Only the 4 OSBN Frames will have some Drone comb and mostly just the first 2 of those. The rest of the frames are Full sheets of Foundation.
Once the bees have enough Drone comb they build worker comb. This reduces the amount of burr comb between boxes too.
Some people cut off the Drone comb to reduce Mites as the Mites prefer Drone Brood. The bees then draw out worker comb.
From the end of Swarm Season I move these frames to the outermost edge or up into the top Brood Box so it gets filled with honey. Then harvest those frames, cut off the Drone comb and crush and strain.
Here are a couple of photos from 2013.
This is from the first hive that I tested with Opening the Sides of the Broodnest.
It was Wintered with one 10 Frame Brood Box. 2nd Box was added a couple of weeks before Swarm Season.
The photos are 4 weeks into Swarm Season and coming back after the 2nd manipulation.
At the time I was testing with frames having only a Starter Strip of Wax Foundation across the full width of the Top Bar (with 2 vertical Bamboo Skewers instead of Wire).
Here is a Frame from the Top Box (2nd Brood Box) 4th frame in.
See how mostly just the outer bottom edges are Drone Comb, whilst the majority of the center and top is Worker Comb (all from just a 1" Starter Strip):
The next photo is a frame from the Outer Edge of the Top Box, notice that it is all Worker Comb (also notice the Wax Makers):
(Sorry to do this again, but it's a work in progress.)
In the previous post the number of Mediums is too high, so it needs to be changed.
I'm trying to work out statements that can apply to Beehives of all different configurations and different environments.
From 5 frame Deeps Nuc, to 3x 8 Frame Mediums, to a Deep and Medium to 2x 10 Frame Deeps.
So I'm changing the Percentages to be about "the MAIN Brood Box" (the Box with the majority of the Brood), if there are more than 1 Box:
Start at least 3-4 weeks before you usual Swarm Season.
Night time: 40°F / 5°C or above
Day time: 55°F / 13°C or above
Brood - Capped and Open Brood (50% of the Main Brood Box)
10 Frame Deep: 5 or more Deep Frames
2 x 10 Frame Mediums: 5 or more Medium Frames in the Main Brood Box
Frames of Bees (90% of the main Brood Box)
10 Frame Deep: 9 or more Deep Frames
2 x 10 Frame Mediums: 9 or more Medium Frames in the Main Brood Box
Drone Brood being raised.
3 Weeks before Swarm Season is the most important point related to Timing.
Once there is less that 3 weeks to Swarm Season then:
If the hive is not as strong as 50% Brood or 90% Frames of Bees (in the Main Brood Box), then Open up 1 (ONE) Side of the Broodnest with a Partial Frame of Foundation.
If the hive is very weak, IE. 30% Brood or less and 50% Frames of Bees or less, then check if there is a Honey Dome around the Broodnest. There should not be frames of Capped Honey on both sides of the Broodnest. If there is Capped Honey restricting expansion, then swap the positions of those frames with mostly empty comb, or scratch the cappings.
Matt, thank you for the effort you are putting into this. Very helpful.
I started trying your method last year and I use a 1/2 sheet of plastic foundation in the middle and cut out the drone comb on each end as they make it. I have to admit that I never noticed worker comb near the bottom, but I could have missed it and cut it out. But, I am curious why they would start building QC if you cut it out.
My limited experience is after I cut out the drone comb, they then build worker comb. Thanks again. J
But, I am curious why they would start building QC if you cut it out.
I also found this detail referred by Matthew very interesting. I suspect that the reason for this bees' behavior is with that we create conditions / stimuli similar to those of the Miller's method for raising queens: eggs or larvae on the edges of the comb.
Last edited by Eduardo Gomes; 03-12-2019 at 06:49 PM.
Reason: add information
With cutting Drone Comb, I'm talking more about cutting beside the Wedge shape Foundation because it is on a diagonal.
This is where the Worker size Cells on the Foundation transitions to Drone comb built below it.
There is a chance that you can cut off the bottom wall off Worker Cells that contain eggs or young larvae.
The bees may see this as a Queen Cup, and once started a Queen Cup may be made into a Queen Cell.
The reason I mention it is because I actually made a Split and used OTS to raise Queen Cells a few weeks ago.
One of the frames had a bit of Cross Comb which got torn off when I lifted it out of the hive.
A week later I found that one Queen Cell had been made where the comb had been torn.
Thank you Matthew for the explanation.
What you say confirms my suspicion that eggs and worker larvae at the edges of the recently cut comb can become a stimulus for bees to make queen cells. In my opinion a detail of great importance not only for those who use your OSBN method but also for those who cut part of the combs with drone brood for the control of varroa mites, and can leave cells with a workers' eggs or larvae at the combs edges.
We have gone through most of our hives at this point, opening the sides with the cut-out frames. All have built comb to fill the holes, although not all are pulling white wax yet. Most, however, are pulling at least some white wax in the medium honey supers. Just to remind you, we are pretty new (4th spring) and have very little pulled comb to use for checkerboarding, etc., so getting the bees involved in pulling comb has been a primary goal. This system has been awesome toward accomplishing that.
We did try using a medium foundation frame in a deep box as a second manipulation to open sides in one box. It didn't work at all. The bees ignored it completely. No pulling of any comb at all on it. Not even burr comb to fill in the bottom.
Question: Several hives had 5 or 6 queen cups along the bottom edge of the upper brood box (no larvae - not peanuts, just small cups). None of these hives showed any sign of congested brood nest or honey dome. They were not backfilling the brood nest. So.... does the existence of these cups indicate swarm preparation? We removed the cups, but if they are planning to swarm, I'm sure that wouldn't slow them down.
So.... does the existence of these cups indicate swarm preparation?
On my hives, by rule, it is a sign of a strong one that may enter into swarming mode in the near future (about two weeks later). But some do not go into swarming mode. It is not an unmistakable sign of swarm preparation on my hives.
I tried the OSBN method with one frame. A 1/2 drawn-out foundationless frame was placed into a hive on the northeast side, which yielded the following results: OSBN N (New comb).jpg
Before closing up, an empty frame was placed outside the brood area, on the south side of the box. It will be fun to see how fast it is drawn out. OSBN S (Empty).jpg
OSBN really works. I'll definitely be using this technique in years to come.