Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 21 to 40 of 52
  1. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Kamloops, BC, Canada
    Posts
    910

    Default Re: My journey towards treatment free

    I've had good success with lack of comb the last few years, aggressively pyramiding brood into each new box. Ie, I if I have 7 frames of brood, and am adding a new box, then I put 4 in the top box, leaving 3 in the box underneath, foundationless frames on each side, using plastic frames outside of that as follower boards. I use a top and bottom entrance. This is done on a flow. They will aggressively build comb. They will leave comb behind in lower boxes as you build up. Easy to manage as the brood is in the top two boxes. Once they start filling the left behind comb with lots of nectar, you can reverse the set up with brood on the bottom and now you can manage honey. Last year, I mostly didn't use excluders, and management of that became a pain as they would often chimney up back up. This year I will use excluders for part of the season.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    7,584

    Default Re: My journey towards treatment free

    if you currently have surplus deep frames of drawn comb and honey you can go ahead and checkerboard a second deep over your singles, perhaps something like this, where e = empty comb and h = honey:

    e e e h e h e h e e (southernly facing side to the right)

    i'll be doing this with a few hives soon, a couple of which will become my cloake board hives for queen rearing.

    after queenrearing, these cloake board hives will have splits removed from them to make up more nucs and to get them back to a single deep.

    for your double deeps, consider moving the brood to the bottom and checkerboarding the upper as shown above, unless the brood nest is straddling the gap.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Haralson, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    248

    Default Re: My journey towards treatment free

    Quote Originally Posted by AstroBee View Post
    Are you seeking guidance, or just relaying a very interesting story? If seeking guidance, then it might be helpful to give us more information. You say you restarted in 2014, and that you brought in queens. What state is your apiary in now, e.g., how many colonies do you have now. Of these, how many from the original survivor genetics? Have you successfully propagated any of the original survivor genetics? Are you actively working these survivor colonies? What goals do you have - I'm sure we could all chip in and get your wife some honey
    So sorry. I missed this reply earlier. I am doing both AstroBee. I am telling my story to illustrate that good things can happen. I am also looking for any support that you all feel like giving. I have a pretty thick skin...

    I do get that many feel that I should have not brought in outside genetics as soon as I did. The truth is that I have 3 other bee keepers within 2 miles of my apiary. One that is willing to work with me somewhat.

    Frankly, I needed some help with numbers so that I could build my resources. I found that splits need to be particularly strong in my area if they are to succeed.

    I bought a nuc in 2015. It grew very well into an 8 frame deep. I pulled the queen and some brood plus some honey and comb from one of my existing hives and made a nuc. The existing 8 frame colony was successful in making a new queen but the old queen perished in my first lesson about using a pollen sub patty and small hive beetle. I did manage to get a nuc established from my survivor hive using a frame of eggs and young larvae. I also purchased 3 Pol line queens. One went to a local keeper and I made nucs for the other two. I was successful in overwintering 1 of those. I also spent 12 weeks recovering from knee surgery to remove a torn meniscus starting in May.

    2016 I overwintered 5 colonies.. bought another commercial nuc. Tried my hand at grafting to learn that you must ensure that the bees are not choosing to raise their own queen when adding grafts. Had a nuc from my survivors swarm after I moved it into a larger box. The remaining bees raised a queen and filled 2 medium supers. SquarePeg offered queen cells and I bit. I made 3 successful queens. One was used to get a cutdown split queenright and the other 2 are in nucs. I bought 2 nucs and 2 queens from a listed VSH supplier. I made a nuc from my resources for one queen and the other went to my nearby keeper for his expansion. I caught a prime swarm locally that came from the rock facade on a porch column. My area suffered an extreme drought that severely limited my fall flow. I did learn how to catch and mark my queens.

    I went into the fall of 2016 with 12 colonies of bees. Today, I have the same. 3 are in 5 frame deep nucs. 1 is in an 8 frame medium. 3 are between a deep with a medium and 2 deeps. The remaining 5 are in 3 deeps or taller. The 2 survivors are in 10 frame boxes with chest high stacks.

    I will be taking inventory of available comb, honey and pollen when weather next allows. I will be expanding the brood nest and checkerboarding my single story colonies from the resources I find. I have drawn comb ready for the 3, two way mating nucs that I am putting into use this year. I am daily increasing my box and frame count.

    My goals are to give the second year colonies the resources they need to allow them to become productive. I want to graft from my survivors and make increase. I would like to go into this coming winter with between 20 and 36 hives for myself. I want to also place some of my genetics with my local keepers since they will be my drone providers.

    My wife will surely get her honey. I promised her that she would when she asked for it... I also warned that the cost might be unexpected. I have long had the want to...
    Working to propagate my survivors and staying treatment free

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Haralson, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    248

    Default Re: My journey towards treatment free

    Quote Originally Posted by lharder View Post
    I've had good success with lack of comb the last few years, aggressively pyramiding brood into each new box. Ie, I if I have 7 frames of brood, and am adding a new box, then I put 4 in the top box, leaving 3 in the box underneath, foundationless frames on each side, using plastic frames outside of that as follower boards. I use a top and bottom entrance. This is done on a flow. They will aggressively build comb. They will leave comb behind in lower boxes as you build up. Easy to manage as the brood is in the top two boxes. Once they start filling the left behind comb with lots of nectar, you can reverse the set up with brood on the bottom and now you can manage honey. Last year, I mostly didn't use excluders, and management of that became a pain as they would often chimney up back up. This year I will use excluders for part of the season.
    Ahh the chimney effect. Mine like to do it too when provided an excess of comb over a couple of seasons. I will try to move frames around to ensure that my bees utilize them completely. Key word... try.
    Working to propagate my survivors and staying treatment free

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Haralson, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    248

    Default Re: My journey towards treatment free

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    if you currently have surplus deep frames of drawn comb and honey you can go ahead and checkerboard a second deep over your singles, perhaps something like this, where e = empty comb and h = honey:

    e e e h e h e h e e (southernly facing side to the right)

    i'll be doing this with a few hives soon, a couple of which will become my cloake board hives for queen rearing.

    after queenrearing, these cloake board hives will have splits removed from them to make up more nucs and to get them back to a single deep.

    for your double deeps, consider moving the brood to the bottom and checkerboarding the upper as shown above, unless the brood nest is straddling the gap.
    I have a hodge podge of drawn comb. It makes using it wisely a chess game with my bees at best. It reinforces the idea that one should try to standardize their frame size.

    I will be soon taking note of what I have available in my hives. I appreciate your directions. I did buy the parts necessary to make a cloake board.
    Working to propagate my survivors and staying treatment free

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    7,584

    Default Re: My journey towards treatment free

    it sounds to me like you are sitting pretty good tpope, and congrats on your overwintering success.

    i might consider looking to those triple deeps for resources, especially if you are planning to make a number of splits.

    your colonies are likely a little bit ahead of mine being farther south and lower elevation, but if those triple deeps have a deep or less worth of bees in them at this point, i believe they can afford to donate a deep of comb to the nucs.

    by the time they have 2 deeps full of bees you'll be able to pull splits off of them and will probably need to do so to prevent swarming. it won't be long after that wax making season will be here.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Haralson, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    248

    Default Re: My journey towards treatment free

    Yes, those tall stacks were left to provide for spring expansion. It's about time to start using them. I built some medium depth nuc boxes last week with the intentions of using my drawn comb to checkerboard my nucs. I will be making deep nucs next week.
    Working to propagate my survivors and staying treatment free

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    7,584

    Default Re: My journey towards treatment free

    sounds like an excellent plan tpope, now if the weather will just cooperate.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Haralson, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    248

    Default Re: My journey towards treatment free

    Quote Originally Posted by lharder View Post
    I've had good success with lack of comb the last few years, aggressively pyramiding brood into each new box. Ie, I if I have 7 frames of brood, and am adding a new box, then I put 4 in the top box, leaving 3 in the box underneath, foundationless frames on each side, using plastic frames outside of that as follower boards. I use a top and bottom entrance. This is done on a flow. They will aggressively build comb. They will leave comb behind in lower boxes as you build up. Easy to manage as the brood is in the top two boxes. Once they start filling the left behind comb with lots of nectar, you can reverse the set up with brood on the bottom and now you can manage honey. Last year, I mostly didn't use excluders, and management of that became a pain as they would often chimney up back up. This year I will use excluders for part of the season.
    Heat rises. I would think that 4 frames below 3 would be better in terms of covering and heating the brood.
    Working to propagate my survivors and staying treatment free

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Kamloops, BC, Canada
    Posts
    910

    Default Re: My journey towards treatment free

    Quote Originally Posted by tpope View Post
    Heat rises. I would think that 4 frames below 3 would be better in terms of covering and heating the brood.
    Either or. Probably both still offers a relatively compact arrangement. They will work harder getting comb built in that top box.

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Haralson, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    248

    Default Re: My journey towards treatment free

    IMG_0106.jpg I got in some of my hives today. The queen pictured is from squarepeg's beetree. She was in a 5 frame deep nuc. She has eggs and brood covering about half a frame on 4 sides. I gave her 2 drawn combs, 2 frames of honey and a frame of pollen, all mediums.

    I was into one of my hives that I left a good amount of resources overwinter. They still have most of the deep that they filled with honey. I was surprised to see that the shallow super underneath had capped drone brood along the edges. I wanted some of the resources in the mediums below. I pulled frames to look and see what I had in hand. I was shocked to see many drones walking on the combs.
    Last edited by tpope; 02-13-2017 at 04:59 PM.
    Working to propagate my survivors and staying treatment free

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    7,584

    Default Re: My journey towards treatment free

    she's a beauty!

    (but it's what's on the inside that counts)
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Haralson, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    248

    Default Re: My journey towards treatment free

    Wife said she has a big butt... These are the bees that fly in the coldest temperatures. I need to get her marked. Pretty sure that they will add up well.
    Working to propagate my survivors and staying treatment free

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Humboldt Co., California
    Posts
    384

    Default Re: My journey towards treatment free

    I am not trying to pick a fight or hi-jack the treat; however, I frequently see/hear/read this statement ...." that foundationless frames will get drawn earlier in the season than foundation frames..."

    I have read this statement numerous times and I wonder if this is in fact, "an actual fact" that has been studied and quantified -- compared in a side by side study with foundation. Or is it just one more of those comments that keeps getting repeated over and over until people think it is factual?

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    7,584

    Default Re: My journey towards treatment free

    orthoman, i'm not sure i would call it a 'study', but a few years back i compared putting a single new frame in the middle of the broodnest in about a dozen hives in the very early spring and well before new white wax was getting drawn.

    the foundationless frames did indeed get drawn but the foundation frames became a 'barrier' to broodnest expansion and actually set the colonies back.

    it is this observation that forms part of the rationale of matt davey's 'opening up the sides' with foundationless frames method for swarm prevention, and i believe is an observation that has been pretty consistently reported by others who have tried it.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Humboldt Co., California
    Posts
    384

    Default Re: My journey towards treatment free

    Thanks for the response. Although still anecdotal, at least, you tried a small experiment and have some sense of what happens. Maybe some university, or scientifically minded individual, will actually set up a beeyard and run a side by side comparisons with a large number of hives, quantify everything, and publish the results.

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Haralson, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    248

    Default Re: My journey towards treatment free

    I have found that the foundationless frame will be drawn while one with rite cell or even just wax will be ignored before a good flow...
    Working to propagate my survivors and staying treatment free

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Haralson, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    248

    Default Re: My journey towards treatment free

    Had a really nice afternoon today. I checked all of the hives that I had a question about. The good news is that the nuc from squarepeg is doing well. The bad is that I have two casualties. The ugly part is that one of my survivors is no more.

    The SHB have been busy laying eggs in the frames. I wish that I had more freezer room.
    Working to propagate my survivors and staying treatment free

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Haralson, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    248

    Default Re: My journey towards treatment free

    Took a look see into some of my production hives today. Looking very good.
    I reversed the deep hive bodies on the colony that I requeened with a cell that squarepeg raised. They needed the room above. Lots of pollen and fresh nectar. I found the queen on a comb of pollen with what appears to be freshly laid eggs. Hmmm... I have drones flying.
    The second hive I checked is also doing well. They are brooding the bottom deep very well. They have not moved into the medium above and started to consume the honey. I will be using my drawn comb to checkerboard this weekend.
    Working to propagate my survivors and staying treatment free

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    7,584

    Default Re: My journey towards treatment free

    nice report tpope! looks like we're off and running.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast

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
  •