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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Elkton, Giles, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    1,339

    Default Re: Preserving the integrity of the brood nest

    For the record, checkerboarding DOES NOT DISTURB the broodnest. Alternating honey and empty comb is done above the broodnest very early in the season - normally before the cluster has expanded to fill the starting brood chamber.

    I resist all broodnest disturbances, except one: I sometimes take a frame of brood from a stronger unit to support a weaker colony. In that case, the broodnest is closed up on the donor unit, without replacing the pilfered frame.

    The bees maintain a "safety margin" in all survival requirements. If left to do it their way, they don't get caught short by a sudden, and severe cold snap. To account for those extreme conditions, their safety margins are quite conserative - wider than needed for normal conditions. So, under normal conditions, they can handle manipulations that encroach on their broodnest temp control safety margin. But I'm inclined leave them the whole range of their proven limits.

    In addition, its difficult to judge colony strength on a hive-opening day in the early season. More than half the bees may be in the field foraging. Have seen cases where the whole cluster was in the field except for a single layer of bees over open brood. But then, I'm in hives earlier than most.

    There is another (subjective) reason we don't scramble the broodnest. I feel that disturbance creates a time delay in development. The colony is slowed for the time of reacting to the change, and I don't want to slow growth by any means.

    Walt

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Vancouver, Washington
    Posts
    222

    Default Re: Preserving the integrity of the brood nest

    It's nice to see this issue being discussed in a comprehensive way on the forum. The possibility of chilled brood as a result of over-aggressively "managing" the brood nest was put into sharp relief for me as a result of this thread:

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...y-top-bar-hive

    Fortunately, the hives seem to have suffered no ill-effects, although whether or not their progress was impeded is, i suppose, impossible to say. Whatever the case, i definitely learned the hard way.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Manassas, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    964

    Default Re: Preserving the integrity of the brood nest

    One of our hives has been trying to tell us we botched this last month. They're still making progress, but slower than they should, due to us moving one of the brood frames and one of stores up to a new box to encourage them to build up there, and moving frames of foundation down to the first box to replace them.

    In one sense it worked ... they did immediately start working on the upper box, but we've seen no expansion of the number of frames occupied by brood. They look pretty much like they did as new nucs. New comb is being drawn and filled with nectar and some pollen, but we didn't get an expansion of brood like we expected. I think we would have been better rewarded by leaving the broodnest alone and letting them concentrate on building population.

    Upon adding the second brood box, which was mostly empty foundation, I immediately feared chilling them. I closed off the extra vents on the vented screened bottom boards. I was already using entrance reducers. I sealed gaps between the boxes to prevent a stray draft (the fit was lousy). From the looks of things, we managed not to cause a severe chill, but spreading out the brood must have cooled the brood frames some.

    Demoralized? Hard to say ... that's a pretty advanced mental concept for an insect. But we may have bewildered them, or possibly even frustrated them. They continue to work, but likely we just managed to get in the way of what they "knew" they needed to do.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Castle Rock, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    269

    Default Re: Preserving the integrity of the brood nest

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Taylor's main focus w/ bees was minimal manipulation geared towards comb honey production, if I understand what I think I know about him. So keep that in mind when reading quotes from his books.
    Michael (Bush)quote's Taylor from the same book (How To...), on the first page of his book (v1). You might also want to read both books, I think you'll see a great deal of compatibility. In How To, there is one treatise on comb honey, and at least 7 on extracting. He did write a separate book on comb honey.

    It would be nice to see any additional current reference on the subject.
    Last edited by Colobee; 06-06-2014 at 04:49 PM.
    After 35 years, I've come to realize that the bees can fix most of my mistakes.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,384

    Default Re: Preserving the integrity of the brood nest

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Well, don't try arguing directly w/ Richard. He has been dead for a long time now. Twenty some years I believe.

    Taylor's main focus w/ bees was minimal manipulation geared towards comb honey production, if I understand what I think I know about him. So keep that in mind when reading quotes from his books.

    Michael, did you know Ray Churchill from Burr Mills, NY, near Watertown. He was really accomplished and knowledgeable about comb honey production too. I wonder if he rotated brood chambers? He has been dead a long time too, so I can't ask him. I wonder if Buster would know.
    Gosh, I liked Richard. What a character. Last time I saw him he had on his classic white coveralls, red bandana and his straw hat…which makes the rounds at the EAS auction from time to time. In tow were his young children…he wasn't a young man at the time…just full of it.

    I did know Ray. A comb honey master. Usually won the EAS comb honey award. It was he who inspired me to produce beautiful comb and enter it in the EAS show…which I won a few times. Great fun.

    Don't know if he reversed…bet he did. Buster might know.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    1,271

    Default Re: Preserving the integrity of the brood nest

    Eugene Killion and his father operated over a thousand colonies for comb honey production. They overwintered in double deeps and they reversed when they found the brood in the top during the first spring inspection.
    37 years - 25 colonies - IPM disciple - naturally skeptic

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    27,104

    Default Re: Preserving the integrity of the brood nest

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    Gosh, I liked Richard. What a character. Last time I saw him he had on his classic white coveralls, red bandana and his straw hat…which makes the rounds at the EAS auction from time to time. In tow were his young children…he wasn't a young man at the time…just full of it.

    I did know Ray. A comb honey master. Usually won the EAS comb honey award. It was he who inspired me to produce beautiful comb and enter it in the EAS show…which I won a few times. Great fun.

    Don't know if he reversed…bet he did. Buster might know.
    He pushed a two story hive down into a single for comb honey production, didn't he? But I don't know what he did before that, coming out of Winter.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,384

    Default Re: Preserving the integrity of the brood nest

    Yes, down into a super of foundation with one empty comb.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Skagit, WA, USA
    Posts
    229

    Default Re: Preserving the integrity of the brood nest

    I may be missing something, but if the ENTIRE brood nest is in the upper box, how is reversing boxes splitting the brood nest? Additionally, there seems to be a huge difference in putting a frame of foundationless between frames and putting a "wall" of foundation between frames.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,142

    Default Re: Preserving the integrity of the brood nest

    Carl Killion overwintered and ran his brood nests in single ten frame deeps. I've got all the original pictures of him packing them and here is his description of his hives:

    "One could hardly call the hive I use a ten-frame hive; it is standard ten-frame Langstroth size in every respect, but only nine frames are used. We find any number of beekeepers using only nine frames in a ten frame hive body, but the frames are equally spaced and occupy all the space that ten frames would occupy. The nine frames used in our hive body are spaced their regu-lar distance apart, and a follower board is used on each side next to the side wall of the hive. Many beginners have never heard of a follower board unless they run across it in some old bee literature. In our system of management the follower is a necessary part of our equipment, just as necessary as a hive cover or bottom board. The follower is used for more than one reason. The board can be removed much easier than a frame if all ten frames where used. It permits the removal of the first brood frame with ease and later returned to the hive before the next one is removed, as the space is adequate for this purpose.

    "One need not place a frame of brood outside the hive at any time. If both boards are removed it makes an ideal space for feeding with a division board feeder, and again one does not have to find a place to store surplus combs. In queen rearing, the cell-bar frame can be placed anywhere desired in the brood chamber after the two boards are removed, preferably as near the center as possible. The boards permit better ventilation and insulation to the brood. The main reason is we get more brood in the nine frames used than most beekeepers get in ten frames. In actual experience we find a queen does not like to lay in the two outside combs in a ten-frame hive body, next to the wall of the hive, the reason perhaps being the sudden change in temperature. The result, we find in nearly every hive, is only eight frames of brood instead of ten. One more advantage to using only nine frames spaced and arranged as they are, is that our sections in the super are directly above frames of brood. By having all sections over brood, the bees work in them better than when sections are above solid frames of honey. "--Carl Killion, Honey in the Comb

    http://www.amazon.com/Honey-Comb-Car...ey+in+the+comb

    As to the integrity of the brood nest, everything is about moderation when you are manipulating the brood nest. Too little leads to swarming. The right amount of empty space keeps them from swarming and results in very nice straight combs. Too much causes chilled brood.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    1,271

    Default Re: Preserving the integrity of the brood nest

    Carl's son, writing in 1981, states that their colonies are all in double deeps during the winter, so they must have changed their winter management practices between the writing of Carl's book and "Honey in the Comb" written by Eugene Killion.
    37 years - 25 colonies - IPM disciple - naturally skeptic

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,142

    Default Re: Preserving the integrity of the brood nest

    Eugene changed a lot of things from what his dad did.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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