Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 21 to 36 of 36
  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Brainerd, MN
    Posts
    533

    Default Re: Cut Down Split-Back Filled Brood Nest

    One thing I should say is that moving over capped brood is the impact on mite loads. I had to treat my nucs with hopguard as my nucs started showing deformed wings, but are looking mich better after treatment.

  2. #22

    Default Re: Cut Down Split-Back Filled Brood Nest

    Maybe I'm a fool, but I have yet to see Varroa in my hives. I do have SHB, but they fly so I can't really keep them away. I got my bees from BeeWeaver, and they are on the list for Varroa resistance. I know several others that have BeeWeaver queens and don't see varroa either.

  3. #23

    Default Re: Cut Down Split-Back Filled Brood Nest

    Hey gang, just wanted to give my update. Last night I went through and did a double split off of my queenless hive, moving a few queen cells into each new nuc. So now instead of one queenless hive, I have three queenless nucs, with queens set to hatch in two days. Talk about a nerve racking experience! Working the bees was not a problem, but the weather was. Yesterday we had what Houston calls "scattered showers", which basically means the weather shows no distinct pattern at all, other than some moisture coming in from the gulf. But a rain shower can pop up anywhere, anytime with little to no warning, and just as fast as it is here, it's gone. So I watched the radar all day, and observed as the much needed rain just seemed to jump right around my house. Where I work, 20 miles from home, we had a pop-up storm that cut visibility down to about 50 yards. Through the course of the day at home, I picked up 15/100"

    Anyway, so when I got home, the radar was clear, so I went for it! I wasn't worried too much about the crummy weather having the foragers home, because when I made my split, all the foragers moved to the new hive, and the queenless hive really didn't have any to speak of. So I started working, and had just finished the first nuc, when it started raining. Thankfully not a downpour, but just enough rain to make me wonder if I should proceed. So I ran around frantically for a while trying to find something I could rig up for a canopy over my work area, of course to no avail. Alas I decided to just grind it out. If I was just moving bars it wouldn't have been a big issue. But I was having to cut off queen cells, and also trim the comb down a little to fit the new boxes. Indeed, I screwed and and built my new hive boxes slightly smaller than the old ones. It dawned on me this morning what the problem was.

    Anyway, I ended up taking one bar at a time, and running it over to my planting shed, where I did the comb work on the bench, and then ran it back to the new nuc boxes. I must say, my bees are extremely tolerant of my stupid mistakes. They were pretty fussy by the end, and rightly so. I had two or three try to sting my gloves, but thankfully the leather did its job. In the end, everything got buttoned up, and I'm hoping for the greater good. I also managed to cut out a dozen queen cells that I am delivering to a friend at work today. I've never transported capped queen before, but I suppose if they can go through the mail, then they can certainly go with me to work one day. I hope they don't die in transit, but I guess if so, they're no worse off than if I had just killed them at home.

    Wish me luck!
    After 20 months I'm over a 20 hives and growing. See my videos! http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8fVrmUsyYlRuASdX6UQk1g

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Granby, MO
    Posts
    105

    Default Re: Cut Down Split-Back Filled Brood Nest

    Update?

  5. #25

    Default Re: Cut Down Split-Back Filled Brood Nest

    Oh yeah, great news! I checked the nucs yesterday and found mostly good results. One hive already has a queen laying (spotted the eggs and the queen), another had a queen ruling, but I didn't see eggs yet. Unfortunately the third appears queenless. It's funny how just the activity in the have can be an indicator of queen presence. I gave them a bar from another hive with eggs/larva to see if they will try to raise a new queen. It could be that they do have a queen and she just hasn't mated yet and I didn't see her. But their attitude, lazy and low moral, indicates to me a hive depressed and queenless. All the other hives were very active.

    I'll try to update as things progress.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Moyock, NC, USA
    Posts
    207

    Default Re: Cut Down Split-Back Filled Brood Nest

    Tom, what do you mean Queen ruling?
    I get the idea, but what evidence or behavior coincides with that.?
    Are the worker bees not agitated like they normally ore when queenless?
    Do they know that normalcy is just around the corner for them?

  7. #27

    Default Re: Cut Down Split-Back Filled Brood Nest

    I guess I should have explained (but so often I say too much on here). What I meant by "queen ruling" was simply that I saw a queen in the hive, and she was not apparently in any sort of harm. She was running about on the comb, beating her wings as if to drum up excitement, and possibly better distribute her pheromones. Perhaps it was a victory dance after killing another queen, I don't know. But it's funny, the only reason I spotter her was because of her activity. I was looking for eggs, and she went bouncing across the comb right in front of me. Maybe she just wanted to introduce herself.

    As for the bees not being agitated for being queenless, that one too has stumped me. Last fall I "rescued" a queenless swarm from a lady's backyard. At the time, it was my first actual handling of bees, but from what I had read, they demonstrated queenless behavior. They appeared to go about aimlessly, often in two or more semi-groups of bees rather than on mass, and repeatedly I found them all crawling about on the ground, and refusing to stay in the hive that I tried to give them. But as for activity, they were constantly fanning, and yes, were more aggressive (a real problem since I didn't have a suit yet).

    What I've seen from my three nucs now goes like this: To begin with, the two with queens have a lot more bees. Now there has not been time for the new queens to have raised any of their own brood, so the only way they can have more is if they picked up foragers from the main hive. Bees will tend to drift as we all know, and a lost bee will seek out a hive based on traces of a queen scent, not always their own, but just seeking a queen in general. I wish I could put up a visual on here, but I don't have pictures anyway. I'll link my YouTube page so you guys can at least see the layout to help understand how drifting would be so easy. So on first peak into the nucs through the window, I noticed the first (currently thought queenless) was very low in numbers, to the point that one or two bars of comb only had a few bees crawling around on it. This could become problem fast if SHB or WM find their way in. In the next two, I peaked in, and noticed very good numbers of bees, with a minimum of every bar of comb covered, as well as extra bees crawling around in the back of the hive. These two with better numbers were later confirmed to have queens.

    But back to activity, the one that I did not confirm a queen in, seemed lazy and lethargic, as if they were depressed that they didn't have a queen. It could have been that there were just so few bees that things seemed less active. But I wasn't really met by any guards or scouts like one would expect in a stronger hive. It really has me stumped why they are not acting like the bunch of queenless bees that I had last fall. It's for that reason, that I am still speculating that they may have a queen, and that I just didn't spot her. Upon not spotting the queen, I traded an empty bar of comb from the queenless hive to the original hive with my marked queen, the trade was for a bar of eggs/larva from the strong hive back to the suspected queenless hive. The goal is that the bees will tell me whether or not they have a queen. If they don't, they should build some queen cells on these fertilized eggs. So far I have not spotted any queen cups since Thursday, but I have not actually opened the hive, so they could be around back where I can't see. If they do have a queen, then the bees should just raise up these eggs normally. Perhaps I'll check tonight to be sure. I want to know where I stand before I leave town for 5 days on vacation.

    See, now I went and said too much again. Did I answer the question? Did I spark more?
    After 20 months I'm over a 20 hives and growing. See my videos! http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8fVrmUsyYlRuASdX6UQk1g

  8. #28
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Moyock, NC, USA
    Posts
    207

    Default Re: Cut Down Split-Back Filled Brood Nest

    About answering and sparking more questions...YES and YES
    About the ruling Queen..Is she just not mated yet?
    I will update you on my split tonight as I will be able to check my Queen cups... I had record high temps followed by T'storms galore. Hopefully it had no ill effects. It actually blew the roof off of the new Hive and I had to go out in the middle of the lightening to fix it,...Adrenaline rush!!

  9. #29

    Default Re: Cut Down Split-Back Filled Brood Nest

    You're reading into that "ruling" queen too much. There is nothing that she has or hasn't done that defines her as ruling. I guess I should have called her a reigning queen, being the one that survived all the others. I assume she was not yet mated, or if she was, not yet laying. I think the way she was running about on the comb, she was drumming up support from the other bees, letting them know she was there and making sure they joined her. After all, before she hatched, the bees had no loyalty to any queen. So upon hatching, after killing all the other queens, the first order of business is to make sure the hive knows she is around so they don't keep raising more queens.
    There is the chance that she was already mated and just hadn't started laying yet. I plan to check tonight to see if she is laying, and to see if the #3 nuc has started a second effort to raise a queen, or if they have one that I just didn't find last time.

    So again, I retract having called that queen a "ruling" queen. All I meant by that was that I saw a queen in the hive.
    After 20 months I'm over a 20 hives and growing. See my videos! http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8fVrmUsyYlRuASdX6UQk1g

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,341

    Default Re: Cut Down Split-Back Filled Brood Nest

    The concept of a cut down split is to compress the hive to get the bees up in the supers, cause early recruitment of nurse bees and therefore get a better crop of honey from the old location. If they are raising a queen, they will always backfill the brood nest until she is ready to lay. Then they quickly move it out of her way. This is part of the process in a Langstroth that causes comb to be drawn quickly and therefore get soft white comb honey. There is no way really to compress the hive in a top bar hive, but you could get the early recruitment part.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  11. #31
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,100

    Thumbs Up Re: Cut Down Split-Back Filled Brood Nest

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Brueggen View Post
    ...snip... I assume she was not yet mated, or if she was, not yet laying. I think the way she was running about on the comb, she was drumming up support from the other bees, letting them know she was there and making sure they joined her. After all, before she hatched, the bees had no loyalty to any queen. So upon hatching, after killing all the other queens, the first order of business is to make sure the hive knows she is around so they don't keep raising more queens. ...snip...
    Tom, it may be helpful to contrast the way a 'virgin' queen moves compared to a 'laying' queen. I'm sure of what you saw today, and it is exciting! I saw a queen today, from an 11 JUN split, who's cell hatched eight days ago. She should be in the process of orientation/mating flights the past couple of days, and may be laying later this week.

    She covered the length of a frame in about 10 seconds. Not stopping to look for empty cells and not creating a circle of attending bees as she went. She was slightly smaller than I expect her to be once she has matured. After her mating flights conclude, and, given some time, she will walk slowly on the frame, inspecting empty cells, depositing eggs and reexamining cells with eggs already in them. The tempo is greatly slowed when she is laying. The workers make a circle around the queen and attend to her hand and foot. Should you see a queen running on the combs again after her maturitation, it is not a good sign.

    I think you are accurate Tom, when you point out that the presence of a queen, mated or not, is something the bees already know, and in our cases, accept.

    P.S. Dan, both hives from the split I did on 11 JUN have packed nectar away too, I simply added drawn comb to the edge of the old brood combs and added a super.
    Last edited by Lburou; 07-02-2012 at 05:19 PM.
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Brainerd, MN
    Posts
    533

    Default Re: Cut Down Split-Back Filled Brood Nest

    Since this topic is still active I will give an update. So far I still seem to have 3 laying queens out of it all. However the small split that I made seems to be in the middle of replacing her. The queen in the original colony seems to be sticking. If the small split doesn't build up I may just combine them with the smaller TBH (the one with the original queen).
    Not Michael Bush. My name is Dan. Sorry for the confusion.

  13. #33

    Default Re: Cut Down Split-Back Filled Brood Nest

    I just checked in on my hives and have great news! Of my original splits, two got a queen, and the third I guess the queen didn't make it home after mating. So back then I gave them a new bar of comb with eggs to give them a second chance. I had noted at least one queen cell a few days later. Well tonight, I cracked open that hive, and discovered that there had actually been raised about 4-5 queen cells. They were all hatched out. I didn't spot any eggs, so I searched the comb, and lo and behold, spotted a virgin queen running around! She stood out for two notable reasons. One is how she was scrambling about on the comb. The other more biological detail, is that while still small, her abdomen has not stripes on it, and has more of a pointed shape to it. I'll check back in a week or so to see if there are any eggs. What's funny is how much more activity this hive had. Since hatching queens, the hive has boomed. Much like yours did, I think this hive (first in a line of four) has picked up a lot of foragers drawn in to that new queen scent.

    Of the other two splits, two weeks ago, they both had queens, but one was not yet laying. Upon opening the hive tonight, at first I was scared due to very little activity. No bees out buzzing around, and very little response to my opening the hive. Then I spotted capped brood. There is no way that could be from back when I first made the split. Looking closer I spotted lots of larva. I didn't look close enough for eggs, as I was satisfied with seeing the larva. But I did see the queen. There was a lot of capped brood. This is the hive that I told you I first put the feeder on, and they packed it all in since the queen wasn't laying yet. I suppose they benefited from that now since they had plenty of food to start raising brood with. Perhaps I'll move the feeder back to them tomorrow, just because I'm so happy with them! A little treat!

    So as it stands, I have 3 hives at 100% success, and the last split (queen not yet mated) I'm calling 80%, risking that she might not get back from mating.
    After 20 months I'm over a 20 hives and growing. See my videos! http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8fVrmUsyYlRuASdX6UQk1g

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Brainerd, MN
    Posts
    533

    Default Re: Cut Down Split-Back Filled Brood Nest

    Hate to grave dig a bit, but I have a question about one of these hives.

    The second split hasn't done so well. They had a queen and she even started laying a bit. Then poof...gone. The only thing I could figure is that they didn't like her and offed her before a replacement was ready. She looked a bit small and her laying pattern was terrible. So now they have 2 small queen cells and their population has dwindled terribly. They have some feed on, but I am figuring that they are a lost cause.

    So my question is about combining. I plan on combining them with the first split with the original queen. Since this second split is queenless do I just pinch the cells and put them in or do I have to do the newspaper method? I recall reading that since they are queenless they don't have a scent thus no need to use the newspaper, but I wanted to ask first.
    Not Michael Bush. My name is Dan. Sorry for the confusion.

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Re: Cut Down Split-Back Filled Brood Nest

    I have a hive like this and I call it Frankenhive. I have given it a virgin, given it queen cells, given it frames of brood. All seem to do well for a few weeks and then poof, nothing. I just put a Strachan NWC queen in a queen cage and gonna let them figure it out. Usually prefer a push in introduction cage but my frustration with this hive is at an all time high and I am no longer giving them the effort I used to. Perhaps I am just lazy.

    I have no experience with TBH so take this with a grain of salt. If you have frames of bees that have been queenless I personally would feel fine about just dropping them in another hive. Since you are in Minn. you time to let them raise a new queen is rapidly dissapearing. I wouldn't even begin to describe how to do a newspaper combine in a TBH but imagine someone knows how to do it. If it is a viable method then try that. When I newspaper combine I use one sheet and no slits and the bees chew it and drag it all out of the hive within 24 hours. The good part is everyone loves each other when it is done. That being said I never have fear of dropping frames from one hive into another. They just seem to figure it out.
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  16. #36

    Default Re: Cut Down Split-Back Filled Brood Nest

    I'd still consider a newspaper combine. The introduction of the queenless bees could be mistaken as robbers. That's my only fear.

    Update on my hives, it seems 2/3 of the splits has taken well. On last inspection, the third had failed their second consecutive queen. They were getting robber, and pests were taking over, and that's been over a week ago. I need to see where they stand soon, and recombine if they suck.

    In other news, I've started doing cutouts. Ha, why bother raising my own bees and honey if someone else is perfectly willing to do it for me in their wall!? Just kidding, I did salvage the bees, and relocated them to a buddy's farm. But I did also salvage nearly 30 pound of honey!

Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads