Adding a New Box
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Ft Wood, MO
    Posts
    4

    Default Adding a New Box

    I recently acquired my first colony/hive. It is an established 10 foundation frame hive with one deep brood on the bottom and two mediums above it. All seems to be going well. There are a few empty frames in the top box. I purchased an additional medium with 10 foundationless frames so my plan is to bring up some of the full frames to the new medium box and "checkerboard" alternate them with empty frames/box below. I am in mid-Missouri. Is this a logical plan? Advantages? Disadvantages? Suggestions?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Winona MN USA
    Posts
    252

    Default Re: Adding a New Box

    If it was me, I would be looking at the coming winter. I would first see if they will build out the empty frames you already have. It is usually difficult at best to get them to draw comb this time of year. I would move those existing combs through out the hive as you planned. They may have some wax started on them which will encourage them to build it out. If they don't build them out I would move them to the out side positions in the top hive keeping the stores centered. You will need to feed this time of year to get them to build, and they may just start storing for winter instead of building comb.
    I would think that the hive arrangement you have should winter fine in your area. I of coarse would do my normal wintering preps. ( double deep full of stores, sugar brick, quilt box, mouse guard, Insulation )
    I'm not saying I'm right. I'm just saying what I would do if it was me.
    GOOD LUCK!!!

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Ft Wood, MO
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Adding a New Box

    That makes sense. I guess I'm just getting a little ahead of myself. If all the frames were full in the existing box, it probably wouldn't matter. I'll just concentrate on what I have as you suggested. Thanks!

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Rosebud Missouri
    Posts
    3,931

    Default Re: Adding a New Box

    ozark
    I pretty much like the advice you have been given. I am new and in simular situation on some of my hives. I am closer to you and think there is forage out there but as of 5 days ago, my hives are not really building comb right now. I do think if it is like last year and the hive is full that they may still build a few more but doubt it will be much more then a few frames. I do say you will not regrett haveing a few medium supers and it wouldn't hurt to have a little 1.5 inch shim hanging around. They are both nice to have around if you do decide some feed is needed to put wieght on the hive. The extra hive body is good to cover a quart jar in early spring before things bust lose and the shim is good for faster feeding with zip loc baggies if you want to put weight on a hive a little faster in fall or if you want to put some dry sugar on the hive over winter.

    I mostly posted to say welcome to the forum.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Champaign, Illinois
    Posts
    2,461

    Default Re: Adding a New Box

    It's not a good idea to checkerboard the top two boxes.
    The top one is probably honey. When you checkerboard a honey super the result is the already drawn frames get drawn extra fat. The New frames foundations get drawn out but so little that it's hardly worth trying to extract. At least that's how it went for me and I did it in the spring.

    Can see you're in "make as many combs as possible" frame of mind which is good but you're being a bit greedy.
    If you really want the bees to draw combs try adding ONE empty frame into the brood nest.
    You might get one or two drawn out that way before winter. Is it worth the trouble? Probably not.
    Internet credibility is an oxymoron

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Red Bud, IL, USA
    Posts
    1,768

    Default Re: Adding a New Box

    I'm a bit east and north of you but my normal winter configuration is a deep for brood, medium of honey and a couple of sugar bricks. Right now I'm waiting on the bees to finish the fall flow and draw down the brood area; I don't have any expectations of anything but very minimal drawing of comb. Agree with everyone above, hold off on checker boarding and adding frames but be ready with them come spring, in fact you'd better have a couple boxes ready to go and/or find a local supplier for woodware.
    “The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Ft Wood, MO
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Adding a New Box

    I appreciate the advice from all. Some local folks suggested a sugar water mix for right now. I have an extra box and another empty hive for future. For now, I'm going to open feed the sugar water mix. They provided me a good winter recipe as well. I've already acquired the ingredients from one of our local Asian markets. Thanks again and for the welcome GWW!

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Rosebud Missouri
    Posts
    3,931

    Default Re: Adding a New Box

    Ozark
    I had a bad experiance open feeding once and it got robbing going. I have had much better luck keeping it in the hive and covered. Plus you are then not feeding your neibors bees which is cheeper and also keeps thier honey more pure if they plan on taking a fall harvest. The hive I had that ended up with bad robbing was weak but even so it just proved that they could not have been taking a quart or two a day on thier own. I had thought that due to it raining on and off that only my bees would be going the short distance to the chicken waterer that I put out but the outside bees took over the sugar water and the hive. Just a thought.

    I may open feed some day if I get 20 or 30 hives due to the ease but if I do, I will do it a couple of hundred yards away from the hives. With only a few hives, it is just as easy to feed in the hive.

    I did use sugar blocks over winter but pretty much used pure sugar with maby a table spoon or two of viniger in it and just enough water to make it like barily wet sand. I put it in the shim and it drys to a pretty had block. I am wondering what you are getting at an asian market that you are going to put together. Mostly just curious.
    Good luck
    gww
    zone 5b

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Winslow, AR, USA
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Adding a New Box

    Ozark, keep in mind that you're not that far from Nixa, and from what I understand they have quite a selection of bee supplies. I haven't made a trip up there but sure would like to. I too would like to know what you've gotten from an Asian market to feed your bees. Please share. Welcome to the forum, and good luck with your bees.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Ft Wood, MO
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Adding a New Box

    Since I have an extra box, maybe I'll do an in hive feeder. What do you suggest?
    What's the thought on the entrance feeders?
    It's called "Big Honey Trifecta." Pollen substitute, winter feed, sugar brick. Ingredients as follows:
    6 cups sugar
    1 cup soybean flour
    1 tsp vitamin c powder
    2 tbsp dry milk
    1 tsp sea salt
    1/4 cup Honey Bee Healthy
    Mix together then add 3/4 cup of water

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Rosebud Missouri
    Posts
    3,931

    Default Re: Adding a New Box

    ozark
    I would just take a quart jar and put a few ice pick hole in the lid and set it on the hole in the inter cover and put a medium hive body over it. I do it this way all the time. I make my own stuff and so my jar covers the whole hole in my inter cover. If it did not cover the whole hole, I would put a piece of tape over part of the hole cause I don't want bees in the empty hive box. I have never tried an entrance feeder but have seen many warnings against them. If you are trying to bring up the hive to a certain weight fast and have the comb in the hive to support it. I would make a shim 1.5 inches the size of the hive and I would put it under your inter cover and then I would put two 1 gal zip lock bags with about 2 quarts of 2 to 1 sugar water in them right on the top bars and use a carpet knife to cut a couple of slits on the very top of the baggies. The bees if they have the room to put it could empty the baggies in about two days. In six or so days you could have three gal which should be good easy for MO if you are going to add a sugar block on top or if the bees have anything of their own. I read that the bees in MO need 40 to 60 lbs for winter. I count a gal of 2 to 1 as ten pounds added to a hive.

    I don't think the winter patty is a good ideal for cold wether. It has too many solids in it for the bees to eat when they can't go out and go poop. For spring when you have lots of flying days, it migh be better. Then again, maby in Mo we get good enough warm spots often enough that it won't matter? I like plain sugar over the longest cold areas myself. I am too new to be the last word on this and so if you have somebody that is actually experiance locally to you and they are successful, I would listen to them and not me.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

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