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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    fairfield, sc
    Posts
    129

    Default late summer brood box swap and drawn comb

    Hello all.

    I have a couple of questions, hence the 'dual' title and hope there's some good advice out there...

    My hives are doing well now in SC and I've already pulled my honey. Not as much as I'd hoped, but left some for them also. In most of my hives, which consist of 2 deep brood boxes now, I've noticed that the queen is laying up in the top box and not moving down very much - if any, to lay. Is this normal? This is only my 2nd year and I've heard (and did on a couple of boxes) reverse the brood boxes in the spring but don't know if this should be done now or not.

    The second thing is that I don't have any more drawn comb to add to my nuc boxes, which I plan to double-stack and over winter this way. I'm using 5-frame Nucs with 1 frame of un-drawn foundation and all other frames have been drawn and have nectar/pollen/honey/etc in them. I don't anticipate them pulling very much the rest of the season - as they didn't do too much last fall at this time of the year. I just added 3 new queens into these splits so I hope/anticipate that she'll start laying pretty strong over the next couple of weeks and they will need the room to move up/store for the winter. So, my question is this ... If I have drawn comb in the bottom brood boxes of my double-brood hives and I take some 'outside' drawn frames and use re-purpose them for my nucs? This sounds plausible and think it would work, but wanted to others to share their experiences.

    thanks in advance ...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: late summer brood box swap and drawn comb

    Somewhat related but I switched brood frames to help my weaker hive from my strong hive. I think it was the right decision and things seem to be going well. I'm seeing the same laying pattern, top box and not much else. i'm a 1st year so maybe it is or isn't normal.
    Adam Buchanan
    Call or email me to chat bees! 720-789-0243 adam@adamcbuchanan.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    fairfield, sc
    Posts
    129

    Default Re: late summer brood box swap and drawn comb

    Wow - first time I didn't get a lot of responses. Don't know if this is good, or bad.

    I think I'll 'steal' some drawn comb over the next couple of weeks so I have it ready for my nucs. I guess I'll also have to surmise that 'all' bees and brood in the upper boxes are 'normal' for this time of the year also.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    1,168

    Default Re: late summer brood box swap and drawn comb

    >I've noticed that the queen is laying up in the top box and not moving down very much - if any, to lay. Is this normal?

    Yes sometimes she will do that.
    Restack your hive to look something like this

    EEBBEBBEEE
    HBBEBBEBBH

    >reverse the brood boxes in the spring but don't know if this should be done now or not.

    I see nothing wrong with reverse the brood boxes. I prefer to manipulate each frame so that there is not a completely empty box. Especially when it comes to new undrawn frames the bee will work them quicker if they are between brood frames. She will also lay quick in an empty drawn frame between two brood frames.

    >The second thing is that I don't have any more drawn comb to add to my nuc boxes, which I plan to double-stack and over winter this way.
    The above will also help you get more drawn comb quicker.

    >I'm using 5-frame Nucs with 1 frame of un-drawn foundation and all other frames have been drawn and have nectar/pollen/honey/etc in them. I don't anticipate them pulling very much the rest of the season
    Put the undrawn frame between brood. They will work it quicker. My bees are still drawing new comb.

    >as they didn't do too much last fall at this time of the year.
    Did you have that same rainfall as last year? The rain makes a big difference.

    >If I have drawn comb in the bottom brood boxes of my double-brood hives and I take some 'outside' drawn frames and use re-purpose them for my nucs?
    Yes good idea your big hive will draw new comb faster than your nucs. Which need to grow quickly to get to the size you want for wintering. I think your goal should be to get your nucs to about 10 frames - in my area once they get to 10+ frames they winter better.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    fairfield, sc
    Posts
    129

    Default Re: late summer brood box swap and drawn comb

    Thanks for the update -

    I suspected that either reversing or manupilating the hive, especially at this time of the year wouldn't be a bad thing to do since there's still time for them to potentially draw out 'some'. I'll move some around and gather up some drawn frames to use in my nucs as they grow. I presume from your coding you are referring to .. E=empty, B=brood, and H=Honey. I'll count as I go through the hives the brood frames and make adjustments as needed between the 2 boxes. I've tried, whenever possible and good brood frames, to stack empty ones above brood frames as I 'checker-board' the frames in the spring and that's always worked well for me.

    As far as rain this year vs last year ... last year was a 'boomer' time for rain fall as we had it most of the summer. Not so much this year (prob about 50% less) and I can tell from my water bill

    As the Nucs grow do you think that checkboarding - like mentioned above, is also a good way to get them to draw out and prep for pollen/nectar winter storing ? If so, as there's only 5 frames in each box - is there any type of ratio while checkerboarding - like, for instance ..

    EDEED
    DEDDH

    As I've never overwintered Nuc's before - should I move all the capped up to the top in a couple of months (provided all goes well) or leave it alone and "scattered" as they've made up their house?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    1,168

    Default Re: late summer brood box swap and drawn comb

    >E=empty, B=brood, and H=Honey
    yes

    Most nucs are made with 3 frames of brood 1 of honey and 1 pollen, or with one empty in there.

    When you say D do you mean drawn empty or drawn brood or drawn honey?

    EDEED
    DEDDH

    Is good but I would change the top to

    EDEDE

    I would only insert one empty instead of two. As they draw out more frames insert more empties in the brood nest and checker board more in the honey.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    fairfield, sc
    Posts
    129

    Default Re: late summer brood box swap and drawn comb

    sorry -

    Yes, the D was meant to mean "drawn but empty" and not "undrawn" empty frames.

    guest I fat-fingered another one..

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