I didn't have the problems with the doors because I would not have put the dividing slide in until day 10 after the QCs were capped and all the manipulations of bees were done. I will try this SB again this year I hope it works. psm1212 here is the link. Pete https://www.beesource.com/forums/show...deep-brood-box
FWIW, I, too, put the divider in only after the queen cells were capped in a single undivided deep. This was so that I could make sure that each section had a really good looking pair (or triplet) of cells and a good assortment of other stores. The divider was completely bee-tight (and taped-up after the first round of failures) so they weren't scootching in under, or around, the divider. Somehow they had to all drift from one side over to the other and abandon the maturing queen cell and some brood, which I found in more than a few cases. I found that completely unexpected, and inexplicable.
There was something I didn't understand going on in those splits. That's why I am keen to hear of others' experiences and hope to learn of success. 'Cause I really want to find a use for all those fancy (and very expensive) custom-designed, double-chamber Snelgrove boards. Sometimes I use them now just to lift the telecover up a bit when I'm feeding.
Nancy Thank you for the info, last year when we talked about these boards failing I mistaken the failure was the virgins squeezing past the divider. I thought in my mind that couldn't be a problem my divider fits so tight all the way top to bottom sides good and tight, but this drift idea makes sense with the divided bees all smelling the same. I did not get that far last year do to only one frame of QCs in the 10 frame box. Pete
I have a hunch...well a bit more than a hunch, that the bees also work on a scent trail. They dont like the smell of methyl salicilate (oil of wintergreen) as in infra rub arthritis creme. If you want to discourage use of an entrance and get them to accept another, slather the creme around the old location and it will motivate them. I have used it in the fall to get them moved around from rear to a front entrance
I think they geo locate to get close to the right hive entrance then scent takes over. With shared scent because of the screening, it does not take much to get a returning queen in the wrong quarters. Once a parade starts the bees will follow the trend so that could result in migration of workers too. Haven't had it happen with my snelgrove setups but then I have never tried to mate more than one queen into the upper location.
Update: Checked all four nucs and have capped Queen cells in all four. I did door manipulations today to divert foragers down to bottom hive. Probably do another manipulation in 3 or 4 days. On day 12, I plan on closing off all Snelgrove gates to the bottom section and leave each nuc with an open gate that is 180 degrees opposite of the other nuc's gate. Will keep you posted.
On a side note, I also did a regular Snelgrove split with 6 other hives. Found out today that I somehow messed up the last one I did and left the queen in the top box. Bottom box was full of queen cells. I aborted the Snelgrove split and divided up four frames of capped cells into 4 new nucs and moved them to another yard. I bet I don't have but around 1000 bees in each, but at this point I suppose they are nothing more than mating nucs and don't need a large population.
actually nancy im at best a poor carpenter. Im a gastroenterologist for a real job lol.
I enjoy monkeying around building the bee stuff though. Took me a couple hours probably total. I just copied one of my purchased 10 F SBs. Relatively easy thankfully.
If you are using the board to pre-empt before the bees decide on thier own they want to swarm, you would probly use it differrent (and easier) then what Nancy posted for after you see queen cells. I am very new and so take it with a grain of salt, but if you are going to do a pre-emptive split, you want to see drones in the hive. I am guessing that will be somewhere around two weeks into the first dandilion bloom. This is what I would look for with my knowlage so far for my area. Even that early drones would need to be seen in the hives.
I am new.
yeah that sounds very reasonable. I used the pre-emptive strike method last year and it worked well.
Just curious. Great thread here. Where do folks buy their Snelgrove boards or do most of you just build them yourselves? Looking for recommendations on quality board. Woodenware is very variable in quality these days. I've been disappointed a lot with purchases from a top name dealer - namely Kelly.
Mine are mostly from Betterbee, though I paid a local woodworker to make me some that - in theory, at least - would allow two colonies in the upper section. Betterbee makes a very nice board, with less screened area than MannLake's model. Is that better, or worse. I don't know. MannLake's is almost all screen and has some internal supports between the screens. Betterbee's screened area is much smaller and doesn't have internal supports so you have to be careful not to accidentally collapse the space between the screens when cleaning them.