trap-to-deep move: can I add frames with foundation?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Pitt, NC, USA
    Posts
    794

    Question trap-to-deep move: can I add frames with foundation?

    My "big" captured swarm (in a trap made of 2 combined nucs) looked OK Friday when I checked: the Girls were beginning to draw comb on the 4 "empty" frames in the lower nuc. The queen's laying in the old comb I had in 1 frame. Pollen being brought in, etc. The colony is a week old.

    SO .... if I check again in a week or so (not sure how long I should expect to wait, considering the time of year) and all frames in the lower nuc've been drawn to some extent, should I then move all 10 frames in the trap into a deep? The frames in the top, I'm guessing, would have little-to-nothing done to them. If so -- can I substitute a few frames with wax-coated plastic for some empty frames? And/or another frame with old comb? Confusing to me. I don't want to make them feel crowded in their new digs.

    Thx for any guidance on this; I'm a first-time-swarm dad .....

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Caldwell TX USA
    Posts
    118

    Default Re: trap-to-deep move: can I add frames with foundation?

    I would move them into a 10-frame deep sooner than later.

    My reason is that if the queen starts laying, the brood area will go from the top of the bottom nuc frames to the bottom of the top nuc frames. At some point that will end up with some non-uniform brood areas, not what you want with a new swarm. It's possible that she will be restricted to just the bottom frames but you can't be certain.

    If you switch to wax-coated foundation, note that that may accelerate them putting brood in the top box. Normally they draw from top down, but with foundation they can start anywhere.

    Foundation vs no foundation is an individual choice. I wouldn't have more than 2-3 foundation-less frames next to each other in order to encourage straight comb.

    Also, being a swarm, I'd give them a feeder with some sugar water. Let's make sure they don't go hungry. You could also steal a frame of honey/pollen from another hive. And congrats on the swarm.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Tyler, Texas
    Posts
    121

    Default Re: trap-to-deep move: can I add frames with foundation?

    I like waht TexasFreedon said.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Jacksonville, Morgan County, IL
    Posts
    205

    Default Re: trap-to-deep move: can I add frames with foundation?

    Quote Originally Posted by mlanden View Post

    SO .... if I check again in a week or so (not sure how long I should expect to wait, considering the time of year) and all frames in the lower nuc've been drawn to some extent, should I then move all 10 frames in the trap into a deep? The frames in the top, I'm guessing, would have little-to-nothing done to them. If so -- can I substitute a few frames with wax-coated plastic for some empty frames? And/or another frame with old comb? Confusing to me. I don't want to make them feel crowded in their new digs.
    .
    As soon as you see eggs / larva / brood in 2-3 frames, center those frames in a 10-wide and fill the rest of the spaces with drawn comb if you have it, full sheets of WAX foundation if you don't. If another colony or colonies can spare a frame of sealed brood, that will jump-start the swarm as they emerge. Likewise if another can spare a frame full of honey / pollen.

    Make sure they don't run out of food !!! Even 2-3 days of bad weather can be a disaster. Best to put a quart-jar-with-holes-in-the-lid feeder over the hole in an inner cover, add an empty medium, then the outer cover. Check it every other day, fill as needed. When they stop taking it, they are bringing in sufficient on their own.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Red Bud, IL, USA
    Posts
    1,803

    Default Re: trap-to-deep move: can I add frames with foundation?

    I agree with the other comments but I tend to move bait hives around 5 days after I know they've moved in. A day or so after relocating them they're transferred to a nuc or 10 frame deep depending on the swarm size and the boxes filled with whatever frames I have available at the time. Checker boarding drawn and empty outside the brood area if possible, feeding is a good idea but not something I always do.
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