heavy items. Honey fits that bill. You can actually run a rod all the way down the corner through all the fingers if you have a drill bit long enough. Anyway thought I woudl just share that bit of technique in box building. A simple box with no bottom or top for additional support needs something added to make the corners stronger. this is a great way to do it. even a nail driven down through the first couple of fingers woudl help a lot.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  9. #29
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    Default Re: Leave them alone for 10 days question, confirmation

    We had to go out of town to get a tobacco field ready this morning, returned at at about 4.P.M. to more bees flying than I have seen before. My daughter and I both watched them as the returned and noticed that far more bees where returning with pollen than before. The general activity at the entrance had a different appearance also. I can't really describe how it was different it was a bit disorganized. faster paced to some degree and it seemed a lot of the bees where what I woudl described clumsy. falling over as they landed etc. I never did make anything out of it other than it all looked very different than usual. A little something changes about this hive every day though. I suited up and opened the hive. Almost immediately I had the largest flight of bees in front of the hive I have seen yet. by possibly twice. I decided it was time to use the smoker for the first time. The smoke cleared the bees from the top of the frames but did nothing to the bees flying in front of it so I set to work. None of the bees aver got aggressive. I would say that it was more like far more bees where aware something strange was going on and took flight to investigate. I am taking that as an indication that the bees are just settling in and the disruption of being moved placed in a new box and generally messed with is fading.

    In short I will say I found exactly what I had hoped to find and then some. Not only are frames 4 and 9 fully drawn. they are full of eggs and larva. They also contain sugar water capped sugar water and pollen at the top of each frame. that is how I understand bees want to keep house.

    I kept my word about not moving any frames. I cannot say for sure I could have. One thing I am doing is attempting to not seperate brood. I cannot move frames one or 2 Without moving frame 3 which has eggs away from the rest of the nest. The brood nest is now spread across 7 frames and I have no more room to move frames inward as I did before. There is some indication that that the queen has increased her laying drastically. one side of one frame is completely full of just eggs. Another side of one frame is full of larva. I don't have any experience in recognizing the age of larva but woudl guess these are no more than 3 days. that is a full frame of laying in at most 6 days. That is still a far sight from keeping 10 frames full of brood going but far better than keeping two frames full.

    The oldest larva I was able to find where those three day olds. this means My last interruption of the hive may have resulted in a two to three day disruption of laying. I also simply may have not seen where the older larva are since a couple of the old brood nest frames where heavily covered with bees and I did not remove them.

    Here is a breif frame by frame.

    Frame 1: largely untouched Some slight drawn comb.
    Frame 2: side 1, 1/4 frame drawn comb with sugar water. pretty stuff when it is in the comb.
    side 2, Nearly fully drawn filled with sugar water. Oh yes I know the difference so when I say honey I mean honey and when I say sugar water I mean sugar water.
    Frame 3: side one, Capped brood, Honey and Pollen. Side 2, Capped Brood honey and pollen
    Frame 4: side one, Fully drawn comb filled with sugar water some capped. side 2, eggs with sugar water and pollen over them.
    Frame 5: Original frame of brood Now capped brood some honey and pollen. both sides
    Frame 6: Original brood side 1 now Honey and pollen very little capped brood. side 2, capped brood capped honey and some pollen
    Note: the bees seem to have split their brood nest on their own with one side of one frame now being used for honey storage. For now I consider this one more indication of the bees attempts to cope with no room. I expect to find this comb restored to brood later. I will not really know since I will not do another inspection of this box for a while.
    Frame 7: Capped honey and sugar water both sides, again a frame they have split the brood nest with. This time both sides of the frame. Since this is one of the new frames I consider this one a result of my manipulations. A nearly full frame of empty comb , bees searching for a place to store sugar water and a queen that may have been interrupted for 2 to three days. the bees beat the queen to this comb resulting in a split in the brood nest.
    Frame 8: Old frame of brood that has capped brood and sugar water across the top Both sides.
    Frame 9: Larva both sides topped with sugar water and Pollen.
    Frame 10: Honey.

    I noticed a few cells that loo like sugar water that is taking on more of a honey look. I don't know if this was sugar water or honey from nectar in this area. I just know it is a clearer looking honey.

    Frame 4 is the frame I was hoping they would get drawn and was not all that hopeful the queen would actually get to. Final results are better than I should have hoped for. Not only did she get to it. she got to it in the order I expected. She also most likely got to it before my inspection only because my inspection was delayed by two days. To me this means not only am I able to anticipate how the bees will behave. I can anticipate almost by the day how they will behave and in what order they will select frames to work on. The bees are actually telling me where they will go and when. I just have to look for it. I also see indication that I was correct in questioning the hive was arranged the way the bees want. From what I can tell the bees do to want food next to the brood at all. they want it over the brood. And that is where they are putting it now that they can. They also want to build down not up so I am thinking of adding the next box under the first rather than over. not sure just yet on that one. I might see what they do with a box over and switch it if I think it is necessary.

    In all it is not completely successful with the brood nest being split the way it has. I am thinking this will be corrected in a short time with the addition of the next box. My goal to drastically expand the brood nest has been accomplished although a bit messy as of today the brood is spread across a width of 7 frames rather than 2. The frames of brood also have honey or sugar water and pollen over them as I understand the bees want it.
    They also now have 9 of ten frames drawn 8 of ten frames filled and I will be adding the nest box of 10 frames of foundation tomorrow.

    I apologize for this post being so long and detailed. It is serving for the moment as a temporary log as well until I can find a permanent log I like.
    If anything about this had anything to do with any skill I have, it is the ability to watch the bees and get some idea of what they want to do. And yes some of my decision the past few days have been a result of just that. Some luck for sure. Some of the comments this week have genuinely had me concerned and I was not at all certain what I might find today. I am relieved that it is as well as it is.

    The following is a record of the decisions I made and why I made them. Mainly it is for me to refer to in future decisions, what worked and what did not.
    bees placed in hive body on May 15th
    First inspection three days after installation May 17th. I noticed bees had chosen frame 9 as the frame to start drawing comb. This was the first frame next to the original 5 nuc frames and they where drawing it only on the side next to original frame only. all other foundation was being ignored. It accoured to me that the bees would nto pay much attention to any space outside what they recognized as their home (the original 5 frames). I decided frame 8, a full frame of honey from the original nuc to the number 10 position . this now caused the two new frames of foundation, now frames 8 and 9 to be within the original frames.

    After closing up the hive I almost immediately regretted having left two frames of foundation side by side. this was not consistent to what I had read about placing foundation between two drawn frames. This having been my first peek into the hive I also realized I did not remember nearly as much as I wish I had and even more so had not even paid attention to even more details.About all I remembered was that frames 1 thru 3 where foundation and that frames 8 and 9 where foundation and that the bees seemed interested in working on frame 8. I also knew I had not moved any brood away from the nest. In fact I had only moved honey away and had not disturbed the nest itself or the location of pollen. I knew I wanted to go back in and separate frames 8 and 9 by another frame from the nuc. I was not sure there was one that did not have brood in it.

    I also realized that while digging around in the hive was not the best time for me to try and make decisions. I needed to have a better way of knowing what I wanted to do before I got into the hive. My daughter and I set down and together wrote down every detail we could remember.

    Second inspection May 19th. With the feeling that this opening up the hive every two days was going to get old fast. I decided I wanted to separate frames 8 and 9 anyway. plus U wanted to see if my idea was correct. mainly that is that just because the bees are in a bigger box with strange frames. they do not consider that are their home. they consider the boundaries of there home their home. and they where the same until I moved one side out and made the boundaries of the home 2 frames wider. If I where correct I expected to see them working far more seriously on the two frames now within the boundaries of their hive. Upon checking I found drastically more progress on On both frames 8 and 9, frame 8 being half drawn on both sides and frame 9 also being half drawn. It did appear to me that the bees now recognized these frames as part of their home and it contained the dreaded empty space. they where fixing that at a rapid pace. I placed frame 7 which was honey and a small amount of brood between frames 8 and 9. It was expectation that the comb in what was now frame 7 would be discovered by the queen providing much more room for laying. as it is this frame was first discovered by bees searching for a place to store sugar water. This leaves me with a question to seek the answer for. What if anything determines for the bees where the brood nest is? I may have found at least one thing that determines the hive for them. Perhaps this is nothing more than the results of a hive not really having the proper room for anything and making do with what they have as it develops. I do suspect it is a situation that will easily and quickly be remedied. Why? because the bees want that sugar water over brood. and if I give them room that is where they will move it. They will get that room tomorrow with the addition of a second body. also as other frames of brood begin to develop as the bees ant it sugar water will be moved above those frames as well. This thinking is the beginning of my thoughts on placing of the next box under the first. the bees don't want to move sugar water again they want the queen to move down and leave that water where it is. I have noticed that bees are extremely efficient and moving water again is not consistent with that. the queen walking down a frame and resuming her laying there does.

    I also chose to split frames 2 and 3 based upon the idea that bees will pay attention to frames that fall within the boundaries of there home. These frames where placed at positions. frame 4 a frame of honey and pollen was moved from location 4 and swapped with frame 3. this again moved the boundaries fo the home to include another frame of foundation. It is this move that I believe Walt is referring to when he said I separated the brood from the food. It is also the frame I was referring to when I said I may have separated the brood and food for now but it was with the expectation that the next brood will be in that new frame once again next to the food. As it turns out that is exactly where the queens most recent laying has been done. I was also correct in that the bees would also correct where the food was by placing it where they really wanted it and that was above any frame of brood. Although the space they have above is very limited for now. that is the direction they are taking.

    Third inspection: May 27th. The details of this inspection which was a full inspection including the brood nest. laying pattern location of eggs and larva inventory of stores etc are detailed above. All frames moved within the boundaries of the home have been fully utilized and contain stores or brood. On frame of foundation that lays outside the boundary is fully drawn and filled on teh side facing the home frames. the opposite side of this frame and the entire frame in location 1 are largely being ignored. This again indicates that placing foundation within the boundaries of their old frames will result in them considering them a apart of their home and they will pay far more attention to them.

    I have a strong tendency to keep my word, and I had said in this thread that I woudl not manipulate the frames further. largely based upon keeping my word I did not. I will also add that I will not be giving such word in the future. I believe that it resulted on a big mistake on my part. Every indication dictates that frame 2 should have been moved inside the home boundary and continued the process of gaining acceptance of this frame to the home. I do not see that frame one can be moved and it will most likely just have to be left to be drawn as the bees eventually recognize it as a part of the home boundary. as it is I am looking at the very same situation with frames one and two as I had with the original frames 9 and 10. It is obvious that the same series of manipulations would produce the same results. The problem with that is I don't have a second frame of only honey to place in position 1.In addition I would only move frames 1 and 2 to positions 2 and 3 and not split them. this might result in a repeat of the brood nest being split yet again by bees seeking places to store sugar water.

    Anyway it is done. it will resolve itself in time anyway and I will not go into the brood nest again for some time. Not because of my word, but because it is what is best for the hive. I am confident the queen now has what she needs it is now a matter of weather she has what is needed to take advantage of it. I have no power to change that one way or the other.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  10. #30
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    Default Re: Leave them alone for 10 days question, confirmation

    Don't know why we didn't get notice of activity on this thread since my last post - until tonight.
    The "home boundary" of which you speak is the warmed interior of the cluster. Feeding brood is a 24/7 operation, and both nectar and pollen must be in that that thermally controlled volume. In the tree hollow it is generally rounded - a sphere is the most volume contained by the least perimeter area. Lang hive design disrupts cluster outline. In a well-populated nuc the cluster is boxey.

    Early season brood is often "batched." That is, laid as a group - seen as all larvae or all capped. When a batch emerges, the cluster takes a step up in volume and then levels off for a period until the next batch emerges. Your brood nest disturbance, might have coincided with one of those surges in cluster volume, and that would help your cause.

    A nuc in the establishment mode has wax-making capability in the early season that the overwintered and fully-established does not have at that time. Further, establishment is a full-bore effort. They push the limits of safety in the interest of getting it done in the limited seasonal time remaining.

    Cold snaps or cold nights are not new to our bees. Their growth rate is conservative to allow for those conditions. (make haste, slowly) Normally, an adequate safety margin is included in their growth rates. They have incorporated those instincts into their format by selection over millions of years. I'm not inclined to tamper with those instincts and do not do anything to disturb the brood nest at any time.

    As I see it, you have successfully encroached on their proven safety margins. However, you have no reference to demonstrate a comparitive result if you had done nothing. Making progress in great stides is a hallmark of the establishment process.

    And I would expect substantially different results if applied to the established colony.
    Walt

  11. #31
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    Default Re: Leave them alone for 10 days question, confirmation

    wcubed, Thanks for that information. I could be one reason I am seeing what I am in the brood. A lot of eggs. A lot of larva I guess to be 3 days old and a lot of capped brood. Nothing filling the gaps so this woudl fit a pattern of batch laying and then nothing.

    The cold had me concerned because I had been messing with the frames. no doubt they woudl have been better prepared for it had I done nothing.

    As for comparison I offer this, consider it worth whatever you consider it worth as I don't even think it is "Proof" of anything. I am not that easy to think I have learned anything. The only frames in the entire brood box that have largely gone untouched are the only two frames I never got within the Home Boundary. and that is still true even though they have drawn and filled every other frame. They have started some slight drawing of the foundation that faces toward the outer frame of the old nuc and completely ignored frame 1. That to me ai best some indication that moving frames of foundation inside the span of their old frames does make a difference 100% of the time. of course 100% of three frames is no reason to re write any books.

    Like I said my concern was to give the queen more room to lay. that has now happened. It also may have happened by pure luck. I could not have said a week ago I know this work and today I can only say it did work. I still don't think I would say it would work again. I appreciate those that have taken the time to share their thoughts and warning. I also want to say they have not gone unheard. it has caused me to rethink just how quickly I decide to do something. Or how much I change at any given time. Without those warnings I may very well have moved frames one and two yesterday. and it may have been a mistake. They have caused me to rethink when enough is enough for the bees at the very least. AN I do know I feel confident that they have had enough. It is time to stop meddling and allow the bees to do things there way in their time.

    I know that walts comments where a big part of me having the thought yesterday that the bees are starting to make this more and more home. and every time I open it they act more and more like it is home. It is time I stop changing things on them. They will eventually get things fixed up and they really don't need me as a sub contractor. So I am content and even very happy today to just let them be as they are. give them another box to go into as I do really think they need it. and see for a while how bees do things.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  12. #32
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    Default Re: Leave them alone for 10 days question, confirmation

    Bottom line is that you cannot force the hive to make more brood, whatever the theoretical possibilities. The bees must tend the brood until it's capped, and then must keep it warm, so that limits the amount of eggs the queen lays, however the bees do that.

    Bees have been making hives for millions of years, I really don't think much we do will change the way they do things. Brains are way too small in bees to do much training, eh?

    Hives in establishment mode, as Walt said, will go like crazy, built up hives very much less so -- no need to make much wax, as they have all they want already. Listen to Walt, he's been at this for a very long time and has a great insight into how bees operate.

    Most of all, quit messing around in your hive. The bees will take care of things all on their own unless they run out of nectar or pollen in a dearth, and you can fix that by feeding syrup and pollen patties if needed. Moving frames, switching frame positions, reversing frames end for end, and all that disrupt the normal operations of the hive, and the last thing you need in a new hive is more disruption. I don't do much beyond checking to see that all is well and when they need more space, even on swarms or splits -- if there is brood in the appropriate amount and location, I just separate the rest of the frames to see what the bees are doing on them and push them back together, I don't need to look at each one in detail. If the hive is not doing well, I'll find out why and try to fix it, otherwise hands off for the most part.

    With a few years of experience, you will be able to look at the activity at the entrance and tell if the hive is doing well, and if so there is no real reason to look in at all past swarm season except to add supers or harvest honey.

    Peter

  13. #33
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    Default Re: Leave them alone for 10 days question, confirmation

    I don't think it is a matter of forcing or training. It is having observed that the bees where not paying any attention to anything that set outside of the original 5 nuc frames. If anything it was the bees teaching me. They had there idea of what was the hive I had mine. I just needed to see if I could get them to see more frames as part of their hive. I am convinced that moving frames of foundation inside frame 10 did just that. I didn't like how I did it the first time so I changed it. I also moved frame 3 when I did. That is when the comments of doing to much or messing with the bees is not a good idea. I do not disagree with that. It is very true that even if I found a way to get the bees to draw the comb I should. Results of that are not even in yet. It may have given the queen far to much room to lay to many eggs. I realize the bees have a lot of work to do and causing them to spend to much time on one thing could be disastrous. In fact the whole thing worked better than I expected and to much to fast may end up being part of the result. The 5 day period of larva feeding may begin any moment now. they already have one frame of brood. will they be able to tend to the next, still gather the sugar water. forage etc. At the very least the queen has increased her laying which is good for her. that does not mean it will result in more brood surviving. There is a lot of capped brood in there. hopefully they will emerge and add to the work force.

    I am certain though it is time to back off and leave them alone.

    Actually if I did it again it woudl be done at a slower pace. move one frame and leave it for several days at the very least. then the next frame might be moved depending on what they did with the first. if it was filled with eggs I would probably not be so quick about moving another frame.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  14. #34
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    Default Re: Leave them alone for 10 days question, confirmation

    This thread has already served as a way I can go back and see what day I did what a couple of times. So my continued posts are not so much to resurrect this thread but it is proving to be a useful tool when I mess up my log notes. forgetting to add the date etc.

    Some of what I include in this post may be a repeat of what I have posted before. that is meant to be a summary for me so that I can see in one post what I have done before and what. Basically it helps me see where I am in the timeline.

    Since all of my manipulations or inspections of the brood nest ending on May 27th I have not made any other disruptions to the lower body since. Except for lifting the upper box on June first to place 1 lb of Mega Bee Patties on top of the brood frames. results as of today with the Mega Bee is that they have taken approx half of the Pattie in three days.

    We have been making inspection of the upper box on an every two days or so basis just so we can see for ourselves how the bees choose to build out a box.

    The first inspection of the upper box was made on June 1st at the same time the Mega Bee was placed.
    We found frames 1 thru 3 nearly untouched, Frames 4 thru 6 where drawn nearly completely across the surface of the foundation to some degree with the majority being in the center between frames 5 and 6 straight up the center of the foundation. The impression I got was that when the second body was added the bees traveled straight up through this center to the sugar water and it is on that path they began to draw comb. Again an indication they will begin work on any portion of foundation that falls between areas they recognize as there home. in this case the space is vertical. I also have the impression that if they have to travel there they want the space closed up. That pretty much concludes my observations and thoughts on that days inspection.

    Today June 4th we made our second upper box inspection as well as checking the Mega Bee patties placed on the brood frames. As I mentioned above a good half of the 1 lb we had placed on 6-1 has been eaten.

    Significant progress on drawing and filling frames in the upper body has also been made. Frames 5 and 6 being the most complete frames with stores of sugar water and pollen

    frames 1 and 2 still untouched.
    Frame 3 has three quarters of the face of the foundation partially drawn on both sides.
    Frames 5 and 6 as noted above I consider fully drawn on both sides and filled to some degree with pollen or sugar water. It also appears they have stored some of the Mega Bee.
    Frames 7 is much the same as frame 4 except do to flaws in our foundation they actually attached portions of frames 6 and 7 together. upon removing these frames two portions of the foundation and comb on frame 7 where torn out leaving to silver dollar size holes in the comb. Thebes can now rebuild this portion and hopefully correct the miss alignment of the foundation.
    this messed up foundation is a result of my mistake in having placed foundation in frames weeks ago and it getting to warm. basically it warped from the heat and will most likely just be a problem for a while.

    Frames 8 thru 10 are untouched.

    In summary frames 5 and 6 are what I want to see in the entire box. The question is. are the bees capable of drawing that much comb in three days? a week? two weeks. If allowed to progress as they are will they continue to work from the center outwards. If allowed to work at their pace in there fashion will it result in them being slow to give attention to frames one and ten as I have seen mentioned often. Due to the concerns above, a result of many comments I have read and my own observations I removed frames 5 and 6 and placed them in positions 1 and 10. all other frames where pushed to the center making frames 4 and 7 now in positions 5 and 6. this means the bees do not have completely new foundation in there favorite space, but they have frames that need a lot of work. IF I am correct in my thinking that placing new frames between frames that the bees consider their home is correct. this is also the ultimate test of that idea. I have placed 8 frames between to that they obviously consider theirs. Without considering just how much work bees can get done. I expect it is possible upon the next inspection in two to three days that all 10 frames could be nearly fully drawn. We will see. I think it is a significant influence , Note I did not say positive influence I said significant if the bees can be compelled to work on 8 frames in the same amount of time they spent working on 2. As to weather this is a positive or negative effect is yet to be seen. there are only so many bees and there is a limit to just how much effort can be given to any one task before other tasks could begin to suffer. I have sen some indications that an accelerated rate at one task results in an accelerated rate in others as well. For example my manipulations of the lower box resulted in an increase of drawn comb. This was then followed by and obvious increase in foraging activity for several days. At this time it appears to me that if foundation or space is placed int eh right spot. bees will fill it. they will not only draw comb but will continue to expend energy on this empty space to fill it with food or brood. I am beginning to refer to this as the hatred of empty space.

    One final note. Yesterday at 10:30 a.m. I received a call about a swarm on a stand pipe spigot two blocks from my house. they are not at my house living in my top bar hive. they are not very happy with me and are not as tolerant of me being near the hive as the bees in the langstroth. There is already some indication that this irritability is beginning to fade. They have a space of ten bars with dowels for reinforcements and sugar water. they will now be left alone for a period of ten days. The swarm is fairly small and I already do not have a lot of hope of it's survival. I will not even spend as much time near it observing as I have the Langstroth hive. As far as I am concerned this little cluster of bees have all they can handle just staying alive. They do not need even my presence adding to their stress.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  15. #35
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    Default Re: Leave them alone for 10 days question, confirmation

    Man do the bees get pissy when you get near their queen. I don't know if all bees always act that way but Yesterday I could definitely tell a difference in my bees when I pulled one frame from the upper box. So much so I gave the frame an extra careful look because something had them worked up. First thing I noticed was eggs. In the upper body! Not sure exactly what that means for the lower body. Then my daughter said "There is the queen" and sure enough there she was on the opposite side of the frame laying away.

    I am not sure what if anything it means that the queen has moved up. Has the lower body been filled with honey, sugar water or brood even? Is it just this particular queen and she wants to be at the top? IS it good bad or doesn't matter. This box was added as the second deep body. so if the top box is where she wants her eggs I don't know that it matters.

    Also things have gotten real rough around here for other reasons. I am not on my best game and probably won't be for a while. Bad situations concerning my grand child and people are probably going to jail before it is all over. You know that sort of summer vacation sort of thing. I am still trying to keep up with my bees in the middle of it.

    Anyway I made another inspection of the upper body where I expected the bees to just be drawing comb and storing stuff. but as I said I found the queen and eggs. That sort of stinks because I was looking for this to be the box I can inspect more often and not necessarily disturb her. Anyway all but two frames of this box are nearly full drawn and approx half are filled with something. I moved two more frames which makes the entire box now checkerboarded in that lesser drawn frames are now sandwiched between the better drawn frames. there are two exceptions and that is between frames 7 and 8 and 8 and 9. both sides of frame 8 are not touched. the side of frame 7 that faces frame 8 is not touched and the same for frame 9 that faces frame 8. so there is a total space of 2 frames untouched. I expect in another two days 4 at most this box will be fully drawn and probably filled.

    I did not inspect the lower body and won't until I check my notes to see when the last one was. I was not going to mess with it again for a month. I am not sure it really matters what is going on down there.

    On a side not this hive had by far it's larges orientation flight to date. bees whee climbing out in so many numbers it resembled bearding. The air was filled with orienting bees that formed that ball shape that was about 10 feet across. This one was huge. This was day 24 since the nuc was installed and all brood from the nuc has emerged. Now we will start seeing what the queen has done since getting here. If she started laying quickly after being moved to the 10 frame body I may be seeing the very first evidence of increased laying. I am not certain though. But that flight was easily 4 fold larger than anything I have seen before.

    Also my estimate is the lower 10 frames are packed with bees the upper 10 frames are about half full. this indicates the hive has tripled in population in 4 weeks.

    My numbers may be off because it is hitting the fan around here and I am just going off the top of my head. I had a stressful day yesterday right up to 9 last night and am back up this morning at 4 going at it again. Normal day for me but usually with less stress. Got reported by the other parent of one of my grandchildren for my bees being a danger to the child. I made the CPS worker go out to my hive while I opened it up and actually picked bees up in my hand. I just looked at him and said about as deadly as a house fly. He left saying he had no idea what honey bees where like that. I said most people don't they just think they know about bees. And because everyone else thinks they know they consider themselves right. Well lets all set around and think we are millionaires if that is the way it works.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  16. #36
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    Default Re: Leave them alone for 10 days question, confirmation

    The queen always wants to be in the top box. Normally in a two deep system 100% of brood will be in the top box in spring until brood production is high enough to require her to go to the bottom box also.

  17. #37
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    Default Re: Leave them alone for 10 days question, confirmation

    I added the first med super two days ago. It might be a while before they get anything done in it as they still have room in the second deep. I will not be inspecting the deeps every other day again. They will be checked next month. I have no idea what is going on in the lower deep since I have not looked in it since adding the second deep. They could have swarm cells for all I know. Second deep has drawn but not filled comb on every frame. they will be a little while getting it fully drawn and filled. Foraging bees at the entrance has gone through the roof the last three or four days. It looks like a full entrance is not big enough. I am starting to think that an upper entrance is not a choice but a necessity. I will get something done about it tomorrow. In all not having seen a hive grow before my impression is this one is booming. I just hope they get the med super filled this year. it is my only hope of a bottle honey for our use. Very expensive honey mind you.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  18. #38
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    Default Re: Leave them alone for 10 days question, confirmation

    Quote Originally Posted by beedeetee View Post
    The queen always wants to be in the top box. Normally in a two deep system 100% of brood will be in the top box in spring until brood production is high enough to require her to go to the bottom box also.
    That is true for areas of long, cold winters where the cluster is located in the upper deep in late winter. In the southeast, the opposite is more normal. Brood in the top deep is mostly limited to the surge in expansion to grow the population for reproductive swarms. Backfilling of swarm preps then replaces the brood in the upper. Brood is maintained in the lower deep for the full spring season.

    Walt

  19. #39
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    Default Re: Leave them alone for 10 days question, confirmation

    Walt, I am not sure just what to consider our winters. They are mild but long. As an example today got to 97 degrees but tonight I can easily expect the temp to drop to 50. a few morning my bees have been flying at first light because the temp did not drop to low but many other mornings they will not fly until 10a.m because it got to cool. We are still not clear of the threat of freezing or even snow. It can be 100 one day and 40 the next. The net result is I am not sure if I should keep my bees in one deep or two. It would be nice if I only need one because then I already have my next set of boxes for a second hive. for now I am playing it safe.
    I did look this up. it is the average temps for Reno for each month of the year.
    I will just list the two extremes.
    July 71.6
    December 32.7
    Average High temp for those months
    July 91.9
    December 45.5
    Average Low
    July 51.3
    December 19.9

    So from the above it shows that we have very long but mild cold weather. Even the warmest part of the year has lows that will cause bees to cluster. And the coldest days of winter they can almost fly. In fact those days will be bright sunny days so they probably will on many of them.

    This tells me I have bees that are dependent on their stores year round but with greater opportunity to get to stores all through the year. include this with we are in a dessert where forage is not necessarily abundant and I often wonder if bees can survive at all.

    In the end I see the case that my bees need tons of stores to eat through the winter because they are likely to be active for most of it. It would be nice to know if those with more experience would agree with that rational.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  20. #40
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    Default Re: Leave them alone for 10 days question, confirmation

    Quote Originally Posted by hilreal View Post
    Bees don't seem to mind as long as you don't choke them with smoke...
    If I left the smoker next to the hive and the wind is blowing the smoke over the hive, will this make the bees more upset? Is it true that I could make them more uptight with too much smoke?

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