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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,594

    Default Re: Should I consolidate brood downward?

    I don't know what you mean by too much space. I winter bees in all kinds of different configurations. From one deep to four, three mediums to six. Nucs of all sizes.

    As long as the colony has set up their winter broodnest, have a good population of young bees, and are in contact with and have enough stores overhead, it doesn't matter how many boxes of comb are below the cluster. Remember...the bees heat the cluster, not the entire hive.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland County, AR
    Posts
    1,076

    Default Re: Should I consolidate brood downward?

    Hmm. Ok, got it on heating the cluster not the hive. Good point. On space... I have always been told only give the bees what they can afford to guard. I think this has been mostly in relation to SHB and wax moth. If there are boxes unattended, they could fall prey to them. Now that I think about it though... They are not a winter issue... Hmmm....
    Zone 7b ~ Central Arkansas
    8fr medium equipment

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,287

    Default Re: Should I consolidate brood downward?

    Quote Originally Posted by Seymore View Post
    Michael, how does one weigh that advice against giving bees too much space? It can all be very confusing at times.
    You could try both ways, if you have more than one hive. Then you would have some idea.

    Friends of mine, when they were trying to decide whether wrapping was worth the trouble, wrapped half the hives in each yard for a cpl of winters and decided wrapping was worthwhile. So, you could follow what you have read or follow the voice of experience (Michael Palmer), or follow both and see what happens. Me, I'd follow Michaels advice.
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  4. #24
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Laurel Hill, Florida, USA
    Posts
    258

    Default Re: Should I consolidate brood downward?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post

    As long as the colony has set up their winter broodnest, have a good population of young bees, and are in contact with and have enough stores overhead, it doesn't matter how many boxes of comb are below the cluster. Remember...the bees heat the cluster, not the entire hive.
    This is true only if the cludter is at the top of the hive. Heat rises. I also have to ask why you would leave extra boxes on the hive. If its more honey than they need take it off and sell it. If its empty boxes take em off and store, six less months of weathering. You may say do not desturb the hive, let the bees do it their way. But if we let them have their way they would swarm at least twice a year.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,625

    Default Re: Should I consolidate brood downward?

    It kind of depends on where you feel that your empty combs can be stored more safely. It dosent take much of an opening for a mouse to squeeze in and they love to nest in a hive through the winter. If you are confident in the quality of your equipment I suppose the only downside is the rot and weathering it's exposed to assuming that ithere is a strong hive above it, personally I prefer a warehouse with some mouse poison if you think there could be a problem.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    10,156

    Default Re: Should I consolidate brood downward?

    Quote Originally Posted by dfortune View Post
    I also have to ask why you would leave extra boxes on the hive.
    If you are a hobbyist sales are not important. No one has a crystal ball to be able to tell what the weather will be in the future. All you can do is take an educated guess based on previous years. Leaving more honey is far better then leaving slightly less than what they need. If it is too much it will be there in the spring to do as you please including building up other hives. Honey doesn't get lost. If it was there as a surplus in the fall it will be a surplus in the spring. Think of it as just another warehouse.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  7. #27
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland County, AR
    Posts
    1,076

    Default Re: Should I consolidate brood downward?

    Yes, Mark, I personally think it's silly not to follow the voices of experience found online here. That's why I ask so many questions. But to be successful in most things, understanding the Logic behind something (bees heat the cluster, not the hive) will expedite that learning curve and equip a person to think on their own two feet rather leaving them to just blindly follow a rule. My questions may seem blatantly obvious to some, but I don't live and breathe bees every single second (though my husband would surely disagree with that comment!) so grasping some concepts is sometimes hard for me. Filtering out what is accurate is frequently difficult. Remembering what I did one season, that I don't have to do for another year, when I've only done it one time before that, also creates its own set of challenges.

    As much as my brain tells me Mr. Palmer is very experienced (and whose input I very much appreciate btw!), I simply cannot understand it till I understand it. Ya know...

    I know you guys get frustrated with us newbies (And I still feel VERY new after 3 springs and 2 winters!). The replies sometimes given in this community seem to point to that anyway. Just know, I DO appreciate the time you all take to answer our seemingly stupid questions. Giving back; mentoring - if we didn't Need you all, we wouldn't Bee here.
    Zone 7b ~ Central Arkansas
    8fr medium equipment

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,287

    Default Re: Should I consolidate brood downward?

    I certainly hope my frustration does not show, if I feel frustrated. I see my participation here as a sort of service. Answering questions the best I can.

    I appreciate you asking questions and asking more questions to try to understand the reasons why something aught to be done the way someone says it aught to. That shows you have a brain and can think, wishing to understand. I hope you never stop and will one day be experienced and confident enough to share what you have learned.

    Never give up the persuit of knowledge and understanding. Those who know that they do not know are very valuable to others who know they do not know, ya know? I know I do not know all the answers or even the right answers all of the time. Don't assume otherwise.

    We are all in this together, like iot or not.
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  9. #29
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,408

    Default Re: Should I consolidate brood downward?

    Quote Originally Posted by dfortune View Post
    Heat rises...
    Convection -- Conduction -- Radiation

    Actually, heat does not rise. It's only the warmed/heated air that rises in a process called convection. Heat, as infrared radiation, radiates from its source point (such as the bees wing muscles). It is also conducted by contact (called conductance) between solid objects.

    Heat by convection, such as in air, 'rises', because warmer air is less dense (lighter), than cooler air, which is denser. So cooler air sinks in warm air, and warmer air rises, taking its heat with it. Initially the bees, metabolizing sugar in their wing muscles are transferring heat as conduction (physical contact with each other and portions of their environment, as well as radiation from their warmer bodies also from conductance, convection, and radiation warmed environmental objects. So, basically the inside of a hive, especially in Winter, is a complex interaction of many things. For instance, moist (more humid) air can hold more heat as it is convected by that air. And, moist surfaces, as their water evaporates transport even more heat by the process of evaporation. The evaporation process absorbs much heat.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Northampton, MA
    Posts
    196

    Default Re: Should I consolidate brood downward?

    Quote Originally Posted by RudyT View Post
    My bees are still very much in the bottom box with a good bit of brood.
    8 frame.
    I do use slatted rack and wonder if some of you think the claims of better bottom box use may be right?
    We had a very slow August (even hotter and dryer than normal) but the past several weeks bees have been very busy, at least partly with stickweed and goldenrod. And partly I've been feeding 1:1 for 4 weeks (might have started Aug 1 but didn't).

    I use slatted racks too. I find the bees do utilize the box differently, and in my opinion better for my purposes.

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