Results of Opening the Sides of the Broodnest - Page 2
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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Temecula, CA, USA
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    101

    Default Re: Results of Opening the Sides of the Broodnest

    Hi,

    I used this method to good results. I did not have drawn comb so I used medium frames with wax foundation in the 10 frame deep boxes. Under Matt's guidance I placed one of the new frames at the first point that the brood started. This was going in from the outside. After the first week I had drawn comb on each of the new frames. This is just what we were hoping for, to get the bees into wax production frame of mind and to not hold it for after the swarm.

    I made some videos of inspections that have some of the results. I didn't edit them for this post, but you can see the results in the before and after.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=80CIEBM2oiI

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=clN9ZnXOZLc

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  3. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Temecula, CA, USA
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    101

    Default Re: Results of Opening the Sides of the Broodnest

    Double Post. Please delete.
    Last edited by Tomson; 03-15-2015 at 10:22 PM.

  4. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Rogue River, OR
    Posts
    95

    Default Re: Results of Opening the Sides of the Broodnest

    We're trying this out this year. We're in our third year of beekeeping and getting more successful each year.

    Our situation is thus: we have one Lang hive. We had a deep brood chamber and two mediums of honey (much of it sugar syrup honey from feeding) for the winter. We wanted to be all mediums, but having that deep in there threw our plans off a bit. So we bought one more deep and will go two deeps for brood and shallows for supers. We have a lot of medium frames of comb, some built out to deep size on the bottom and we want to slowly replace all that with deep frames.

    We use foundationless frames.

    What we have done is add the 2nd deep and *some* of the medium frames from the old medium boxes to give them honey. The queen had been building brood in the single deep only. It looked something like this:

    NNDDDDNN (medium)
    DDDDBBBD

    After removing the medium super, adding the deep 2nd box:

    NNNDDNNN
    DDDDBBBD

    We want them to build up the empty deep frames and this seemed like a good, easy way to go about it.
    After manipulating:

    NNNDDNN
    DNBBBND

    Spring has come quite early here - bees were out getting pollen and nectar by mid-Feb. We checked after a week and this is what it looked like:

    NNDDDDNN
    DDBBBBDD

    We've done a second manipulation, moving some "N" frames down in the first box and a "D" frame up top. It turns out that the queen *had* laid some brood we did not catch in one of the medium frames we pulled and we found some chilled dead larvae. Awww. Surprised we didn't see it. But she's since expanded the broodnest in the bottom deep, so that's good. I think.

    Even though obviously not the same kind of set up, we're using the same general idea on our top bar hive. Like the Lang, they overwintered with about 3-4 frames of brood and many bars of honey. Queen is going nuts in there.
    Now it's about 16 bars of brood, and they've used up most of their stores. We have some empty bars and half-built bars, so we moved those to bracket the broodnest and they are building up on them. Sweet!

    We plan to check again this weekend and move some more frames around as needed.

  5. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    1,013

    Default Re: Results of Opening the Sides of the Broodnest

    Fantastic! Thanks for sharing your results.

  6. #25
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Bastrop County, TX USA
    Posts
    313

    Default Re: Results of Opening the Sides of the Broodnest

    Matt

    I am trying your opening technique in one hive this year. So far I have put the second box on and moved 2 frames from the side of the broodnest in the bottom box to the center of the second box.

    I am about to take a look in the second box (10 days) to see what has happened. If I find they have built out the second box (8 frame mediums) to 6-7 frames and need to add the third box do I go down into the bottom box and remove the two frames next to the brood again, or do I just add the third box with empty frames. I am assuming that the queen has not moved the broodnest up into the second box.

  7. #26
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    1,013

    Default Re: Results of Opening the Sides of the Broodnest

    You can take the outside (drawn) frames of the any box that has brood, whether that is the bottom box or if they they have moved the broodnest into and drawn out most of the second box.

    If the second box is only partially drawn out then just use the outside frames from the bottom box.

    Always put at least two drawn frames into a new box.

  8. #27
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Palos Verdes, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,218

    Default Re: Results of Opening the Sides of the Broodnest

    I suppose this is a good reason to go double-deep (instead of deep-medium) next season.
    Painted Peacock Manor, Palos Verdes, CA

  9. #28
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    1,013

    Default Re: Results of Opening the Sides of the Broodnest

    Really up to you. For example you could also go to 3 mediums for wintering.

    With the wintering of a deep and medium, if you have brood in the medium then there really isn't much of a problem. You can Open the Sides of the Broodnest using mediums and it doesn't take long for the bees to draw out another medium. Just leave the deep on the bottom as is.

  10. #29
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Kingston, Ontario Canada
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: Results of Opening the Sides of the Broodnest

    Matt, what do you do with all the drone brood that gets produced when the bees draw out so much drone comb? Do you leave them to hatch out or destroy the drone cells and let the bees clean them out and fill with honey?

  11. #30
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
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    1,013

    Default Re: Results of Opening the Sides of the Broodnest

    Let them emerge and they get filled with honey. Don't mind honey from cells that have been used for brood.

    If you use a vertically cut half sheet of foundation as Lauri Miller does, drone cells on the sides of the frames are not so much of an issue. As you get a large area of worker size cells in the middle of the frames and the outside cells get filled with feed.

  12. #31
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    NW Florida
    Posts
    1,150

    Default Re: Results of Opening the Sides of the Broodnest

    Does this work with foundationless frames?

    Early swarms start late February here. Can I start this the first week of January or is that too soon.
    Beek since 2016: Hardiness Zone 9a: in NW Florida

  13. #32
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Rensselaer County, NY, USA
    Posts
    5,536

    Default Re: Results of Opening the Sides of the Broodnest

    Yes, it not only works with foundationless frames, it requires foundationless frames (or Lauri Miller's partial foundation modification.)

    I have started to use Lauri's modification, exclusively, using 2/3 of a sheet of foundation in the center of a foundationless frame. I found I got more-rapid comb drawing, as well as more thorough drawing (initiating comb-drawing activity of some kind is the whole point of this effort, IMO, not the creation of new permanent combs.) I simply break off 1/3 from a sheet of foundation. I then combine the broken-off piece with another one to make up a 2/3 assembly. So, two sheets of foundation will fill three frames. I anchor the foundation in the frame with two small blobs of wax smushed into the groove along the bottom rail.

    Having foundation in a good share of the frame keeps down the enormous numbers of drones that you would get without it. I want workers more than drones at that season.

    I should point out that these MattDavey frames are, in my yard, mostly a temporary item. I insert them one at a time, on a single side of the broodnest. When they've started in on one frame, I will add another one on the other side of the brood nest. As I am also, repeatedly and concurrently, doing reversals i.e., taking a new box without brood and setting it on top of one with brood, and thus encouraging the bees to move their brood area steadily "upward" from box to box. Once they've established brood in the "new" top box, I will go in and add a MattDavey-style frame on one side of the brood nest, then repeat and do the other afterward. And so on, throughout our long northeastern spring, which can stretch out for two to three months in most years.

    When they have finally settled down, I inspect these new frames. As a rule they are not up the best standards of being fully, and evenly drawn out. Not to mention that there are sections of thicker drone brood sized cells on either side. So I will start slipping them outward, to get them out of active use as brood frames. By the start of summer (July), they've got no babies in them, so I remove the entire frame and replace it with a new frame (freshly waxed plastic foundation) as they will still be in the last stages of comb-drawing eagerness.

    Then I cut the wax out of the foundationless areas on either side of the foundation section, and scrape off most of the wax off the foundation part. This is pretty nice wax as it has only been in service for a short period. Then I keep these MattDavey-frames ready to deploy the following spring. (After a trip through the deep freeze to kill any bug eggs.) If there is enough honey in these cells to warrant it, I will cut the comb and honey off and offer it to the bees on a plastic tray set on top of the frames inside the hive. The bees will quickly scavenge the honey and leave the dry wax for me to take over to the solar wax melter.

    In general I only deploy four to six of these frames per hive each year (max of two-per box times three deep boxes per stack). Occasionally they make an extra nice one, which will be retained in the main cohort of brood frames, Or I may press a MD frame into service in a pinch, for housing a swarm or split, etc. But I have found it most satisfactory to keep the frames separate and use them in the spring because the combs are just not as perfectly drawn, and even as the one that are made on foundation. If that didn't bug you, then you could just see them as permanent additions. Except that if your goal is to remain foundationless, then you'd be gradually integrating them into your brood frames.

    Though if you chose to use only fully empty frames (not partial sheets) it wouldn't make a difference. It's just that the best foundationless comb-drawing seems to happen, at least for me, much later in the season when nectar supplies and temperatures are better suited to the task. Keep in mind that these frames are deployed to somewhat upend the very early-spring bees' plans regarding getting ready to swarm, as well as to get them into the waxing-making "mood." Which is why I think the quality of the combs is less-desirable than ones made later on. It took me awhile to figure out that it was perfectly OK to have dedicated MD frames ready to deploy each year, with no worries about how they were drawn. It doesn't work to give them drawn comb, with cells, on the foundation section in the middle. They need to be presented with un-drawn areas, both open and with foundation, but if there is a thin layer left from scraping it off the previous year, that seems to be fine. And having a set of frames with the center sections all made up, saves a lot of fuss and trouble in a very busy season.

    (Up until now, I could always locate these frames because they were wood amidst my normal all-black Pierco combo frames. But this year, due to SHB pressure, I will begin transitioning to foundation and wood frames for all frames, so I will soon lose this visual advantage unless I follow through on my plan to paint the top surface of the MD frames.)

    Since you're in FL, your "early spring" may have already started. (Mine will start three months from now, i.e. late March, with swarm season starting usually around the third week of May.) And you may have a situation more similar to Matt's (he's in Australia), where a single manipulation of adding an empty frame on either side of the brood nest in one go, perhaps successively, is the best way. I was bemused and wary, at first ,of adopting this technique because it seemed unlikely to work in SE Australia as well as southeast of the Adirondacks in NYS But it does, with some modifications. The main item regarding timing is that the hive as to be big enough to be able to handle at least one empty space of the side of the brood frame area. I usually start adding in the MD- manipulation about three weeks to a month after I've done my first reversal, or about the middle of April, here. Temps are still below freezing most nights at that point.

    Give it a try in your area, but keep an eye on things to make sure it is doing what you'd like it to do. I can't imagine running bees in the spring without using it. And this technique, along with my other anti-swarm efforts, have completely prevented me from ever loosing a swarm from my yard. My bees stay where I want them to be, and without the need to constantly split them every year. Since, in general, I also never have any winter losses, avoiding having to make splits to control swarming, allows me to keep a steady and controlled number of hives. That is an enormous benefit for me. Beekeeping in the current mode of constantly making splits and nucs and more colonies to make up for losses would simply not work for me.

    Nancy,
    Last edited by enjambres; 12-24-2018 at 11:51 PM.

  14. #33
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
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    5,604

    Default Re: Results of Opening the Sides of the Broodnest

    Quote Originally Posted by Jadeguppy View Post
    Early swarms start late February here. Can I start this the first week of January or is that too soon.
    The timing to start this depends on whether the bees will be ready to draw new comb. Every region will be different, so I'll just add what I've experienced locally in my area as food for thought.

    Our swarm season usually starts up in early May. That means the colony will be "preparing" to swarm by mid-April. I've tried inserting foundationless frames into the broodnest in April but the bees don't seem to be ready to draw new comb until early May, but by then it's too late to "prevent" swarming. It is necessary for me to use other swarm prevention methods in April such as reversing, adding empty "drawn" brood frames, etc. Once we are into the month of May the bees are more than ready with wax makers to build new comb.

    I don't feed my bees pollen patties or supplements in early Spring to stimulate brood rearing, I let them respond on their own to the weather and local bloom cycles. Perhaps if I did feed them early they would be ready to build comb in April. Our major nectar flows are in June, sometimes including a week or so before and after June. That is when I prefer to have my colonies at their peak, not so much in the first half of May.

    You may have completely different circumstances in Florida and this may not apply in your area. Just wanted to mention it as something to watch out for. Try inserting an empty frame on the side of the brood nest in January and see what happens. If they don't touch it be prepared to adopt other swarm prevention methods for a few weeks or until they begin drawing comb.
    To everything there is a season....

  15. #34
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    San Mateo
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    504

    Default Re: Results of Opening the Sides of the Broodnest

    Quote Originally Posted by Jadeguppy View Post
    ...Early swarms start late February here. Can I start this the first week of January or is that too soon.
    I would try inserting half-foundation frames and see what they do with it. However, make sure you read "all the fine print". After several rounds of OSB you may end up with a few frames worth of drone brood because the foundation-less gaps more often that not are filled with drone comb. This may result in explosive, out of control mite proliferation, typical of climates where bees have no winter brood breaks. Swarm season here is long, too, so I ended up cutting out sealed drone brood in freshly drawn gaps regularly for a few months.

  16. #35
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
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    NW Florida
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    1,150

    Default Re: Results of Opening the Sides of the Broodnest

    Thank you for the information. Our average low in January is 45 with average day time temps above 50. Typically we have fly days most of the year. Last year temps were 20-25 degrees below average. This will be my 4th year, but only my second going into spring with a hive. I have three 10 frames and four nucs that are still alive. Last year was the year to improve splitting. I have no extra comb beyond what they are in. Running nearly all mediums. My first instinct is to let nature take its course, but I want to be a bit more proactive this year and really need comb. Is all the comb drawn as drone? The bit of foundationless they drew last summer was small natural cell sized, which I like for the potential help with mites. If feeding for comb, does it need to be pollen and sugar? Mike's suggestion of just give it a try is probably what I need to do. Last look, the cluster filled a couple of frames. Just double checked and even when the temps are predicted to get into the 30s at night, the daytime is mid 50s and higher. Throwing that out there in case it can help figure out my timing.
    Beek since 2016: Hardiness Zone 9a: in NW Florida

  17. #36
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    Feb 2006
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    Massillon, Ohio
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    5,604

    Default Re: Results of Opening the Sides of the Broodnest

    Quote Originally Posted by Jadeguppy View Post
    , but I want to be a bit more proactive this year and really need comb. Is all the comb drawn as drone?
    Based on my experience they will usually draw a lot of drone comb during and just after the swarm season. I find that following Michael Bush's method of inserting foundationless frames in between frames of solid worker brood gives me the best chance that the bees will draw worker comb rather than drone comb. But there needs to be plenty of bees in the hive to fill the gap made with the empty frame. This works best for me just after swarm season has ended. If you stay at it you can really build up a lot of extra drawn comb in a month or two.
    To everything there is a season....

  18. #37
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    Jul 2017
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    NW Florida
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    Default Re: Results of Opening the Sides of the Broodnest

    Okay. So use this method prior to swarm and checkerboard after swarm season starts. Our season starts at the end of Feb/start of March. My local guy usually has made nucs from swarm cells and starts selling them at the end of Feb. I think we are going to give this a try now on nucs and try Squarepeg/Walt's checkerboarding on the bigger hives in early Feb.
    Beek since 2016: Hardiness Zone 9a: in NW Florida

  19. #38
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
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    dallas, tx, usa
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    154

    Default Re: Results of Opening the Sides of the Broodnest

    Can you use plastic foundation in the empty frames instead of just empty frames? Would it help with a hole cut in it?

    Anthony

  20. #39
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    Feb 2006
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    Massillon, Ohio
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    Default Re: Results of Opening the Sides of the Broodnest

    Quote Originally Posted by Jadeguppy View Post
    Okay. So use this method prior to swarm and checkerboard after swarm season starts.
    Checkerboarding Walt Wright style is done with "drawn comb" early in the season as the colony is building up.

    If you are inserting empty frames into the brood nest or on the sides after swarm season, only do this with one or two frames at a time. Repeat as they draw out the comb. Too many at once can stretch out the brood and create problems. Just wanted to clarify.
    To everything there is a season....

  21. #40
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    West Bath, Maine, United States
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    2,465

    Default Re: Results of Opening the Sides of the Broodnest

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Gillmore View Post
    Too many at once can stretch out the brood and create problems. .
    Proven that myself.
    It is not true that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks.
    They can learn them, they just can't do them.

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