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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,705

    Default Checkerboarding question

    Hello all,
    I have quite a few hives that are more than ready for a second deep; however, the bees will not move up into the new box. Like I said, they are pretty packed into the first hive body. I would like to try checkerboarding, but I don't have any extra drawn comb to work with. So the question I have is this: can I checkerboard with undrawn plastic foundation? If so, should I brush extra wax onto the foundation. Any and all input is well appreciated. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Enumclaw, WA, USA
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Checkerboarding question

    Sorry, what is checkerboarding?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Westminster, SC, USA
    Posts
    36

    Default Re: Checkerboarding question

    Hi westernbeekeeper,
    I had the same problem a couple months ago. Bees wouldn't touch the upper box except to just walk around a bit and I didn't have any extra drawn out comb.
    I took two frames from the bottom deep (the two outermost on either side, like frame 1 and frame 10) and moved them up into the empty deep in like positions 2 or 3 and 8 or 9. Replaced the frames taken with new frames of foundation but I moved frames out so that these were put in positions 3 or 4 and 7 or 8.
    So it was not complete checkerboarding but I needed them to draw comb on the other frames so this was my best option. Then I sprayed the other frames of foundation that were not drawn out with sugar water 1:1.
    Bees still did not draw out new comb but did go up and clean the sugar water off the frames.
    So after a couple weeks I took two more frames from the bottom deep and moved them up into the top closer to the middle and finally they started to draw out comb. But remember that you replaced the frames in the bottom with undrawn foundation as well so they will have to draw those out too. I made sure that drawn frames put in the top had undrawn on either side of them and vise versa on the bottom.
    This hive is now 2 deeps and it swarmed on Easter Sunday, before I added the second deep.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,705

    Default Re: Checkerboarding question

    Thanks lissa! Anything else from anyone?
    Last edited by westernbeekeeper; 07-05-2012 at 05:17 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    collbran, co
    Posts
    466

    Default Re: Checkerboarding question

    yes you can use UN-drawn frames. remove every other frame and replace with UN-drawn frame.no need to brush extra wax onto frames.then add frames to upper deep place drawn frames above UN-drawn frames so there staggered they should draw them out.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Belpre,Ohio, USA
    Posts
    1,082

    Default Re: Checkerboarding question

    I had the same problem about three weeks ago, I use wax foundation and the bees just chewed on it until several sheets were pretty well wrecked so I scattered all the frames throughout both boxes in a complete checkerboard, two weeks later the upper deep was completely drawn out and four of the frames had capped brood, however I must say that feeding them 1:1 syrup I feel is a big help to stimulating them to draw out the comb.

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