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  1. #1
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    Mar 2012
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    Charlotte, NC
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    Default Extra drawn frames & swarm control

    How do you end up with extra drawn frames of comb, for future use and for swarm control? Would it be as simple as in early spring once temps are steady and taking 2 or 3 frames of sealed brood in a tight pattern, putting it in an additional box with an inner cover between the additional box on top and the brood box(es) below? Do you keep the nurse bees with those brood frames up top? What are the uses for empty drawn frames, in addition to swarm control?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Palermo, Maine, USA
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    Default Re: Extra drawn frames & swarm control

    Good thread topic! I am looking forward to the discussion!

    Drawn comb is, I believe, one of the most valuable resources that we can develop. It can come from nucs that are set up as resource factories. It also can come from hives that die over winter.

    It can be used when setting up new hives to give them a head start on building up. It can be used in honey supers to free bees from drawing wax.

    I don't think that putting brood above an inner cover is a good idea. Anything above the inner cover is out of the hive as far as the bees are concerned, and I am afraid that you would lose that brood.
    Like us on facebook This is the place to bee!
    Ralph

  3. #3
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    Mar 2012
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    Charlotte, NC
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    Default Re: Extra drawn frames & swarm control

    Quote Originally Posted by ralittlefield View Post
    Good thread topic! I am looking forward to the discussion!

    ... It can come from nucs that are set up as resource factories.
    Me, too, it's been a mystery to me! The only way I've done it so far is to take end honey frames out when nectar is flowing and extra those. But there's bound to be a better way. I have nucs, so how do I turn them into comb-building resource factories (and then there's the problem of removing and emptying out those frames)? Thanks.

  4. #4
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    Apr 2011
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    Palermo, Maine, USA
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    Default Re: Extra drawn frames & swarm control

    I keep several nucs that I rob frames of brood from to drop into a hive that can use a boost. That nuc can get an undrawn frame to work on. The frames are not removed and emptied, the full frame is utilized. The frame of brood can contain thousands of new bees for the lagging hive.
    Like us on facebook This is the place to bee!
    Ralph

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
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    2,269

    Default Re: Extra drawn frames & swarm control

    Roland style - Another way to obtain your drawn brood comb: Just raise a frame of mostly sealed brood above an excluder after gently shaking off the bees, when it emerges take it away. Of course you are adding undrawn frames to the gaps when you remove the drawn ones.

  6. #6
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    Nov 2009
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    Jacksonville, Florida
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    1,749

    Default Re: Extra drawn frames & swarm control

    during a good flow you can use a deep box as a honey super. Once you harvest the honey you will have drawn deep frames to use later. They get heavy but, getting the drawn comb is worth it.

  7. #7
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    Apr 2009
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    Auckland, New Zealand
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    48

    Default Re: Extra drawn frames & swarm control

    The beauty of running one size of box through out your whole apiary is that this problem does not arise. I run all 3/4 boxes for brood and honey supers and I always have spare drawn out frames. Also helps with rotating out a few old brood frames each year to reduce chemical and disease build up.
    Best quick way to build up drawn frames in a hurry is to catch a swarm and give them new foundation to work on feeding them lots of sugar water. Works well!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    Charlotte, NC
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    191

    Default Re: Extra drawn frames & swarm control

    Quote Originally Posted by b2bnz View Post
    The beauty of running one size of box through out your whole apiary is that this problem does not arise. ... Also helps with rotating out a few old brood frames each year to reduce chemical and disease build up.
    Does the yearly culling of frames (I figured I'd start at year 3, and take out say 3 frames, and keep rotating out each year; I also date my frames) include honey supers or is this just for the brood frames?

  9. #9
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    Mar 2012
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    Charlotte, NC
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    Default Re: Extra drawn frames & swarm control

    Quote Originally Posted by johng View Post
    during a good flow you can use a deep box as a honey super. Once you harvest the honey you will have drawn deep frames to use later. They get heavy but, getting the drawn comb is worth it.
    Fabulous idea! I may try this with one of my hives. I run a single deep + shallows, so I suppose that one hive may look like: single deep + shallow (or 2) + deep on top.

  10. #10
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    Mar 2012
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    Charlotte, NC
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    191

    Default Re: Extra drawn frames & swarm control

    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Quiney WI View Post
    Roland style - Another way to obtain your drawn brood comb: Just raise a frame of mostly sealed brood above an excluder after gently shaking off the bees, when it emerges take it away. Of course you are adding undrawn frames to the gaps when you remove the drawn ones.
    I am so doing this. Thanks everybody for these fabulous methods. Obviously there's more than one way to get 'er done. I'm going to try all 3 this spring and see how it works. I can see the beauty of the nuc system. I've got strong hives, a weak one or two, and a few nucs. The "Roland method" and deep as a super also sound great.

    Any other ways to skin this cat?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Massillon, Ohio
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    3,469

    Default Re: Extra drawn frames & swarm control

    The best method I've found to build up your extra drawn frame inventory is to let swarms do most of the work for you. It works just as effectively with deeps or mediums. Capture as many swarms as you can in early spring and set them up in boxes with foundation. Swarms are comb building machines. As the season progresses begin to pinch the less productive queens and start combining. You should end up with a lot of extra drawn frames when you're finished. When you are in your summer dearth it's fairly easy to get the bees to clean up the comb on the frames you have pulled out.
    To everything there is a season....

  12. #12
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    Mar 2012
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    Charlotte, NC
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    Default Re: Extra drawn frames & swarm control

    \
    I'll see if I'm lucky enough to hive my first swarm this spring!
    Last edited by honeyman46408; 01-24-2013 at 04:46 AM. Reason: UNQuote

  13. #13
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    Apr 2009
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    Auckland, New Zealand
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    48

    Default Re: Extra drawn frames & swarm control

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Davidson View Post
    Does the yearly culling of frames (I figured I'd start at year 3, and take out say 3 frames, and keep rotating out each year; I also date my frames) include honey supers or is this just for the brood frames?
    I try to put them through the system starting new frames in the honey supers for a year or two and then moving them to the brood boxes for another year or two and then cleaning them off and starting the cycle again.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2002
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    San Mateo, CA
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    5,041

    Default Re: Extra drawn frames & swarm control

    Another vote for drawing them as a honey super. The frames get drawn all the way to the bottom bar that way, which swarms don't do as well.

  15. #15
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    Oct 2012
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    Wisconsin rapids Wi USA
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    44

    Default Re: Extra drawn frames & swarm control

    I went through winter with 2 deeps, so When I open my hive in spring ,I would think there will be some empty,drawn comb. I hope so as I want a few for swarm traps

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
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    669

    Default Re: Extra drawn frames & swarm control

    Definitely better to use all the same size frames.

    In terms of drawing comb and swarm control I tried "opening the brood nest", then found that "maintaining a hole beside the brood nest" worked just as well without stretching the bees and chilling brood if cold weather sets in.

    The method is to:
    1. Remove a side frame (ideally with good stores) and place it in the centre of a new box (this box will go on top).
    2. Find the edge of the brood nest and place a new frame in-between. So that the brood nest is on one side of the new frame and stores (or the edge) on the other side.
    3. After one or two weeks come back and do the same on the other side of the brood nest.
    4. In another couple of weeks you may be able to start doing both sides of the brood nest at the same time. (I would keep an eye on the weather forecast as to if you should do this or not.)
    5. If you have brood in the edge frames, when you move them up, make sure they are centred above the brood nest in the box above.
    6. Do this until the main flow. Then you can start alternating honey frames with new frames in the super(s) and they will draw them out.

    I believe you want to start wax building early in the season and can start doing this from when plums are in blossom. Remember you must make sure they have adequate stores of honey/nectar when they are making wax.

    Here's a bit more information:
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...rst-year-hives

    Matthew Davey

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    St. Albans, Vermont
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    5,587

    Default Re: Extra drawn frames & swarm control

    I use nuclei to draw foundation. Made up in mid-June, the nucs grow in strength and get a 4 frame super of foundation. When the bees draw those 4 combs, I replace 3 of them and replace with foundation. If there's a good flow, I remove 2 more and replace with foundation.

    The 450+ nucs drew out 6-9 frames each. I extracted 3 drums of honey from the nucs before I decided to save the remaining frames of honey for feed. Had 40 hive bodies of honey to use for emergency fall feed.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Knox Co, Ohio, USA
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    897

    Default Re: Extra drawn frames & swarm control

    Michael,

    Are you keeping these nuc all with just one super/eight total frames? How closely do you have to watch them so they don't run out of room?

    Tom

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
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    5,587

    Default Re: Extra drawn frames & swarm control

    Yeah, 4 over 4 frames. This photo shows a yard of nucs made in June and used to draw foundation. I check them about every 2 weeks and adjust as needed. I don't wait until the combs of honey are fully capped. I replace them when the comb is drawn and mostly full. If the honey isn't quite dry enough, I can dry it in my hot room. Some get too strong and threaten to swarm, so those have brood removed and empty comb added in the bottom box.


  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland County, AR
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    1,076

    Default Re: Extra drawn frames & swarm control

    Pardon my confusion... 4/4? These look like 8 frame boxes.
    Zone 7b ~ Central Arkansas
    8fr medium equipment

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