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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Romania, Sibiu
    Posts
    251

    Default Unnatural frame positioning(overwintering)

    Hi,

    I've migrated a single box to a 5 over 5 nuc(deep frames).
    I know the theory according about placing empty frames in the bottom box middle, then polen and 2 frames of honey on the sides with the second box with frames full of honey but only have 2 full frames of capped honey, the rest is partially capped. I don't have empty frames just a few cells on the bottom.

    The vertical succession as it is now:
    box #1 -> empty cells -> uncapped honey -> capped honey -> box #2 -> empty cells -> uncapped honey -> capped honey.

    We are out of the flow and the temperatures are about 26F during night and 59F at daytime. (-2C - 15C)

    Is this serious? Should I just let them be?

    Thanks,
    Cristian

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,252

    Default Re: Unnatural frame positioning(overwintering)

    Is there any brood?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Romania, Sibiu
    Posts
    251

    Default Re: Unnatural frame positioning(overwintering)

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    Is there any brood?
    No. In our region queens stopped laying for almost a month.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    116

    Default Re: Unnatural frame positioning(overwintering)

    Ok, let's ask this another way? Where's the brood nest at (even if it's open comb right now)? Where's the cluster? You have bees?

    Usually, the bees cluster overwinter in the brood nest, which is surrounded by pollen, then honey stores. From what you describe, there is nowhere for the bees to overwinter.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    McClure, OH
    Posts
    1,017

    Default Re: Unnatural frame positioning(overwintering)

    If you just did the 5 over 5, they may be out of time to reorganize the brood nest (based on your daytime temps). They will try their best, as long as it stays above clustering temp during the day. They probably had it organized for the single hive box.

    I am not sure why you did the 5 over 5, and only you can make the call on whether they have time to reorganize the nest. If you're expecting daytime temps below 50s within a week, you might consider putting them back in the original box (if you just did the 5x5).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Romania, Sibiu
    Posts
    251

    Default Re: Unnatural frame positioning(overwintering)

    >>If you just did the 5 over 5, they may be out of time to reorganize the brood nest (based on your daytime temps). They will try their best, as long as it stays above clustering temp during the day. They probably had it organized for the single hive box.

    It seems so.

    >> I am not sure why you did the 5 over 5, and only you can make the call on whether they have time to reorganize the nest. If you're expecting daytime temps below 50s within a week, you might consider putting them back in the original box (if you just did the 5x5).

    In our region we use dadant deeps single boxes with mediums for stores - those huge frames and I don't like that system because of too heavy frames and 2 kind of frames. I want to use only one kind of frames in my future apiary. The bees overwinter well on this huge frames having enough amount of honey above the brood nest.
    My 2 colonies were migrated from that system starting from 6 frame nucs in June.
    The better hive is 7 over 7 and brood nest is on the bottom(I can see that by leaning the hive onto a side and watching from bellow).
    My thinking was that maybe the bees won't have enough reachable stores in one box configuration as the brood nest occupied only 6 frames(hive #2).

    After moving them in 5 over 5 I saw that all the bees prefer to nest in the second box and that's even worse so probably the best idea is to move them back as you said. But for now I would leave them alone as the temperatures are rising. We will have max. 60F for the next days and probably more. We had a cold spell and some snow lately.

    How about uncapping 3 frames from the bottom? Would the bees move the honey above?

    Regards,
    Cristian

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    McClure, OH
    Posts
    1,017

    Default Re: Unnatural frame positioning(overwintering)

    Quote Originally Posted by cristianNiculae View Post
    But for now I would leave them alone as the temperatures are rising. We will have max. 60F for the next days and probably more. We had a cold spell and some snow lately.

    How about uncapping 3 frames from the bottom? Would the bees move the honey above?

    Regards,
    Cristian
    If you still have some warm days try giving them some 2:1 or 5:3 sugar syrup either in the baggie feeder or in a jar over the inner cover. Feed smaller amounts and more often as the bees won't take syrup if it's temperature is below 50F. A smaller amount will warm up faster than a bigger amount. They can use that to fill out the holes, so to speak. If they settle in the top box, you can add a candy board as an emergency ration or you can try the mountain camp method. Here is how to make a candy board and here is the mountain camp method (towards the bottom under "Dry sugar").

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Romania, Sibiu
    Posts
    251

    Default Re: Unnatural frame positioning(overwintering)

    Thanks.

    The bees cover very well the spaces btw. frames in the upper box and also some of the spaces in the bottom box. They seem to work on something . We had pretty warm days since Sunday(nights 32F days 65F).
    My 2 hives are facing south now and sit close together.
    I'm thinking of making 8 frame deep boxes this winter instead of 10. I think that's more then enough in my area where we don't have spectacular flows and it's definitively better for overwintering.

    Cristian

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    McClure, OH
    Posts
    1,017

    Default Re: Unnatural frame positioning(overwintering)

    Sounds like a good idea. You could also use a follower board to restrict the regular box to eight frames.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Romania, Sibiu
    Posts
    251

    Default Re: Unnatural frame positioning(overwintering)

    Hi,

    I moved them to one single deep after noticing the cluster formed btw. nuc's boxes. It would have been a waste of resources to leave them like that.

    Case closed.

    Cristian

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