Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Elizabethtown, KY
    Posts
    2

    Default Transitioning from Deeps/Foundation to Mediums/Foundationless

    Hello,

    I currently have two hives that are each made up of two deep hive bodies with drawn plastic foundation from Dadant. I purchased these hives from someone locally who stated them this spring and then decided that beekeeping wasn't for them once they were stung a few times

    In the spring of 2014, I would like to start to transition to a all medium box apiary with all foundationless frames. My goal is also to be treatment free. I currently have not treated these hives for anything, the queens are the same Italian queens that came with the packages.

    I would like to increase my number of hives during this transition by making splits. My two hives are currently strong and should have enough stores for winter, so assuming that they come into the spring ok, what would my best course of action be?

    Would I want to make four hives by taking a deep from each of my current two hives and then letting the bees draw medium frameless foundation out from there? If i do this, when/how would I phase out the deep boxes?

    Of is there another method I'm missing out on altogether?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,889

    Default Re: Transitioning from Deeps/Foundation to Mediums/Foundationless

    One problem you will have is that bees will not climb to the topbars of a box filled with foundationless frames. Maybe remove some of the deep frames and place some of the medium foundationless frames between drawn deep combs to get them started. Then move the started foundationless frames up into a medium box. If they worked real hard they might have hung some comb off the bottom of the medium frames that you will have to remove. You could move up the queen also above an excluder, leave an upper entrance drone escape, and in a month your deep will have no brood left in it. But leaving the deep with no excluder would be the least stress for the bees and you can isolate it later.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Elizabethtown, KY
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Transitioning from Deeps/Foundation to Mediums/Foundationless

    Thanks, I hadn't thought of using an excluder that way. I don't typically use them, but I do have a couple of them.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Transitioning from Deeps/Foundation to Mediums/Foundationless

    Personally as soon as it was warm enough to open the hive this spring I'd throw a medium box on. While bees tend to avoid to working a completely empty box of foundationless you can help force the issue by placing the box in a manner the foragers have to cross it to exit. So if you have bottom entrances, put it below the deep body, if you use top entrances put it above. Make sure you have clearly defined starter strips, and that you've got your hive as level as possible. I'd put it about 85% that in those circumstances you will get straight drawn comb as soon as the first flows start up. You should check it every so often and correct the comb as you can. Once you have a full box drawn, start moving the deep further away from where you want the brood chamber with the hopes you can extract it at some point. I'm not sure I'd attempt splits until I had at least 3 mediums drawn on each hive with brood, but I certainly would not attempt to split with the deep frames if I wanted to go all medium boxes. For the record I run all mediums and foundationless.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Auburn, Washington, USA
    Posts
    312

    Default Re: Transitioning from Deeps/Foundation to Mediums/Foundationless

    I suggest you don't get rid of your deep boxes and frames. Instead have a colony that uses only deep boxes, and then have another one that only uses medium ones. Deep frames are a standard method of buying and selling package bees. My queens can be found on a deep frame more often than not and I really think they prefer deep frames for laying.

    You'll end up needing a deep frame or box some time in the future. If you keep the setup all deep, then you can always move brood and honey between the boxes as you wish, just as you would with all medium. If the weight is the issue, then adjust them to 6 frame deep boxes. They'll be like large nucs and bees won't care. Insert dummy hollow plywood boxes on each side to center bees if you like to keep boxes 10 frame wide and not cut them to size.

    And if you are going to let them draw the comb on their own, put wire through the frames before you add them. It is really hard to extract honey from unreinforced fresh comb, it will blow out more often than not. I'd continue to use plastic foundation.

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