Re: Testers wanted: Opening the sides
Matthew, I did something like this last year to expand a 5 frame nuc into a ten frame box and then continued to a second box. I also started with 2 frames being added at a time. This is not exactly what you describe but here is what my records say. Also be aware I did feed the bees this entire time.
May 10th 2012
5 frame nuc well populated and with a laying queen is added to the center of a 10 frame box. 2 empty frames of foundation are placed on the outer west edge of box and three empty frames of foundation are added to the outer East edge of the box.
My goal at this time was to gt one full box of drawn frames and give a laying queen more space
The frames at this point are numbered 1-10 going from east to wast so frames 1-3 are empty, 4-8 are the original 5 frame nuc and frames 9 and 10 are empty. As frames are moved there number is changed. it is box position I track not individual frames.
May 17 2012, Inspection shows very little comb has been drawn on east side of frame 9. bees appear to me to be reluctant to move away from the original 5 frames of the nuc.
As an experiment I choose to move frame 8 a full frame of honey form the original nuc to the 10 position. sliding both frames 9 and 10 toward the center of the box by one position. frames 9 and 10 are now 8 and 9.
Also note I did not wait any where near 2 or 3 weeks I watched very carefully and moved fraems as I saw necessary. I also agree with your to much brood to fast concern.
May 19th 2012, (2 days not weeks later) Frames 8 and 9 are half drawn foundation.
Frame 4 a full frame of honey from original nuc is switched with frame 3 an empty frame of foundation. all other frames are left alone.
May 27th 2012 Take not that all frames in this box from frame 3 to 10 are either original nuc fraems or new foundation sandwiched between old nuc fraems. All fraems from the west side of frame 2 thru fame 10 are fully drawn and contain brood nectar or honey. The west side of frame 2 has some slight drawn comb on it and frame one is still untouched foundation.
17 days from a a half empty box of foundation to a nearly full box of brood. Box is left untouched at his time. first concerns about to much brood to fast.
May 28th 2012 Second box is added above first. containes 10 frames of of undrawn foundation. Take note hive is already exhibiting noticeable population increase and this is expected to accelerate over the next few days as I am right at that window of 21 days since queen was allowed to increase laying.
May 30th 2012 frames from the lower box are removed and added to the top box in the following positions.
Upper box frame 1 is replaced with frame 2 of lower box. frames 2-7 of upper box are left empty foundation. So I did not follow your center idea. Frame 8 is swapped with frame 8 of the lower box. frame 9 is empty foundation and frame 10 is swapped with frame 7 of lower box. Frames where selected in order to not disturb the brood nest as much as possible. frame 7 of the lower box had for some reason been filled with honey and no brood was being moved with this switch. Only full fraems of honey nectar or pollen.
As you can see things in the hive are changing very fast at this point. Frames can go from being brood to being nectar or pollen in a matter of days.
June 4th 2012 It is now noted that food source is influencing what comb is drawn as well as position of original hive frames. Inspection shows some comb being drawn up the center of the second box all frames from 3 thru 7 are to some degree being drawn. brood is present in some and nectar or sugar water is being stored in some. Frames are not manipulated in order to allow more progress to be made on these frames. No further manipulation of the lower box will be made.
June 6th 2012 Frames 2,3 and 8 are largely untouched. other fraems have at least half the comb drawn on them. these last three fraems are moved toward the center so that each is sandwiched between two well drawn frames.
No further manipulation of frames will be made of either box but I did continue to inspect for condition of brood etc.
Mega bee was also added along with sugar water on 6-10 2012
June 12th 2012 first super is added. no frame manipulations. Sugar water is removed.
I cannot find it in my notes at the moment and I am running short on time but I did an inspection some time around this period that showed 17 frames of brood. THe queen had returned to the lower box and the upper deep was being filled with honey as the brood emerged. The added super was ignored for a month or more. eventually they did fill it with honey as well as a second med super that they filled in late summer early fall with the help of sugar water.
As of today this hive is strong and foraging bringing in early pollen.
Everything gets darker, as it goes to where there is less light. Darrel Tank (5PM drawing instructor)