When to checkerboard hive on Gulf Coast
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 23
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Pascagoula MS
    Posts
    34

    Default When to checkerboard hive on Gulf Coast

    Considering that we don't want to expose the cluster to the cold, when is the earliest we should checkerboard hives on the Gulf Coast?
    Thank you very much!!!

  2. Remove Advertisements
    BeeSource.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    8,331

    Default Re: When to checkerboard hive on Gulf Coast

    the best time is when you see your colonies starting to expand the broodnest as they begin their post-winter build up. that usually corresponds to the first pollens of the season coming in.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Pascagoula MS
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: When to checkerboard hive on Gulf Coast

    Thank you very much, Squarepeg!

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    8,331

    Default Re: When to checkerboard hive on Gulf Coast

    you're very welcome ej.

    i usually wait until we've had a handful of good flying days with lots of pollen coming in. it's rare for me to find that the colonies haven't resumed brooding by then.

    for me that's usually late february up here in northeast alabama. i would expect it to be earlier for you down there on the gulf coast. if you pick a day warm enough for the bees to bring in pollen you don't have to worry about exposing the cluster to the cold.

    if you post what you have in terms of hive body sizes, frames of honey, frames of drawn comb, where in the stack the broodnest is situated, ect., i'll try to weigh in on how i would go about setting things up.

    the late walt wright was a personal friend and mentor to me. i have found his checkerboarding recommendations to make a big difference when it comes to preventing swarms and getting better honey yields, (although i have made a few 'tweaks' to the technique as he presented it in his writings).
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Pascagoula MS
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: When to checkerboard hive on Gulf Coast

    Oh, Squarepeg! I really appreciate your willingness to help!

    One of my sons has been helping me, his weak little old mother, and he has been so busy we haven't gotten into the hive at all yet so I regret that right now I don't have the information you requested! But we only have one hive and it is composed of all medium supers, five boxes in all. We have taken no honey from the hive, wanting it for the bees this year.

    If it is okay, I will post our findings to you as soon as my dear son can get us in the hive! In the meantime, I found this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brvZeuPewoM and will continue to study Walt Wright's techniques. Your suggestion that early February is when we should tackle checkerboarding here is very helpful!!! As you can no doubt tell, we are extremely inexperienced with these beautiful creatures!

    Again, thank you so much!

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Mogollon Rim, Arizona 85933
    Posts
    746

    Default Re: When to checkerboard hive on Gulf Coast

    Walt's Writings


    edit: seems kineology is down and his writings are gone

    but the Archive has his good stuff stored
    Last edited by DavidZ; 01-11-2018 at 10:56 AM.
    Merlin, Oregon zone 8

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    8,331

    Default Re: When to checkerboard hive on Gulf Coast

    all mediums makes it easy. are they 8 or 10 frame boxes?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Pascagoula MS
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: When to checkerboard hive on Gulf Coast

    Thank you for the Archive!!!
    They are 10 frame mediums.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    8,331

    Default Re: When to checkerboard hive on Gulf Coast

    and do you have 9 or 10 frames in those 10 frame mediums?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Pascagoula MS
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: When to checkerboard hive on Gulf Coast

    I should have thought to tell you that we have 9 frames in only one of the lower boxes. The rest are all 10 frames!

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    8,331

    Default Re: When to checkerboard hive on Gulf Coast

    perfect. the last thing i need to know is what your objectives are with the bees, i.e. are you wanting to harvest honey, make a split or two, just prevent swarming, ect.

    if you plan on extracting honey you may want to consider spacing out to 9 frames in all of the boxes. this will make it much easier to uncap the harvested frames as they will become 'thicker'. it also makes it easier if you want to 'open up the broodnest' with empty comb.

    when the weather starts warming up and the bee are bringing in lots of pollen it would be good for you to do the first thorough inspection of the season.

    mostly what you need to do is make sure the colony is queenright and that there is a solid pattern of healthy brood. if the broodnest in not already in the bottom box (or two) go ahead and reverse them down to there.

    in addition try to take an inventory of roughly how many frames there are of brood, honey, pollen, empty comb, and foundation if any. frames of empty comb and honey will get checkerboarded over the broodnest.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Rosebud Missouri
    Posts
    2,809

    Default Re: When to checkerboard hive on Gulf Coast

    Squarepeg
    mostly what you need to do is make sure the colony is queenright and that there is a solid pattern of healthy brood.
    What do you do if the hive has no queen? Will adding a frame of brood from a differrent hive cover this?
    Thanks
    gww
    zone 5b

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    8,331

    Default Re: When to checkerboard hive on Gulf Coast

    Quote Originally Posted by gww View Post
    Will adding a frame of brood from a differrent hive cover this?
    finding a colony queenless (or with a failed queen) on the first inspection coming out of winter is typically associated with finding a serious depleted population and/or laying workers.

    for us here that first inspection happens well before drones are produced and flying; so even if a frame of brood were added and even if the depleted colony made a decent queen she wouldn't be able to get mated.

    i would probably shake out and let them join up with other hives. i might consider combining (if there are not laying workers) with a queenright microcluster if there were one of those available.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Pascagoula MS
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: When to checkerboard hive on Gulf Coast

    Squarepeg,
    I really want to prevent swarming and support a healthy hive. Last year, we had two hives and ended up losing one and almost losing the other because they threw so many swarms! All the swarms went to the high limbs of the trees around us and we were not able to reach them at all. If we can just keep this one together I would be so grateful! It would be lovely to have a second hive again, but that is not my main priority. We want to support bees in our area but, also, I just love them!

    Thank you so very much for your time and advice!!!

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    8,331

    Default Re: When to checkerboard hive on Gulf Coast

    understood ej. if i were in a simiar situation i would not rely checkerboarding alone to prevent last year's scenario from happening again.

    if preventing swarming and keeping bees on hand is the priority i am going to recommend facilitating a strong build up with checkerboarding and then performing an 'artificial swarm' once the colony gets big enough and you have drones flying.

    this means splitting out the existing queen, some brood, some pollen, and some honey to start a second hive while leaving the parent hive nice and strong so that it can make good queen cells.

    if your space, time, and budget allow i would encourage you to consider making 2 more hives out of the parent colony after it makes new queen cells, (assuming you find cells on more than one frame and you probably will).

    in my opinion trying to keep just one colony going is a recipe for disappointment as everyone is going to lose a colony here and there. even with 2 colonies losing 1 of them deprives the beekeeper of resources to rescue the other if needed as qww suggests in his post.

    with 3 hives there an excellent chance for not running out of bees but it's entirely your choice as to how to proceed.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Rosebud Missouri
    Posts
    2,809

    Default Re: When to checkerboard hive on Gulf Coast

    Squarepeg
    Thank you for answering my question.

    Emily.......
    I know this is off subject but you might consider putting something like this in front of your hives incase you are unsuccessful in stopping swarming.

    I have a cedar tree that all my swarms so far have landed in low enough to reach. First one that lands too high will be when I build one of these.
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...-Russian-Scion
    I hope this helps.
    gww
    zone 5b

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Dothan, Alabama
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: When to checkerboard hive on Gulf Coast

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    perfect. the last thing i need to know is what your objectives are with the bees, i.e. are you wanting to harvest honey, make a split or two, just prevent swarming, ect.

    if you plan on extracting honey you may want to consider spacing out to 9 frames in all of the boxes. this will make it much easier to uncap the harvested frames as they will become 'thicker'. it also makes it easier if you want to 'open up the broodnest' with empty comb.

    when the weather starts warming up and the bee are bringing in lots of pollen it would be good for you to do the first thorough inspection of the season.

    mostly what you need to do is make sure the colony is queenright and that there is a solid pattern of healthy brood. if the broodnest in not already in the bottom box (or two) go ahead and reverse them down to there.

    in addition try to take an inventory of roughly how many frames there are of brood, honey, pollen, empty comb, and foundation if any. frames of empty comb and honey will get checkerboarded over the broodnest.
    What would you do differently if you were wanting to harvest honey?

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    8,331

    Default Re: When to checkerboard hive on Gulf Coast

    Quote Originally Posted by Hayden01 View Post
    What would you do differently if you were wanting to harvest honey?
    definitely space out to 9 frames in all boxes; checkerboard, open the nest, and pyramid to promote the broodnest expanding as high up in the stack as possible; watch weekly for swarm preps and if i see them then 'artifical swarm' as described above; start adding more supers once new white wax is getting drawn.

    i don't know how the flows are on the gulf coast, but up here after the main honey flow was over (late june/early july most years) i would still want to make splits (using purchased queens if necessary) to end up with the 3 hive minimum.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Pascagoula MS
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: When to checkerboard hive on Gulf Coast

    Squarepeg,
    Thankfully, we have the equipment for 3 hives so we will definitely follow your directions and try to get all three established.
    I appreciate your advice so much! Thank you!!!

    Gww! Those are such great ideas for attracting swarms!!! And so simple! Thank you so much!

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Rosebud Missouri
    Posts
    2,809

    Default Re: When to checkerboard hive on Gulf Coast

    If you get some use out of it and I am not just wasteing your time, then I am tickled to death. Even in langstroths old book from way back when, he mentions putting a branch in front of your hives for that purpose. My cedar tree is to the side of my hives but I did catch three swarms out of my hives on it. I would rather get better at swarm control though.

    Squarepeg is a helpful guy isn't he.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

Page 1 of 2 12 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
  •