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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Roxbury, MA
    Posts
    81

    Default I messed up really badly...and would love some feedback.

    I tried to do a crop and chop on my own and messed up really, really badly. I'm a second year beek, I have two other hives that are just fine but I made a REAL mess in a third one. I've detailed it all here, with a couple of pictures:

    http://honeyintherox.wordpress.com/2...g-i-messed-up/

    I'd love some constructive and TBH-friendly feedback...I'm really not sure what I should do at this point but probably leave them alone to sort things out. But...if anyone has any words of support or something I can do to help this situation, I'd love to hear it. I'm feeling really down...and I got stung for the first time since I was in kindergarten and I TOTALLY deserved it. Blah.
    HoneyintheRox.wordpress.com
    1 KTBH / 4 Foundationless Lang / 1 Warre

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Casey, Il, USA
    Posts
    940

    Default Re: I messed up really badly...and would love some feedback.

    Ok, so you tried to chop and crop a new honey comb filled with nectar, and one on plastic foundation? In my KTBH if I break off a new comb of nectar....it's done I let the bees rob it out, This is what everyone I've talked to recommends as well, I thought surely I can get it to hold.....nope, not with new wax it just makes a mess. And as far as plastic foundation goes, I would only do a chop and crop on foundationless frames or ones with wax foundation without wires and hold them in with the hairclip method. Next time let the bees do the work for you, if your tob bars will fit into your lang put one in there between 2 drawn frames and let the bees make comb and fill it with brood This is how I started my KTBH All I had to do was pull the top bar out of the lang, lay down on the follower board and trim off the corners for the angles and put it into the KTBH. Worked great.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Roxbury, MA
    Posts
    81

    Default Re: I messed up really badly...and would love some feedback.

    After I was demoralized and gave up, I did put bars into the nuc and will definitely have an easier time with that...but ugh. Ugh. I feel like I completely failed at this.
    HoneyintheRox.wordpress.com
    1 KTBH / 4 Foundationless Lang / 1 Warre

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Casey, Il, USA
    Posts
    940

    Default Re: I messed up really badly...and would love some feedback.

    I'm a cup is half full kinda guy so I would look at this as a learning opportunity as what not to do next time LOL gotta think positive!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Roxbury, MA
    Posts
    81

    Default Re: I messed up really badly...and would love some feedback.

    Do you think what I put in the big hive will raise a queen or do you think I didn't get enough in there? It's two shaken frames, some nectar, and some mixed open and covered brood....
    HoneyintheRox.wordpress.com
    1 KTBH / 4 Foundationless Lang / 1 Warre

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    626

    Default Re: I messed up really badly...and would love some feedback.

    I'm sorry you had a bad experience with this. I did it last summer and while I could do it again I hope I never have to. I really didn't like cutting through the brood.

    Some of what I have to say you probably already know but you asked for comments so here goes: Doing this alone is tough but possible (I did mine alone), the problem was you needed to make sure they knew your intent to do a chop n crop when you ordered the nuc and you needed to give yourself lots of time. When I ordered mine I told them what I was going to do and they made sure I got a nuc with all wired wax foundation. Because of the wires I made sure I had snips on hand. Two things that really helped were that I made a cut template out of a piece of board and I took a container of really hot water out to dip my knife in to make it easier to cut through the wax.

    If the brood bar you cut doesn't have any eggs or really young larvae they won't be able to make a queen. They are probably too weak too, so I think you should go back and finish what you started (unless the rest of the frames have plastic foundation...). (Get back on the horse, don't let it beat you!) I made my first nuc two weeks ago and while they had plenty of eggs and young larvae the single queen cell they started was puny. A week later I added a second bar of eggs and young larvae and now they have three cells in there that look much better. I culled the puny cell. I was shocked that they weren't better at making emergency queens than that!

    Hope you get this conquered! Good luck!
    Last edited by Colleen O.; 06-01-2013 at 10:19 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Roxbury, MA
    Posts
    81

    Default Re: I messed up really badly...and would love some feedback.

    The brood frame I gave them was only sealed in the middle, the sides were all open young larva. It was the newest brood frame in the nuc, I was working backwards, I guess.

    I got it from a woman on here who'd raised it by hand on overwintered stock, so it wasn't an order situation...I also wish I'd known that and asked about the frames, but I just don't expect plastic when I open a hive up...and even seeing the plastic frame tops, I still thought they'd have foundation in them....wrong! The rest are all plastic but one...I think. I'm having trouble remembering....although I think I have a shot of the frame tops in my phone somewhere from when I bought it....

    If they're all plastic, what should I do? I'm building another hive right now, so I could make it one with a conversion box...or I could drill a hole in the side of the current one and mount the styro nuc onto it with brackets and essentially trap them out?
    HoneyintheRox.wordpress.com
    1 KTBH / 4 Foundationless Lang / 1 Warre

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Casey, Il, USA
    Posts
    940

    Default Re: I messed up really badly...and would love some feedback.

    If you want to do chop and crop with plastic frames run them through a ban saw it will go quicker that way if you got some capped brood in there you could probably just shake the rest of the bees in and feed they will draw comb quick

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    626

    Default Re: I messed up really badly...and would love some feedback.

    Keep in mind I've only been a beekeeper for a year and have done just the one chop n crop. My recommendations are based on that small amount of experience and what I have read.

    If it were me I would opt for a conversion plate on top or the side one you describe...unless you are going to convert a lot of nucs in the future I don't think it would be worth it to make that hive special like that. From my chop n crop experience I will either buy a package, buy queens and do splits, do splits, or try to catch swarms for bees in the future.

    Oh, and to get rid of the all honey Lang frames I just scratched all the cappings open and left it in the area on the other side of the follower with the opening for them to rob out.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,429

    Default Re: I messed up really badly...and would love some feedback.

    I was going to do a chop and crop last year, but just before I was going to do the chop and crop I did a cut out. I enjoyed the experience, and if the cutout wouldn't have been done the bees would have been lost (the building was being demo'ed). But after that I realized that I didn't want to take a perfectly fine hive from a square box to a trapezoidal box just to have a window and a TBH. A lot of brood gets tossed. All of the drone brood was tossed. All of the honey was cut out, though most of it was feed back to the hive (plus a couple others). Also, the some of the foundation in the hive I was going to use was plastic and I wasn't sure I would be able to do cuts through it very easily (like Phil shows.)

    You have to look at is a learning experience. Someones tag line on beesource is something along the lines of "experience is a cruel teacher as she gives the test first and then the lesson" or something along those lines. I normally say that you haven't learned anything until something goes really wrong and you have to get your way out of it. I've also heard someone say you are not a beek until you have killed your first hive!

    The upshot is bees are pretty darn resilient. You still have a couple months for them to recover. In the end the hive may make it.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Roxbury, MA
    Posts
    81

    Default Re: I messed up really badly...and would love some feedback.

    I think I found the best solution possible that solves my issue and a local bee-inept farmer's issue. I posted about what was going on with her in this thread:

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...ALLY-messed-up

    But basically, the farm where my healthy TBH is (not the messed up blend from this post), the farmer annually buys and ignores bees and she's royally screwed right now. She has a queenless hive (because she never let it out) two months in with a laying worker and about 30 bees left. And a reasonably active but thoroughly honey bound hive. I did a newspaper combine...but I think they're probably still pretty screwed...

    So I think I'm going to hive my nuc into a foundationless Lang and probably move what's salvageable of her hives into the Lang box I'm vacating. I think this fixes everything...and if it doesn't, I can always blend her colony with mine and tell her it died off.

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