Want Swarm Prevention? Try the OSBN Method - Page 4
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  1. #61
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    Default Re: Want Swarm Prevention? Try the OSBN Method

    Matt,

    I'm not sure. When I look at the photo I posted, and other photos from the other side of the comb, I think I can see some light-colored capped brood.
    Next time I'll try to pay close attention.

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  3. #62

    Default Re: Want Swarm Prevention? Try the OSBN Method

    Quote Originally Posted by MattDavey View Post
    With queen cups, I've found all hives to make them, especially in swarm season. More so in stronger hives. It doesn't mean they preparing to swarm. They seem more to me to be made "just in case".

    Well done!
    To follow up on this: We were out of town and couldn't get back to the hives for two whole weeks. Most of the hives now had queen cups (not peanuts) but now many had growing larvae in them. Do you read that as a swarm cell in progress? Those hives were not otherwise congested and the queen had laying room. This is prime swarm season in our area and main bloom is only a week or so away. We did traditional cut-down splits on these and made sure each had plenty of supering. All the hives have pulled an extraordinary amount of new comb (up to two medium supers almost complete) before our main nectar flow - so that awesome. But a little frustrated that even those that were not congested seem ready to swarm. These hives are fairly hot and we are in Texas where africanized genetics are always a part of the picture so I'm wondering if they are simply a little more prone to swarming.

    We had three hives that we thought would have plenty of room to grow with just one additional medium super above. We were wrong. These hives had completely pulled the top super, filled it with honey and built real queen cells (peanuts) in preparation for swarming. I'll accept that - they were congested and honey domed. Just didn't expect them to do so much so early in the season. We did snelgrove splits on these.

    A couple of hives that had more space had only dry queen cups and we used OSBN once more on those hives and let them be.

  4. #63

    Default Re: Want Swarm Prevention? Try the OSBN Method

    And one more question: At what point during a main flow does the hive give up on swarming and move to just pulling wax and storing honey? Or does that ever happen? In other words, how long do we need to continue worrying about the brood nest and swarm potential? It would be great to just get to where it would be sufficient to simply add a new unpulled box below the honey super they are working and have them go to town with it.... Pipe dream?

  5. #64
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    Default Re: Want Swarm Prevention? Try the OSBN Method

    Quote Originally Posted by gopherknoll View Post
    And one more question: At what point during a main flow does the hive give up on swarming and move to just pulling wax and storing honey? Or does that ever happen? In other words, how long do we need to continue worrying about the brood nest and swarm potential? It would be great to just get to where it would be sufficient to simply add a new unpulled box below the honey super they are working and have them go to town with it.... Pipe dream?
    Good questions, Ive got some too. But, my gut tells me the colony continues on pulling wax and storing honey, because not all the bees swarm, there is still a major population carrying on their beely chores in the background, and raising a new queen. Remember, bees are hoarders, they will always pack in resources if they can.

    Im going to do this open frame process in the next few weeks. So 2 questions:

    One key to getting them to expand seems to be the honey dome. When replacing frames on the side of the brood nest, we're not removing the honey dome directly above it, just on a side edge.

    1. How can we be assured that is enough for them to move up, across the center honey? I understand building new comb out, but not up, or moving up, since there is still honey above the center brood nest.

    2. My hive config is 2 deeps, for all 3 of my hives. I don't want more hives, so this method seems good. But it seems I need to add a new box, making it 3 deep high. As someone asked before, can I reverse deeps and use the former bottom deep as the new box?

    TIA,
    Mike

  6. #65
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    Default Re: Want Swarm Prevention? Try the OSBN Method

    Quote Originally Posted by gopherknoll View Post
    Most of the hives now had queen cups (not peanuts) but now many had growing larvae in them. Do you read that as a swarm cell in progress?
    At this point, with already present larvae inside the queens cups 99% of my hives are in full swarming mode or in a queen replacement process. You have to discern which one it is.

  7. #66
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    Default Re: Want Swarm Prevention? Try the OSBN Method

    Quote Originally Posted by gopherknoll View Post
    In other words, how long do we need to continue worrying about the brood nest and swarm potential?
    The swarming period in my zone lasts about 7 weeks: from the last week of March, about 8 weeks after my colonies start linear growth, until reaching peak population, around the second half of May.

  8. #67
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    Default Re: Want Swarm Prevention? Try the OSBN Method

    Quote Originally Posted by MaineMike View Post

    One key to getting them to expand seems to be the honey dome. …I understand building new comb out, but not up, or moving up, since there is still honey above the center brood nest.
    Open the honey dome with a fork to expose the honey. The bees will tend to transfer this honey to the upper box.

  9. #68
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    Default Re: Want Swarm Prevention? Try the OSBN Method

    Thanks Gopherknoll for the report.

    If the Queens Cells were not capped they were started within the last 7 days, so checking weekly with Mediums is a must.

    Yes, some genetics are more prone to swarming than others.

    But before we jump to conclusions, we need to ask a few questions.

    Was there still any undrawn comb?

    When you say they still had room, I'm assuming you mean supers, but we need to focus on the Broodnest.

    Was there room for the queen to lay?
    Was the Broodnest surrounded with nectar?
    Was the Broodnest being backfilled with nectar?
    How much Open Brood was there?

    With Queen Cells, how many cells were there in each box? (if 5 or less it can be supercedure).
    Where on the frame were the Queen Cells, on the bottom or randomly distributed?

    If you have any photos, that would be helpful.

    MaineMike, you can use a queen excluder if you only want 2 Brood Boxes

  10. #69
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    Default Re: Want Swarm Prevention? Try the OSBN Method

    MaineMike, as Eduardo said you can scrape any capped honey to get the bees to use or move that honey.

    With swapping boxes, if there is no brood in the bottom box you could.
    But you want the bees to be drawing wax, so you will need to remove some frames (or comb) to put in frames with foundation in the box above the Broodnest.

  11. #70
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    Default Re: Want Swarm Prevention? Try the OSBN Method

    Thanks for clarifying Matt and Eduardo, I understand.

    A bit premature but I made up my OSBN frames last night (new frame parts, individual waxed plastic, tin snips. glue and brad gun) Im ready this year, had 2 of 3 hives swarm last next, hopefully not again, working not to. One of my hives is BUSTING with bees, even now in March, no way it wont try to swarm, this will be good...

    Thanks for supporting our community!

    Mike

    Mike

  12. #71

    Default Re: Want Swarm Prevention? Try the OSBN Method

    To the questions: Yes, the queens had drawn comb available for laying adjacent to or within the broodnest. In a couple of hives she had brood in one of the new supers but plenty of space within and below the broodnest.

    While the bees were drawing white wax nicely in the new supers, and storing a small amount of nectar there, they still had quite a lot to pull out and seemed to be working on that actively.

    There was no "honey dome" in these hives

    A couple of times we saw a random frame with some pollen packed in a brood nest and only once a single frame that had some nectar inside a broodnest area.

    There was very little open brood in most of these. Sometimes the queen seemed to be actively laying (small larvae visible) but usually it was 90%+ capped and only a little older larvae.

    Hives had from one to three frames similar to the ones in the pictures. Anywhere from 5-12 cups in the hive.

    Cells of concern on hanging on the bottoms of frames as per the pictures. bottom of frame.jpgframe with cups.jpgQ cups for posting.jpgQueen cups loaded.jpg

  13. #72
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    Default Re: Want Swarm Prevention? Try the OSBN Method

    Thanks Gopherknoll, they are definitely swarm cells, all less than 7 days old.

    I notice in the first photo they are all on a specific frame.
    The Cups are all made from old dark wax.
    In the second photo, the frame with Queen Cells is completely full, with lots of pollen.

    I'm assuming the frames used for OSBN were all completely drawn?

    It may be just a timing thing, as in not adding more OSBN frames beside the Broodnest soon enough. But I'll have a think about if there is anything else to consider.

    It will interesting to see what the hives you did OSBN again with will do.

  14. #73

    Default Re: Want Swarm Prevention? Try the OSBN Method

    Thanks for the confirmation, Matt. I'm glad we went ahead and split those. Most of the frames used for OSBN were fully pulled with a couple of exceptions:

    Straight vertical cutout frames were sometimes pulled on only one side. The wedge shape seems to work better.

    Using a medium frame in a deep box did not work in any hive we tried it in. We removed those - they were generally not pulled even on the foundation and no burr comb on the bottom.

    Yes, we are excited to see what will happen with the hive we followed with just another OSBN expansion (and checkerboarding new frames above the brood nest).

    It's been an interesting and exciting year so far. At the very least we are entering our nectar flow with many more supers pulled out for honey. And, if all the splits work out, we've almost doubled the size of the apiary. Next year, we'll have to find ways to hold back on that or find a market for the nucs.

  15. #74
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    Default Re: Want Swarm Prevention? Try the OSBN Method

    Yes, getting all that comb drawn before the main flow will really help with getting a decent honey crop.

    So how many times did you do OSBN on most of the hives?

    Also, do you have a photo of the Wedge shape foundation drawn out?
    It would be good to show that.

    Thanks again for sharing your results.

  16. #75

    Default Re: Want Swarm Prevention? Try the OSBN Method

    We did OSBN on the larger hives three times on the larger hives before we were gone for that two week stretch. First with straight cut-out frames, then with medium frames in deep boxes and finally with wedge cut frames. They all did a magnificent job of pulling wax and were exploding in numbers of bees. We've done it 2-3 times on the two hives we continue to watch.

    Here are a couple of pics of both deep and medium wedges. And one showing the level of wax being pulled out on the supers of the hives that swarmed. They are working them well - but certainly not out of space to pull..
    Wedge cutout frame - Copy.jpgmedium frame wedge.jpgNew Medium w nectar.jpg

  17. #76
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    Default Re: Want Swarm Prevention? Try the OSBN Method

    Great photos.

    The queen really went to town with the Deep frame, laying right to the edge.

    Thank you!

  18. #77
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    Default Re: Want Swarm Prevention? Try the OSBN Method

    Quote Originally Posted by clong View Post
    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.
    Attachment 47029
    OSBN really works. I'll definitely be using this technique in years to come.
    Matt,

    Here are the results from the photo above. The empty frame was added on 3/24/19, I believe. The frame is incomplete because this is queen setting up a limited-size broodnest (60% of each frame) on the Entrance side of the hive. The queen is 2 years old. I suspect she may be failing. OSBN probably wasn't necessary with this hive, but it has yielded some early-drawn comb. The comb does have eggs.

    OBSN 1 03-30-19.JPG
    OSBN 2 03-30-19.JPG

  19. #78
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    Default Re: Want Swarm Prevention? Try the OSBN Method

    Thanks Clong,

    It can take a week or so for the bees to go going with wax making. Depends on the population and amount of nectar and pollen coming in too.
    What is the population like, as in number of frames that are covered in bees?

    The queen will lay in cells that are partially drawn, so as the Brood develop the cells get fully drawn out.

  20. #79
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    Default Re: Want Swarm Prevention? Try the OSBN Method

    Duplicated.
    Last edited by MattDavey; 03-31-2019 at 07:04 AM.

  21. #80
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    Default Re: Want Swarm Prevention? Try the OSBN Method

    Matt,

    There were 10 frames of brood. This hive that made that frame has brood frame after brood frame where the brood is 4-8" inches wide, and 3" high. The pollen frames on edge of the brood nest even have the ring of pollen inscribing a similar area, 4" high by 10" wide. It is like bees think the Lang frames are only 10" long. Weird.

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