Want Swarm Prevention? Try the OSBN Method - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    Default Re: Want Swarm Prevention? Try the OSBN Method

    Quote Originally Posted by bgosnell View Post
    Questions: 1. As we add additional medium honey supers to the stack, should they be added above the one the bees are pulling? Or below and just above the brood boxes?

    2. We are trying to reconfigure our hives to using only one deep brood and then using mediums above that. In an effort to build up sufficient brood comb in medium supers, we did our second manipulation by simply adding a medium frame beside the brood (not cut out - but since it is short, it leaves an additional gap below the frame.) We did that on only one side of the broodnest. Comments?
    bgosnell, congrats on getting your bees into the wax drawing mode. that is an important step in keeping them from going into swarm mode.

    my experience with placing undrawn supers just above the brood boxes was that it pushed the colony into swarm mode. i have better luck putting foundation supers (with extra wax applied and perhaps a bait frame in the middle with a little drawn comb on it) at the top of the stack until they starting pulling comb, and then move them down the stack along with putting the most full and/or capped supers up to the top.

    using the short frames in the deeps will probably accomplish the same thing, but you will end up having to cut the comb off the bottom of it. it makes more sense to use a deep foundationless frame like the ones pictured in the posts above.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

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  3. #22
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    Default

    Fantastic Bgosnell!

    Sorry, didn't see you post until now.

    1. I would focus on the box above the Broodnest for drawing foundation. Because Nurse bees graduate to Wax Makers. Note: I would have at least 4 Drawn frames in a box before expecting the bees to move into it and start drawing foundation, especially early in the season.

    2. With a mix of Mediums and Deeps, you could swap out the Deep Box for 2 Medium Boxes and place the Deep Frames in the Top Medium hanging down into the Bottom Medium. You then get 2 Medium Frames instead of 1 Deep frame getting drawn in the OSBN positions.

    So that will give you your 4 Drawn Medium frames to move up into the New Box. They will likely have Brood on them. But you can fix that later.

  4. #23

    Default Re: Want Swarm Prevention? Try the OSBN Method

    Thank you both for the feedback! It's exciting to see this working so well. Given how quickly the bees pulled out that first manipulations, I'm just hoping we can keep up with them. Cold, wet weather isn't helpful in that regard.

  5. #24
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    Default Re: Want Swarm Prevention? Try the OSBN Method

    Quote Originally Posted by MattDavey View Post
    Opening the Sides of the Broodnest - OSBN

    Main points:


    • Develops comb building before swarm season, which helps to reduce swarming. Due to extra comb for nectar storage and using up of nectar to make wax.
    • Enlarges the size of the Broodnest when the bees would usually be reducing it by backfilling, because the queen lays in empty comb as it is being built.
    • Can be done at colder temperatures than Opening the Broodnest.
    • Does not touch the Broodnest, so it doesn't force bees to heat a larger volume than they are used to heating. Which can cause chilled brood. (Especially with Carniolans).
    • Does not split the Broodnest, so if cold weather sets in there is no possibility of having the cluster split and emergency queen cells made by the queenless cluster.
    • The bees still have direct access to the frames that were beside the Broodnest, but now they are above instead. Not a problem, when heat rises.
    • The bees can build the comb in their own time, but the empty space (Hole) gives them an incentive to build comb.

    What you will need:

    At least 1 box of new undrawn frames, which are the same size frames as your brood box. (If a few of these are partially drawn, empty frames, this also helps.)

    Conditions:


    • No feeding
    • Frames are all the same size
    • Start about 3 weeks before you usual Swarm Season (or when you see Drone Brood).
    • Do every 2 weeks until bees are drawing out multiple combs in the New Box.
    • New frames have a Hole large enough for the bees to want to fill it.

    Purpose:

    OSBN is a Swarm Prevention method for Beekeepers who have enough Bee Hives
    (IE, when you don't want to do Splits and make more Bee Hives)
    AND for New Beekeepers or Second Year Beekeepers especially those who don't have any spare, empty comb coming into spring.


    Aim:

    To get the bees building comb in a New Box/Super before swarm season starts, to help reduce swarming and to get a honey crop.

    Objectives:

    1. Develop Wax Makers well before Swarm Season.
    2. Maintain wax making throughout Swarm Season and into the Main Flow.
    3. Encourage enlargement of the Broodnest until the Main Flow.


    OPENING THE SIDES OF THE BROODNEST


    Steps:


    1. About 3 weeks before your usual Swarm Season, move each outermost frame from a brood box up into the middle of a New Box (of undrawn Frames), placed directly above the Broodnest. (So that 2 Frames have moved up.)
    2. Insert a New Frame (with a large "hole") on each outside edge of the Broodnest of the brood box. So that Brood frames are only on one side of each new frame. (2 new frames inserted.)
    3. Check the Hive in 2 weeks and repeat the steps if comb has been at least partially drawn on the New Frames in the Brood Box. (2 Frames moved up, 2 Frames inserted into the Broodnest.) You will now have 4 Drawn Frames that have been moved up into the New Box.
    4. Check again in 2 weeks. The New Box should now be mostly drawn. You can repeat the steps again with another New Box on top.


    PLEASE NOTE:



    • The New Frame can be empty drawn comb or foundation, but should have a large "hole" that is equivalent to at least 1/4 of the frame. You can just cut off the bottom corners off the comb or foundation.
    • The Hole will be filled with Drone Comb.
    • If the outermost Broodbox frames are moldy, you may wish to remove them completely and not put on a new box until the third step.
    • If you want the bees to use the honey on slightly moldy frames, then move them up to a new box, but have at least a few frames of foundation between them. The frames will usually get emptied out.
    • You can start doing this method as soon as Drones are starting to be raised and the weather forecast for the next week is warm.
    • For the bees to move into a box, I have found it best to have at least 3 or 4 drawn combs together, in the middle of the new box. When there is less than 3 frames in a box and not together, they usually get emptied out. So if you have a spare drawn comb, the more the better.
    • The timing of 2 weeks is for deep frames. If you use mediums, the times will be shorter and can be more like 1 week.
    • Best to use all the same size frames.
    • As a guide for when to start Opening the Sides of the Broodnest. I would start around half way through the period between Cherry blossoms and Apple blossoms. The period between these blossoms is quite long where I live, as much as 2 months. If it is around 1 month for you then you may initially need to use drawn comb instead of a partial frame of foundation. (Some areas still have snow around at this time.)


    I have been working on this method for several years now and wish I had known about it when I first started out beekeeping. Give it a go and let us know how it goes for you.
    Matthew i have a couple questions:
    1. If one reverses the brood boxes at the beginning of the dandelion flow ( end of april here), is it all just business as usual until they fill the 2nd deep with brood?
    => then start the OSBN method with a 3rd deep above the brood boxes?
    2. Where do the outside drawn combs come from? the second deep brood box or the bottom one?
    3. You said to do this when the weather forecast is for warm weather? what temps?
    We can get drone brood as early as early april here some years. But the average temps are still only 35-55 F.

  6. #25
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    Default Re: Want Swarm Prevention? Try the OSBN Method

    Quote Originally Posted by aran View Post
    Matthew i have a couple questions:
    one question it says to not feed, in this area during the time specified, the flows are used up making brood, I would not expect them to be able to draw comb??
    mike syracuse ny
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  7. #26
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    Default Re: Want Swarm Prevention? Try the OSBN Method

    @Aran

    1. I have't reversed Brood Boxes in several years, I believe it caused Chilled Brood, which then caused Chalk Brood. Also, I have moved to wintering in just the one Brood Box. Reversing is really just a time delay. You mess up their Broodnest and they have to fix it up by emptying out the honey between the split nest. This gives the queen space to lay, but I prefer not to touch the Broodnest at all for the reasons listed in the Main Points.

    Just add the 3rd Box as the New Box.

    2. You can insert OSBN frames to just the top Brood Box or both Brood Boxes. If you do both Brood Boxes you are moving 4 old Frames up into the New Box. As long as there are a few of frames of Honey directly above the Broodnest for feed, in case of several days of cold weather.

    3. When the bees can forage most days. So temperatures around 13C/55F or higher.

  8. #27
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    Default Re: Want Swarm Prevention? Try the OSBN Method

    @Wildbranch2007

    The bees will use up honey stores as well as incoming nectar to draw comb, in order to fix the holes in the Broodnest. Filling those holes seems to have a high priority.

    I'm wanting the bees to use up most of the capped Honey in the hive by the time Swarm Season has started. But also want to make sure there is around 1-2 frames equivalent of capped honey per box, in case of bad weather, so enough for a week or two.

    So I would only feed if their Honey stores are getting lower than the equivalent of 2 frames per box.

  9. #28
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    Default

    If anyone is trying OSBN and would like to take photos or videos of how the bees have drawn out the Partial Foundation (Wedge shape) Frames and post them here, it would be great to see. It would also be good to show if they started drawing out frames in the New Box.

    (I checked and realized I only have photos of frames in the New Box, later in the process, from a few years ago when I used starter strips.)

  10. #29

    Default Re: Want Swarm Prevention? Try the OSBN Method

    Here are a couple of pictures of what the bees did in 12 days from the first manipulation. We did that first one at the end of January. There was tree pollen available to them from elm and juniper and very limited nectar from small flowers like henbit and a little dandelion. Three days after we did the manipulations another cold front came through with nights about 26 degrees fora couple of nights and highs in the 30s. We were completely amazed at what they had accomplished in that time - and they had moved up into a super of heavily waxed frames we had added just above the top brood box.
    DSC07072.jpgDSC07072.jpgrsz_dsc07077.jpg

  11. #30

    Default Re: Want Swarm Prevention? Try the OSBN Method

    Another try at those photos. https://gopherknoll.com/?page_id=2709

  12. #31
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    Default Re: Want Swarm Prevention? Try the OSBN Method

    Thank you Gopher Knoll Farm! That's fantastic to see.

    For those who are not sure, this is the frame that was used for OSBN, see the worker Brood in the middle and Drone Brood on the right side.



    As you can see, the Foundation was done with Lauri's style partial frames. Note: With vertically cut foundation you will often get the bees leaving a gap beside the edge.
    This is why I suggest using the Wedge shape foundation for OSBN frames. (If others can post how the Wedge shape is drawn out that would be great to show.)

    Also, I can see that a Comb Guide was not used along the Top Bar because of the way that the side Drone comb areas are attached along the Top Bar.
    So it's not the best looking frame, because of those things. But it did the job of Triggering Wax Makers! So it did the job.

    All that new white wax getting drawn out in the Super looks absolutely brilliant!

    Thank you again!

  13. #32
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    Default Re: Want Swarm Prevention? Try the OSBN Method

    Also, note the dark Drone Comb on the right side of the frame.
    This is OLD wax that the bees have moved from elsewhere in the hive and reformed into comb.

    So the right side of the frame is where they first started building comb.

    This is why I say to do the manipulation the 2nd time, as the first manipulation may not actually be enough to Trigger Wax Making, because the bees are moving and reforming old wax.
    Also, you are getting another round of new, younger Wax Makers as the older ones mature and start foraging.

  14. #33
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    Default Re: Want Swarm Prevention? Try the OSBN Method

    matt is there a reason we cant just use a starter strip of foundation right across the top bar ?

  15. #34
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    Default Re: Want Swarm Prevention? Try the OSBN Method

    Aran, of course you can use a starter strip of foundation, but you will find that most of the comb will be drawn out as Drone comb, so you can end up with several hundred or even thousands of Drones in the hive because of it.

    Look at the photo above, and you see that the 1/4 width space on both the right and left side - where there was no worker foundation, has been drawn out as Drone comb.

    The Wedge shape foundation means you get mostly Worker Brood comb in the oval shaped area in the middle where the queen will lay.
    The Trapezoid shape will give the best results, only thing is it uses 1 sheet of Foundation, instead of 1/2 a sheet with the Wedge shape.

  16. #35
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    Default Re: Want Swarm Prevention? Try the OSBN Method

    Talk about beekeeping being local! Matt stated in the first post "As a guide for when to start Opening the Sides of the Broodnest. I would start around half way through the period between Cherry blossoms and Apple blossoms. The period between these blossoms is quite long where I live, as much as 2 months. If it is around 1 month for you then you may initially need to use drawn comb instead of a partial frame of foundation. (Some areas still have snow around at this time.)"

    In my area the time between cherry blossom and apple blossom is much less. Last year the cherries in my yard were in full bloom on April 19 and the early apples were in full bloom on April 25. The late apples were in full bloom on April 28th. Every year since I started keeping records of bloom times, the cherries and the apples bloomed between 5 and 10 days apart. Both happen right in the middle of swarm season. My swarm season is roughly the entire month of April and a few days in early May. Knowing when your swarm season starts is the key. Clearly Seattle, Washington and Victoria, Australia have very different climates and timing.

    Matt, thanks for keeping this lesson going for another year. The technique is an essential beekeeping skill.

  17. #36
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    Default Re: Want Swarm Prevention? Try the OSBN Method

    Wow, that is a quick transition to Spring. Thanks Dudelt.

    Yes, the timing before Swarm Season will be your best guide. It takes several days for the bees to start making wax and then a few weeks to draw out a New Box.
    So I would focus more on doing it 3-4 weeks before you first Swarms usually starts.

    Another guide is the amount of Brood. I am looking for around 5-6 Deep Frames (or equivalent) with some Brood on them.
    4 Frames of Brood or less is a bit early, so maybe only do 1 side of the Broodnest.
    7 or more Frames of Brood is getting a bit late, but I would still do it to try triggering Wax Making.

  18. #37
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    Default Re: squarepeg 2015-2019 treatment free experience

    Quote Originally Posted by MattDavey View Post
    It's great to hear how you are doing.

    I was wondering if you would be interested in trying Opening the Sides of the Broodnest on one of your hives this year and compare it to your Checkerboarded Hives.
    It sounds like it would be time to start doing that in your area in a couple of weeks.
    Matt,

    I am planning to use your OSBN techniques with a mentee who has two hives, each in 2 10-frame medium boxes. He has no spare comb.

    I will also be trying it with an 8 frame hive in my own yard. I used Walt Wright's method with 8-frame mediums last year, but the bees had other ideas.

    I'll post the results here, and try to get some pictures along the way:

    https://www.beesource.com/forums/sho...49#post1700049

  19. #38
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    Thanks Clong. That would be good to see. Also, if you could post on this thread as well as yours.
    Last edited by MattDavey; 02-23-2019 at 07:15 AM.

  20. #39
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    Default Re: Want Swarm Prevention? Try the OSBN Method

    I'm modifying Step 5 to be more straight forward:

    5. Throughout Swarm Season ensure that there is at least 2 Undrawn Frames in each Box, placed close to the Broodnest. This is to maintain Wax Making by getting the young bees to draw out new comb. (These Frames can be full sheets of foundation.)


    So from the previous examples:


    RESULT AFTER THE 4TH WEEK FROM STARTING

    NDDBBBBDNN
    BBBBBBBBBD

    Partial Frames have been mostly drawn and have some Brood. Brood on the bottom of the Old Drawn Frames in the New Box, bees have become established into the New Box and drawing out New Frames of Foundation.


    It is now Swarm Season

    A new Box needs to be added because of the amount of Brood. The population is increasing rapidly at this stage the bees need the space to expand into.

    For example: 6 frames of Capped Brood will emerge after 2 weeks and occupy at least 12 or more Frames. Some say even more, more like 3 Frames of Bees for every Frame of Capped Brood.


    3RD OSBN MANIPULATION (Step 5)
    NNNNDDDNNN
    NDBBBBBNNN
    NBBBBBBBBN



    In order to keep 2 Undrawn frames in the Bottom Box, the first Brood Frame was moved up beside other Brood Frames. Then 3 Drawn Frames are moved up into a New Box on Top.


    Depending on the amount of Nectar and Pollen coming in will depend on how many frames get drawn out in the next 2 weeks.

  21. #40
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    Default Re: Want Swarm Prevention? Try the OSBN Method

    so after repeated use of this method, a hive might end up with almost all drawn comb having some drone brood cells on it. Do you just leave it that way or do you remove the drone comb? Can this comb with drone cells in it be moved up to the honey supers?


    Anthony

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