Results 1 to 16 of 16
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Starkville, MS, USA
    Posts
    82

    Default Mixing and matching bees- Can you insert frames of brood with nurse bees attached?

    I do not presently have any bees. I injured myself and missed starting this spring. I have assembled wooden ware for 4 hives using all medium 8 frame equipment. I do not have any drawn comb. It is getting late in the year but the goldenrod is still active here in Mississippi. I would like to keep the all medium frame format.

    My " problem" - a friend has offered me a late swarm that he placed in a 5 frame deep nuc with all plastic foundation about a month ago. He has one of nine hives that are all medium frames. I would like take this nuc and convert it to medium frames. Would it be OK to take several frames of medium frame brood (with the nurse bees still attached),and several frames of honey/pollen and place them in my 8 frame medium hive, then take the 5 frame deep nuc, capture the queen and shake the bees into the 8 frame medium equipment and then replace the queen into the new hive. He could place the remaining brood and frames into one of his other hives so there would be no net waste of brood. I anticipate that I would likely have to feed this hive this winter.

    My question is - would the nurse bees on the medium frames fight with the shaken bees that were dumped in on top of them?

    Would it be possible to cut the deep plastic foundation filled with brood down to medium size without destroying the comb or causing the bees to abscond? I was wondering if you could then rubber band the bottom piece of the brood to other medium frames and use them too?

    Alternate ideas would be welcome too!

    Thanks,
    Tim

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,532

    Default Re: Mixing and matching bees- Can you insert frames of brood with nurse bees attached

    You can place whole frames of nurse bees right into an existing hive. As a matter of fact, I shook one hive into another hive just two weeks ago and had no ill effects.
    No newspaper combine, just shook.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    5,931

    Default Re: Mixing and matching bees- Can you insert frames of brood with nurse bees attached

    > capture the queen and shake the bees into the 8 frame medium equipment and then replace the queen into the new hive.

    If I understand your plan correctly, essentially you are pulling bees and brood from one colony, and a queen from a different colony. then putting these together in one hive.

    This is not quite the same as a combine, as the queen will have no bees that are are already familiar with her. This sounds like a potential problem.

    I think you should treat this the same a requeening with a purchased queen. Make the bees queenless for a day or so, then introduce the new queen in a queen cage with a candy plug, and let them release her.

    More on requeening from Michael Bush:
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfaqs.htm#requeening
    ultracrepidarian >> noting or pertaining to a person who criticizes, judges, or gives advice outside of his expertise

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Palmyra, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    51

    Default Re: Mixing and matching bees- Can you insert frames of brood with nurse bees attached

    thank your friend tremendously ,take them home ,feed them heavy , borrow the nuc box till spring or mid summer.
    wait till spring and make a plywood migratory cover to fit your 8 frame cut out the center, the size of the 5 frame take the bottom board off and let them move down. if you get lucky (no brood) you may have a 5 frame super of honey to extract when you take it off.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Starkville, MS, USA
    Posts
    82

    Default Re: Mixing and matching bees- Can you insert frames of brood with nurse bees attached

    Graham,

    The bees that are presently in the 5 frame deep nuc with the queen will be shaken/brushed into the new medium frame hive, with frames of brood plus attached nurse bees from another hive being place into the mix. The plan to capture the queen was to prevent her being injured in the shake out.

    flhurtra, an interesting idea about placing adapter board next spring...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,603

    Default Re: Mixing and matching bees- Can you insert frames of brood with nurse bees attached

    My " problem" - a friend has offered me a late swarm that he placed in a 5 frame deep nuc with all plastic foundation about a month ago. He has one of nine hives that are all medium frames. I would like take this nuc and convert it to medium frames. Would it be OK to take several frames of medium frame brood (with the nurse bees still attached),and several frames of honey/pollen and place them in my 8 frame medium hive, then take the 5 frame deep nuc, capture the queen and shake the bees into the 8 frame medium equipment and then replace the queen into the new hive. He could place the remaining brood and frames into one of his other hives so there would be no net waste of brood. I anticipate that I would likely have to feed this hive this winter.

    I think that will work just fine. There should be no fighting, so long as there is only one queen. For precautionary measures, you might cage the queen first, then do your above mentioned manipulations, and insert the queen in her cage into the new medium hive. Let the bees release her, or check back in a day to three days and see how they are treating her, and release her yourself if they are liking her. This would be precautionary measure, to insure they accept the queen well, but it is quite unlikely that any of those bees would reject her.

    There is two major parts to a hive... The queen, and the bees. A third part would be the brood. Bees need a queen. The queen needs bees. They both need brood. Sometimes bees may reject a queen in order to make one from the existing brood instead. Queenless bees never fight. Queenless bees mixed with a queen, the issue is not bees fighting, but rather is whether they accept the queen or not. If they have brood with eggs, then sometimes they reject the queen, as I mentioned above.

    I'm sure that cutting down the deep frames into mediums can be done just as you mentioned. If done in warm environment and quickly, there should be minimal brood loss. Michael Bush did that to change over quickly from deeps to mediums, as he has said and posted in the past.

    I think your major issue is being so late in the year. I would think it would be better to keep them in a single medium over winter. I think getting a second box of frames drawn out for winter might be asking for a bit much at this time in the year.

    What ever you do, good luck and enjoy your new interest in beekeeping.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    5,931

    Default Re: Mixing and matching bees- Can you insert frames of brood with nurse bees attached

    OK, I see I overlooked the part about shaking in the bees currently with the queen.

    That does make it more like a combine, except that all the comb/brood belong to bees that aren't familiar with that queen. Consider doing this in two stages, move the comb/brood and those bees to the new box without their queen, wait til they realize they are queenless, then introduce the additional shaken bees and caged queen.

    While this involves extra steps, if you lose a queen at this time of year, there are fewer options for acquiring a replacement.
    ultracrepidarian >> noting or pertaining to a person who criticizes, judges, or gives advice outside of his expertise

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    San Mateo, Ca, USA
    Posts
    408

    Default Re: Mixing and matching bees- Can you insert frames of brood with nurse bees attached

    rather than cutting the deep frames from the nuc to make them fit inside a single medium box, why not just stick them in double stacked mediums? They should fit in a 2 deep.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,312

    Default Re: Mixing and matching bees- Can you insert frames of brood with nurse bees attached

    Quote Originally Posted by BayHighlandBees View Post
    rather than cutting the deep frames from the nuc to make them fit inside a single medium box, why not just stick them in double stacked mediums? They should fit in a 2 deep.

    Anybody here have a tape measure they want to loan to someone in Northern California? Someone here needs one. Deep frames place in two mediums? Will they fit ? Yes ..........but this idea seems to be a bad dream right out of the burr comb hell in the long run. Unless your looking for that kind of nightmare I'd find another route to solve this problem.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    1,120

    Default Re: Mixing and matching bees- Can you insert frames of brood with nurse bees attached

    I would not mess with a month old swarm without a good reason. What's the rush? What you are gaining now is time with the bees before next year, more important than the bees themselves.
    Does your friend have a need for the nuc box and frames before spring? Are you just wanting to get going with all mediums? Wait till spring, yours is not far away compared to mine.
    If you are feeling compulsive; Put the medium on top of the deep nuc and close off with scrap wood on the bottom of the medium. After they move up, even if it is next spring, reverse with an inner cover and let them vacate the deep.
    4 yrs, Peak 14, back to zip, T lite; godfather to brother's 3.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    116

    Default Re: Mixing and matching bees- Can you insert frames of brood with nurse bees attached

    Month-old swarm in a 5-frame nuc. Can you tell us more about their current condition? Have they drawn out significant comb?

    Is there any reason to not simply overwinter the nuc as-is? In the spring, shake them out into your medium equipment on foundation and hide the nuc box. You wouldn't be risking a queen, there wouldn't be an issue in the frame size difference, etc, and you wouldn't be compromising an existing colony.

    If you must do something to add space, build yourself a 5 frame medium nuc box and put on top of the deep nuc for a 5-over-5, medium-over-deep nuc setup. You'll want the medium nuc next year anyway when the swarm season starts. Then, in the spring move the medium frames into your 8 frame hive bodies. I build my nuc boxes out of 3/4 lumber with open bottoms so I have the flexibility to stack if needed.

    You will not have good results trying to cut deep plastic foundation. If that's your only choice, then go for it. I know I wouldn't bother.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Starkville, MS, USA
    Posts
    82

    Default Re: Mixing and matching bees- Can you insert frames of brood with nurse bees attached

    It seems that raiding the brood section of my friends medium hive for frames of brood and bees while shaking the bees from the 5 frame deep nuc to make an 8 frame hive puts two different queens at risk late in the year when replacements would be a problem. The advice from several of you about not disrupting the new swarm this late in the year and adding a medium super to the 5 frame deep nuc, then shaking them into medium equipment next spring is sound advice. Thanks.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Honey Hive Farms, Winfield Missouri
    Posts
    358

    Default Re: Mixing and matching bees- Can you insert frames of brood with nurse bees attached

    Honey Hive Farms,
    Be careful using the incorrect size hives, it could become a mess, and could kill the queen if you let it go to long.
    Honey Hive Farms "Saving the world one bee at a time"
    www.HoneyHiveFarms.com

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    San Mateo, Ca, USA
    Posts
    408

    Default Re: Mixing and matching bees- Can you insert frames of brood with nurse bees attached

    Quote Originally Posted by Honey-4-All View Post
    Anybody here have a tape measure they want to loan to someone in Northern California? Someone here needs one. Deep frames place in two mediums? Will they fit ? Yes ..........but this idea seems to be a bad dream right out of the burr comb hell in the long run. Unless your looking for that kind of nightmare I'd find another route to solve this problem.
    they draw out below the bottom of the frame. it wouldn't be burr comb, it would be a continuation of the frame below the frame (not unlike a top bar). The point here would be that you can keep the drawn frame until the spring when the bees will draw more comb. It not meant to be a permanent solution. Just one to solve your drawn comb issue and survive the winter.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    1,120

    Default Re: Mixing and matching bees- Can you insert frames of brood with nurse bees attached

    I have no problem with putting deeps in a double medium, yes some comb to trim off later, just makes a nice starter strip to tie on. Would work well next spring. 3 medium frames over three medium frames beside 5 deeps is a good way to to get the mediums drawn and occupied.
    4 yrs, Peak 14, back to zip, T lite; godfather to brother's 3.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    McClure, OH
    Posts
    1,017

    Default Re: Mixing and matching bees- Can you insert frames of brood with nurse bees attached

    Your original plan will work, but you are running the chance of the medium nurse bees killing the queen. An alternative would be to get the medium brood frames, shake everybody off of them and then shake all the bees from the nuc into the all medium setup. Try to get mostly capped brood (best if they are emerging). Almost like a shook swarm, but they get to keep the brood. If transporting the brood frames try to keep them warm and moist. A cooler with a warm brick and a moist towel works. You're aiming for 80F - 90F.

    Keep an eye on the frames for a week after that, so the bees don't decide to supercede the queen due to the disruption. Make sure you include some honey frames in the setup, too. I am not sure how close you are to winter.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads