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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Ontario
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    55

    Default Looking for advice on a plan of attack (regression).

    Well the week has finally come folks, after almost a year of lurking on this forum, absorbing every book I could get my dirty paws on, spending many sleepless nights whacking frames and boxes together, I pick up my bees this week!

    I pretty much got a solid plan out for going natural cell/treatment free however I am still slightly confused as to the BEST way to perform the manipulations to get there.

    I am purchasing six hive bodies full of bees (as opposed to a nuc or package), and they come on deeps, in plastic foundation. So I am trying to work towards natural cell regression using foundationless, and on Bush’s recommendation going to all mediums.

    Would I be better off, slipping foundationless deep frames into the brood nest and phasing out the larger cell plastic ones, THEN work on getting them on to mediums? OR catching the queen in the mediums and performing a split to get that colony onto all mediums. What would everyone recommend as far as the most logical, least disruptive way to do this? OR should I just work on being a new beek and keep this all out of my mind? Id rather have a solid plan going in then willy nilly trying and failing!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    proctorsville, vermont
    Posts
    152

    Default Re: Looking for advice on a plan of attack (regression).

    if you have six full hive bodies comeing then you will have 6 ways to experiment your way to the desired results you would like. i like natural cell and am a fan of mr bushes site. if it were me i would slip a couple medium frames without foundation into the hive.they will draw it and when the queen lays in it put it below in a medium eventualy you should one day see her in the medium on the medium frames. then an excluder obove her and ad more medium boxes and frames below. but thats only how i would do it.
    thats the way i roll.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Barrie, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    459

    Default Re: Looking for advice on a plan of attack (regression).

    I am in a similar position but with deep nucs. I am going with the phase out. Working the deep frames to the side, inserting mediums closer to the middle. They build comb on the bottom the mediums during this process and I have just been scraping it off each inspection. I have been cutting down the deep frames to re-use them - this is pretty messy when they are full of capped honey.
    Adam - Zone 5A
    www.adamshoney.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    55

    Default Re: Looking for advice on a plan of attack (regression).

    Well thanks guys! That seems like a great idea, it never occurred to me to put mediums in a deep! Suppose that would also probably be the least disruptive as well. Definitely gonna do that!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,991

    Default Re: Looking for advice on a plan of attack (regression).

    You need not waste the full depth frames. If they are plastic and you have access to a table saw, just shake the bees off the frame, then cut the bottom off with the saw to make it 3/4 depth.

    For your natural combs just feed them in between the built combs so the bees will build them straight. Do this gradually so you do not over extend the bees or spread the bees too thin. That's if you want natural sized cells. But if you want to regress the bees to 4.9, that is going to take a lot more work.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    55

    Default Re: Looking for advice on a plan of attack (regression).

    Well I have kind of re evaluated my plan. So long story. Got my bees about a week ago, and frankly I think I am in love. Got these bees from Szabo Queens in Puslinch Ontario, and they are incredibly gentle. I have not had to wear protection yet, and have inspected hives with a smoker that went out, and still have yet to be stung! (Im sure one of these days my luck will run out). So needless to say I am a kid in a candy store, and trying to be patient, watch them at the landing board, and avoiding opening them up too much!

    I think for this season I am going to stick with one deep in the brood nest. I figure it would probably be a waste of the bees resources to start getting rid of them. What I am going to do is start making a bunch of nuc boxes, and as I put a medium frame in the deep to get it drawn out ill put that deep frame in a nuc box. I currently have 6 colonies in single story deeps in 10 frame boxes, so the idea is that by taking one out at a time it wont tax them too hard. That way I can make a few nucs to overwinter in a more urban area away from all the **** corn. I am also planning on getting some pf-100 and pf-120s to start forcing regression a bit, and hopefully that in combination with foundationless will accomplish that to some end.

    When I catch the queen in the medium boxes maybe ill split, but I think ill concentrate more on all mediums next year. This year I think my goals are firstly to keep them alive, get some experience, get a bit of regression going, get rid of some nasty wax, and start my nuc insurance plan for the following year.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Barrie, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    459

    Default Re: Looking for advice on a plan of attack (regression).

    There just isn't an easy way to regress and convert a nuc at the same time. I've been doing what Oldtimer suggested and cutting down the deep frames and moving them up so they can use them for honey storage. I've also been tieing the comb left over into foundationless frames. A nuc has a lot of building up to do in one season here and like you, I don't want their efforts to go to waste. I plan to keep moving the large cell frames up and introducing small cell frames in and around the broodnest.

    It seems that the simplest way to regress would be to start with imported packages and HSC or PF120 frames in the spring. They could then be re-queened in June when local, mite resistant queens are available. I may try this next year.

    I would be interested to hear next season how mite resistant the Szabo bees are? I have heard from several people about how productive and gentle they are.
    Adam - Zone 5A
    www.adamshoney.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    55

    Default Re: Looking for advice on a plan of attack (regression).

    Ohh to reiterate, I purchased single hive bodies, not nucs, so a bit more bees/frames to play with. Most of the colonies have the single deep brood chamber filled out (there is one weaker colony), and I put a 10 frame medium foundationless on top. There is nothing but a guide, and they havent quite taken to it yet (if they mess it up ill cut it out and tie it in). However, I think I might just keep the single deep brood chamber this year because both me and the bees will have to much invested in it to mess with it too much.

    I find the topic fun because there really is not a step by step guide on how to go from a standard deep frame nuc (or hive body) and how to turn that over to a Michael Bush Medium Regressed Foundationless setup.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,991

    Default Re: Looking for advice on a plan of attack (regression).

    Just out of interest Honeydrunk, what is the price of a single deep hive with bees in your parts?
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Rusk, Texas
    Posts
    93

    Default Re: Looking for advice on a plan of attack (regression).

    I noticed you said you wanted to go all foundationless, but when you put multiple empty frames in a super, they will just draw the comb farther than 2 frames. I would recommend foundationless in the bottom and try out foundation in the top, just to see if it works better for you. In the end, i don't think the bees care, i have full plastic frames, wood frames with foundation, and foundationless frames and they all do the same with them.
    Potato Guns shouldn't be illegal in Texas!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    55

    Default Re: Looking for advice on a plan of attack (regression).

    Typically run about $250 bucks with bottom board, so $100 bucks more then a four frame nuc but you get to keep the equipment.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Ontario
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    55

    Default Re: Looking for advice on a plan of attack (regression).

    I want to go foundationless for mostly clean wax, Im not opposed to putting in plastic foundation and will probably end up putting in some pf 100's to aid in some regression. Im a new beek so just getting my feet wet, and trying some stuff out to see what happens.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,079

    Default Re: Looking for advice on a plan of attack (regression).

    If mediums is what you want, then I'd suggest putting medium boxes (with whatever frames you like, though I'd suggest Mann Lake PF-120's for regression) above and below each of the deeps. If the bees do as expected and build them out, you can rearrange the boxes (adding as necessary) so that eventually the deep will be on the top, full of honey, so you can remove it. Then you can process the frames, trim the box down, and you'll have another medium. You may want to work out another plan depending on finances. Some of what I do in predicated a bit on getting equipment in bulk, therefore cheaper, or building my own.

    That's what I would do, and have done, and am doing, though less with regression in mind and more toward changing box size, however, what I've just suggested should achieve both at once. I do not recommend foundationless initially as it is more work to get going and keep in line initially, and regression will not be as likely to happen in an expedient manner.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Ontario
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    55

    Default Re: Looking for advice on a plan of attack (regression).

    K so if I am understanding this correctly, once the deep is on top, all the brood hatched out, etc, they will start filling it with honey and switch to the two lower mediums as the brood chamber?

    Also another question, to regress the idea is to put the small cell foundation in the brood chamber to make smaller bees, but the cell size of the honey supers will still be larger and therefore it wont matter if that deep that is on top is using large cell foundation?

    Would I want to fill the brood chamber(s) with small cell or not bother with the outermost frames because they are used for drone/honey?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Barrie, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    459

    Default Re: Looking for advice on a plan of attack (regression).

    Honeydrunk,

    Let me know if you find a reasonably priced method of purchasing PF100/120's. I ordered 120 PF120's direct from Mann Lake and all said and done with shipping, duty, brokerage fees and taxes it was over $4 a frame.
    Adam - Zone 5A
    www.adamshoney.com

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,079

    Default Re: Looking for advice on a plan of attack (regression).

    Quote Originally Posted by honeydrunk View Post
    K so if I am understanding this correctly, once the deep is on top, all the brood hatched out, etc, they will start filling it with honey and switch to the two lower mediums as the brood chamber?
    More or less, yes. There can be fits and starts and the brief use of a queen excluder may be helpful.

    Quote Originally Posted by honeydrunk View Post
    Also another question, to regress the idea is to put the small cell foundation in the brood chamber to make smaller bees, but the cell size of the honey supers will still be larger and therefore it wont matter if that deep that is on top is using large cell foundation?
    It shouldn't matter what size cells the honey is in. I tend to move frames with lots of drone out and up so they are used for honey more.

    Quote Originally Posted by honeydrunk View Post
    Would I want to fill the brood chamber(s) with small cell or not bother with the outermost frames because they are used for drone/honey?
    Consistency is going to be your friend. You will probably want to provide some way for the bees to build drone or they will build it between frames which is messy. I realize you don't have much access to the materials you need in Canada, but I like to intersperse a couple foundationless frames in the broodnest once the main core is drawn so the bees can build drone.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,113

    Default Re: Looking for advice on a plan of attack (regression).

    Think of it as a list of priorities. If you view the large cell comb as wrong, and killing brood as more wrong, and stealing honey as acceptable, then you can proceed to remove all combs of honey and pollen when there is a nectar and pollen flow going on. You can juggle frames between hives to make things come out to full boxes when you need to. You can move brood above an excluder to let it emerge before removing it. You can confine the queen (with at least one frame of open brood) below the excluder with small cell foundation around her (or foundationless frames if you prefer). In the spring when you often have an entire empty box you can pull a lot of "bad" comb out without sacrificing anything at all.

    Just make sure you never leave them too short on comb so they have enough to put winter stores away by fall.

    http://bushfarms.com/beesnaturalcell...atisregression
    http://bushfarms.com/beesferal.htm#moving
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    55

    Default Re: Looking for advice on a plan of attack (regression).

    Quote Originally Posted by zhiv9 View Post
    Honeydrunk,

    Let me know if you find a reasonably priced method of purchasing PF100/120's. I ordered 120 PF120's direct from Mann Lake and all said and done with shipping, duty, brokerage fees and taxes it was over $4 a frame.
    Im currently waiting to hear back what they come up with for shipping. As far as I can tell no one in Ontario carries the stuff!

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    55

    Default Re: Looking for advice on a plan of attack (regression).

    Again thanks for all the help guys, its definitely given me some stuff to think about and try. As a new beek I definitely appreciate the advice as im not so much timid around the bees, but timid with playing with them too much. On the plus side just came back from the yard, and they are pulling in pollen like mad! Also the medium foundationless frames I put in the deeps are already about a quarter drawn out, and its only been two days! I have noticed them trying to draw comb from the top cover down, so I gave em a medium super of empty frames and they dont seem too interested yet. Currently they are on what measures out to be about 5.6-5.4 foundation, im anxious to bring a ruler out and measure the new comb. Anywho ill keep everyone updated as I am positive ill need to pick some brains, maybe ill take some pictures and show you all my badass adjustable hive stands!

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Barrie, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    459

    Default Re: Looking for advice on a plan of attack (regression).

    Quote Originally Posted by honeydrunk View Post
    Im currently waiting to hear back what they come up with for shipping. As far as I can tell no one in Ontario carries the stuff!
    That's what I found too. Depending on how the season goes I will likely be looking for more next winter. I am not sure if someone like FW Jones might be able to get a better deal bringing them in with a larger shipment.
    Adam - Zone 5A
    www.adamshoney.com

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