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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Custer, Nebraska,USA
    Posts
    13

    Default Checkerboarding is my goal, how do I get there from here?

    It' my first attempt at beekeeping and was given some less than stellar advice from a "mentor".

    I have an overwintered hive that's 2 deeps on the bottom, that is the brood area with a virgin/possibly mated queen. On 6/14 inspection I found an open supercedure cell and the queen. There were no eggs or brood of any kind. There was a previous virgin queen from supercedure that evidently didn't return from her mating flight. Both deeps have a good supply of pollen and nectar and open cells for the queen to lay in when she's ready. On top of that is a deep thats nearly full of honey, some is capped and some isn't yet capped. On top of that is a medium that's mostly capped honey. On top of that is a medium that's mostly full frames of uncaped honey. On top of that is a medium thats undrawn frames with a fair amount of traffic.

    I also have a hive from a cutout that has a queen that's in a deep that's nearly full of eggs,brood, pollen, nectar and some capped honeywith an undrawn deep above.

    At some point I'd like to transition to a deep for brood with a medium below for pollen and a couple of mediums above for nectar which is my understanding of Walt's pollen/brood/nectar sandwich.

    What are my best options for going from point A, the present situation, to point B desired configuration?

    thanks guy for any help,


    g

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,071

    Default Re: Checkerboarding is my goal, how do I get there from here?

    I'd recommend since you don't live in the same area as Walt, try something more local.

    What was this bad advice?
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    moravia,ny
    Posts
    1,198

    Default Re: Checkerboarding is my goal, how do I get there from here?

    If its not too late at least give the broodless hive some eggs and hope that they raise a queen. dont worry about the other garbage. start with basic beekeeping. good luck

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Custer, Nebraska,USA
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Checkerboarding is my goal, how do I get there from here?

    Ok,checkerboarding/nectar management program that's relevant to this area. I know I'll likely need more "stores" than Walt does. What Walt has written makes a lot of sense to me even though I have no experience.

    Three or four queen cells on the frame bottom/supercedure cells mid frame are swarm cells and need to be pinched to prevent swarming. They remade them on next inspection. Wouldn't let him squish that bunch and had a virgin queen on next inspection in the bottom deep so laying queen in top medium with 2 deeps between was killed. Virgin queen was "lost in the ozone" so then had to add a frame of eggs/brood to get present as yet unmated queen.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,071

    Default Re: Checkerboarding is my goal, how do I get there from here?

    Quote Originally Posted by imeasystreet View Post
    Three or four queen cells on the frame bottom/supercedure cells mid frame are swarm cells and need to be pinched to prevent swarming.
    There's not one thing that I can see in this sentence that is correct. QCs on bottom are usually swarm cells, middle are supersedure cells, but never 100% in either case. Also, don't pinch cells, it won't work and you're just asking to have things happen like what happened.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Custer, Nebraska,USA
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Checkerboarding is my goal, how do I get there from here?

    "On 6/14 inspection I found an open supercedure cell and the(resulting) queen."
    It's my understanding that it's likely to take 2 weeks before the new queen begins to lay, so I'm impatiently waiting. Should I add a frame of eggs and brood anyway?

    g

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,071

    Default Re: Checkerboarding is my goal, how do I get there from here?

    The answer to that one is always yes.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Custer, Nebraska,USA
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Checkerboarding is my goal, how do I get there from here?

    That was my example of less than stellar advice recieved that now has me behind the 8 ball. But I am a nubee and he's a expert so what was I to do? Well, after he pinched the first bunch I read a lot of posts here and wouldn't let him squish the re-curing cells. That's why on last inspection I at least had a virgin queen.

    g

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Custer, Nebraska,USA
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Checkerboarding is my goal, how do I get there from here?

    I can add a frame from the cutout hive but haven't done so because I was worried that to do so would be to place that smal hive in jeopardy.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Elkton, Giles, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    1,319

    Default Re: Checkerboarding is my goal, how do I get there from here?

    Ignore the naysayers. It's of little consequence to us if they choose to get the partial honey production of "standard management" for the rest of their careers.

    Will describe how we moved from double deeps when I have more keyboard time.
    Walt

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,487

    Default Re: Checkerboarding is my goal, how do I get there from here?

    The hive from the cut-out is easy, just add a medium on top instead of the deep (before they draw it out and use it!), then add another underneath when the top one is full and feed them well. They should then draw out the bottom medium and stuff it will pollen this summer and fall, then use the pollen to make winter bees, leaving it empty.

    The hive with two deeps is more of a problem, you may have to wait until spring. Try to get two mediums of drawn comb built out over the summer, this should allow you to extract one for empty drawn comb (or if they are like my bees, they will eat the honey this fall and leave an empty for you). In the spring, remove the bottom deep if it's empty. If the queen stayed down there over the winter (unlikely in Nebraska, I think) wait until she is in the upper box and laying and put an exluder on, then remove the box when there is no brood and replace it with a medium.

    I'm sure Walt has better advice.

    I've got two hives from swarms that I'm going to set up as medium/deep/medium to checkerboard in the spring, provided I can feed them through the severe drought we are in and they make it through the winter.

    Peter

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Elkton, Giles, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    1,319

    Default Re: Checkerboarding is my goal, how do I get there from here?

    What Peter suggested may be as good as you can do for cutout. But you may not have enough drawn comb in the spring to CB both. May have to put off CBing the lesser to have enough drawn comb to do one right.

    Typically, your area has a reliably good fall flow, but that may not hold up in residential areas where weeds are discouraged. We had to work around a short spring flow and a 2 month break in the summer. Your summer break is shorter and might support the following:

    In the early season, we inserted a box of nectar (you have one) from overhead, between the two deeps. The bees converted that box to pollen to feed brood above and below, in both deeps. The bees continued to rear brood in both deeps for a couple weeks or more, cycling Momma across the box of pollen. So we added another honey super in between the deeps. The bees 'want' the brood in the bottom of the hive and over time, eventually backfilled the upper deep with honey. Natural brood nest reduction during, and after, main flow pushes them in that direction. That upper deep was harvested and subsequently was extra drawn comb when we needed it. (We never saw any degradation of honey extracted from brood comb.)

    Moving away from double deeps took place before the pollen box was incorporated in the system. The pollen box came later. If you try this approach and get pollen in the box between the deeps, you might try moving it to the bottom at that time, and moving another honey super in between the deeps. Plowing new ground.

    Good luck,
    Walt

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,373

    Default Re: Checkerboarding is my goal, how do I get there from here?

    imeasystreet, if you haven't already, order walt's manuscript on nectar management. it's a bargain, and really insightful.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Custer, Nebraska,USA
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Checkerboarding is my goal, how do I get there from here?

    Yesterday I switched a medium for the deep on top of the cut out.
    I'll move a nectar medium between the double deep on the other hive.
    I live in the country surrounded by corn, soybeans, alfalfa, native hay and weeds. Right now they are working the linden/basswood trees and the wintergreen plants.
    It looks like there might be a drouth this summer but there is a lot of irrigation all around me.

    I have Walt's manuscript. I will read it several times just like I read all his POV articles several times. It's becoming more clear to me.

    I'm a nubee and really appreciate the contributions that Walt has made to better beekeeping.
    I had a dream, and now I have a plan.

    Thanks guys, I really apreciate the help.


    g

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