snelgrove board qs again - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    Default Re: snelgrove board qs again

    yeah agreed mate I am planning the pre-emptive strike option but was just curious about a back up strategy if i find capped/charged queen cells during an inspection.
    Realistically if this year is like last there wont be drones flying until mid April at my place i dont think.
    I guess if there is plenty of drone brood when i do the inspections that would be time to start the pre-emptive strike perhaps.

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  3. #22
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    Default Re: snelgrove board qs again

    aran
    I guess if there is plenty of drone brood when i do the inspections that would be time to start the pre-emptive strike perhaps.
    Somebody told me that it takes longer for drones to mature sexually then it does a queen and that the purple eyed stage of the drones are the earliest. I could not tell you what that looks like and so I just hope to see a few coming to the top of the frames when I inspect instead of just seeing brood. I don't know if this is a must but I do think it is safe if not too late.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  4. #23
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    Default Re: snelgrove board qs again

    GWW is right again!

    If you want to use the SB for making increase as a means of pre-empting the colony from getting swarmy in the first place, then you can use the method described in the earlier sections of the document I linked above. It is easier to do - and more tolerant of variations - since it it just a simple split. The main difference from other kinds of splits (of which there dozens, maybe hundreds of variations) is that the split stays on the same stand and because the hive "smell" remains the same afterwards you can very easily add, or remove, bees from one part or the other if you find you've gotten the mix not quite right.

    I highly value these two characteristics because I feel it makes simple one-into-two splitting very easy and nearly fool proof, even for beginners. But I realize the tricky little doors make people anxious, even though they are quite easy to understand if you have a SB in hand. And, of course, you have to find the queen to set the boxes up. That terrifies some people even though you can use a shaker box, or multiple queen excluders inserted ahead of time to make the search easier. The good news is that using a SB to make increase can usually be planned in advance as opposed to a reactive thing when you find queen cells and know the hive has their bags nearly packed.

    However I try to deter the colonies from wanting to swarm at all using various tactics from the very beginning of the working year. (Here that is last week of March through the first week or two of April, when temps have finally got high enough.) I start with reversing (at least twice before Memorial Day)with checkerboarded boxes placed on top of the brood nest. Then in April and May I will start to open the sides of the brood nest, as well. This suffices in most years for 75% of my colonies. I have some, though, that have itchy feet so I know in advance they will be more resistant to my efforts. From Mid-may (earliest swarm period most years) through middle of June (just before locust bloom) I look under every brood box in every stack every 5 to 7 days so as not to miss any preps. This is addition to routine inspections that I might be doing every couple of weeks to check on the brood pattern. Tipping boxes is the least intrusive way to keep very close tabs, because a two-week interval is more than enough time for the bees to go from toying with the idea to packed up and ready to go.

    So I have 3 suggestions:

    1) Research and make some plans to dampen the swarm urge in the first place. (writings of Walt Wright and MatDavey are good places to start.) Then you can postpone a Snelgrove-boarded split-to-make increase until you have good queen mating weather and lots of drones. Anti-swarm efforts really pay off in getting strong, well-fed as larvae and well-mated queens. I like to have the queens out and getting mated around the time of the Summer Solstice.

    2) Download and print out the document I linked and go over it until you are comfortable with these two entirely different uses of the SB.

    3) Set up a dummy stack of boxes and a SB in your living room and walk yourself through the steps, including the door manipulations, until you get what the process in each case should be.

    Bonus tip: Use post-it notes stuck on the boxes during the manipulations noting the essential requirements for each box. I do and I find they are very useful - more useful than fumbling through a copy of Wally Shaw's paper while out in the bee yard, even though all the information is in there.

    Nancy

  5. #24
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    Default Re: snelgrove board qs again

    Nancy:

    I know you and crofter both advised against doing this . . . but I had to try it for myself. SHOULD be capping queen cells today. I only tried it on two hives (so 4 nucs above SBs). Hard to get enough nurse bees packed into there to feel confident that they will make good QCs. I will post results.

    Front of Hive
    Front.jpg

    Rear of Hive
    Rear.jpg

  6. #25
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    Default Re: snelgrove board qs again

    Quote Originally Posted by psm1212 View Post
    Nancy:

    I know you and crofter both advised against doing this . . . but I had to try it for myself. SHOULD be capping queen cells today. I only tried it on two hives (so 4 nucs above SBs). Hard to get enough nurse bees packed into there to feel confident that they will make good QCs. I will post results.

    Front of Hive
    Front.jpg

    Rear of Hive
    Rear.jpg
    I dont see any problem with that setup.

    I like the universal handhold locations on the center deep hive body. I have one exactly the same Not from that experience, but I did learn that it is not a good idea to pick up a box of bees upside down.
    Frank

  7. #26
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    Default Re: snelgrove board qs again

    I think the main problem will be that you can't really switch the doors around since you are using three faces of the hive from the get go. But that's mitigated by the fact that by dividing the upper section into two parts you are reducing the number of bees in each so maybe you won't need to siphon any off.

    How did you modify the SB itself to make sure the nucs are each completely queen-tight and separate. That was where my design failed. I thought it was sealed but the bees felt otherwise, and at the end I had one nice new queen in a very crowded nuc and SHB living like lords in the undefended side.

    (BTW, because Frank copied your post in its entirety and I knew him to be in Ontario I was flabbergasted when i thought he had made up the nucs today. Must slow down and read more carefully!)

    Nancy

  8. #27
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    Default Re: snelgrove board qs again

    Quote Originally Posted by enjambres View Post

    How did you modify the SB itself to make sure the nucs are each completely queen-tight and separate. That was where my design failed. I thought it was sealed but the bees felt otherwise, and at the end I had one nice new queen in a very crowded nuc and SHB living like lords in the undefended side.


    Nancy
    Nancy: I can still manipulate two separate pairs of doors for each chamber. I want to offset them, and time it so that the queens are not forced to return to the same side of the hive and into holes only 4 inches apart.

    Snelgrove1.jpg

  9. #28
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    Default Re: snelgrove board qs again

    Quote Originally Posted by crofter View Post
    I like the universal handhold locations on the center deep hive body. I have one exactly the same Not from that experience, but I did learn that it is not a good idea to pick up a box of bees upside down.

    I call it my "reversible" hive body. Most people buy it. It is the first hive body I ever built and you know it will last forever just to spite me. I get mad every time I see it.

  10. #29
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    Default Re: snelgrove board qs again

    Quote Originally Posted by psm1212 View Post
    I call it my "reversible" hive body. Most people buy it. It is the first hive body I ever built and you know it will last forever just to spite me. I get mad every time I see it.
    It was not my first hive body; I am starting to attribute that kind of thing to Oldtimers Disease!

    Making the divided upper box bee tight is not my concern but I have to think it greatly compromises the ability to divert the bees where you want them to be efficient for both upper and lower hives. Keep in mind that the newly diverted bees in the lower box also have to be accommodated as that entrance is messed with. Honestly I have not thought it through to see if it contradicts any of Snelgroves basic bee logic. Too me it suggests more trouble than benefits, but give it a shot and see if you find any warts on the idea.

    If I want multiple queens from one split I use some of the other frames with cells produced and put them in separate mating nucs about 11 days after placing the division board. I think I have never seen less that three separate frames with cells on them.
    Frank

  11. #30
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    Default Re: snelgrove board qs again

    Thanks Frank. I have my doubts about how this is going to work out. I made these boards reversible (intentionally, this time) where the back side is not divided and will accept a normal 10-frame hive body. As Nancy said in another thread, it might just be "a split too far." I will keep you posted. Should have QCs capping today.

  12. #31
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    Default Re: snelgrove board qs again

    I lost one side of one of these divided hives over a winter and the bees may have moved over. The queen might have died etc. I will separate the entrances more when I set them up next but they seemed to be co existing quite well all summer and fall but I think I would not want returning queens to navigate such a puzzle. Even having one entrance front and one rear at the same elevation on a hive body location would be asking for possible trouble. Notice the extra hand hold.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Frank

  13. #32
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    Default Re: snelgrove board qs again

    Nancy's Snelgrove instructions should be a sticky someplace. I know everyone hates too many forums, but one devoted to Swarm Control Methods might be worthy because there is a lot of information but it is scattered throughout the site. Or maybe a sub forum or sticky in the "splits" forum?
    I took a beginner's and intermediate class and swarm control methods did not get enough time devoted to it. Most beginners, myself included, have no idea how important swarm control is. It has been my biggest challenge to learn, especially the timing, and I know I am not alone. Thanks Nancy and everyone for your time and knowledge sharing. J

  14. #33
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    Default Re: snelgrove board qs again

    psm1212 I made a double nuc snelgrove board last year with several regular snelgrove boards . I had a different approach I used my 10 frame box with removable center divider on a modified SB .The plan was to get multiple frames of QC then go in on day 10 divide up the frames to two 4 frame slide in the divider to make two nucs. I have some pics in a thread of mine snelgrove board with double deep brood box 4/27/2017 #12. The problem I had was I only got one frame with QC on it ,and the virgin queen never came back from mating flight so I was never able to divide and slide the divider in. All my other SB vertical splits worked like a top, just like Nancy explained it to me last year. Thanks Nancy your the best Pete20170429_081221.jpg20170429_081153.jpg20170429_081139.jpg20170429_081124.jpg

  15. #34
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    Default Re: snelgrove board qs again

    I am sure enjoying this thread. Thanks for a quality discussion. I am finding my knowledge of snelgrove boards was really incomplete to erroneous. Think I will start at the beginning and re read. Good stuff.

  16. #35
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    Default Re: snelgrove board qs again

    [QUOTE=enjambres;1604235]I think the main problem will be that you can't really switch the doors around since you are using three faces of the hive from the get go. But that's mitigated by the fact that by dividing the upper section into two parts you are reducing the number of bees in each so maybe you won't need to siphon any off.

    H

  17. #36
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    Default Re: snelgrove board qs again

    Quote Originally Posted by enjambres View Post
    I think the main problem will be that you can't really switch the doors around since you are using three faces of the hive from the get go.

    Nancy
    Not sure I am following you Nancy. Parent (Bottom) hive entrance oriented North. East Nuc and West Nuc on SB board. East nuc opened to South. West Nuc opened to West. In 5 to 7 days I close South Gate of East Nuc and open South paired gate below to Parent Hive, diverting foragers from East Nuc to Parent. Then open East gate to East Nuc. On same day, I close West gate to West Nuc and open gate below to Parent hive diverting West Nucs foragers to Parent Hive. Then open South Gate to West Nuc. On day 10 to 12, I reverse the process and leave alone until I find a laying queen in both nucs. I have thought about closing all gates to Parent hive on day 14 which would leave only the South Gate open on East Nuc and the West Gate open on West Nuc. That is only 2 holes at 90 degrees from one another. Maybe the mated queens find their ways back.
    Last edited by psm1212; 02-22-2018 at 10:11 PM.

  18. #37
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    Default Re: snelgrove board qs again

    Quote Originally Posted by crofter View Post
    Notice the extra hand hold.
    Watch it Frank. I can sue you for patent infringement!

  19. #38
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    Default Re: snelgrove board qs again

    Ranger: Can you link that thread? I would like to read it. Cool design BTW.

  20. #39
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    Default Re: snelgrove board qs again

    @PSM re doors: If you have three actively working doors on a stack with only four faces, your options are much more limited when you come to the point of doing the switch-around.

    Changing the main entrance point on the bottom section (or even trying to move it to another surface) is probably not a good idea, because there is likely to be longstanding scent marking around it - making it a hard change to effect.

    So that leaves you with the two nucs above but only three possible surfaces to work with. It can be done, but it will be less effective than when you have a single colony above and can move the entrance point from east to west, for example. The best you can hope for is around the corner east>north, and north>west.

    Even if you have two entrances on each side (as I did in my own design for my double-section Snelgrove boards) there is still less of a predictable effect from changing the doors around. And if you have doors on all four sides of the board, I caution you not to have the active/ working door to any part of the upper section during the period when your queen will be going out to mate on the same surface as the main door to the bottom section. It would be far too easy for a virgin queen leaving from, say, a south door on an upper section to fly back in to a south door on the bottom section. OOPS!

    But as I mentioned above, with a twice-divided colony upstairs you may not even need to do much door switching. I find I almost never do any door switching, actually, as I have gotten better at judging the amount of brood to place in which section. It is mostly useful when you place a ton of brood in the upper section and would like to transfer those bees down into the lower box to take advantage of a honey flow.

    Good luck, and please let us know how this works out. I wasn't ever successful at it, even though it seemed to be theoretically possible. I can't quite figure out why I can raise four, two-frame nucs in a queen castle and run stacked, MP-style double nucs over winter and yet, a pair of four-frame nucs over a SB for just a few weeks always resulted in the bees moving themselves - and only one queen - over to just one side. I have a stack of two dozen, custom-made, double-section Snelgrove boards with eight pairs of double doors apiece in my supply room. I find they work fine in the normal usage with an undivided 10-frame box above, but when I notice all those extra doors I am reminded of their cost, and I cringe.

    Nancy

  21. #40
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    Default Re: snelgrove board qs again

    I get it now Nancy. I would rather have it at 180 than 90 for sure. Not so much worried about the forager diversion, but could be a big deal with queen returns. Thanks.

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