How to keep within your (newbee) limit
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
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    Auburntown, Tennessee, USA
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    Question How to keep within your (newbee) limit

    I keep reading that people start out with two nucs and before the year is out they've had to split and end up with 6 or more hives.

    I really want to learn to manage as I am able and grow as I am financially able - so what do I do with the extra bees?

    Lots of suggestions very appreciated.

    Thanks!
    Photini Grace, Beekeeper Newbee.
    Just sayin' --- er --- warning, actually.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
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    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
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    Default Re: How to keep within your (newbee) limit

    Split and sell them as nucs. Kills two birds with one stone. J

  4. #3
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    Feb 2020
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    Auburntown, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: How to keep within your (newbee) limit

    Thank you, Fivej,

    I guess I should educate myself on selling nucs. I didn't think there would be a soul out there that would buy a nuc from a newbee.
    Photini Grace, Beekeeper Newbee.
    Just sayin' --- er --- warning, actually.

  5. #4
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    Apr 2016
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    Default Re: How to keep within your (newbee) limit

    If they look good, it doesn't matter who made the nuc. Just be sure you have the queen! There are plenty of good posts here on how to do a split/make a nuc. Your honey will also taste just like an experienced beekeeper was behind it. Experience counts for a lot in beekeeping, but think you can handle this as a newbee. J

  6. #5
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    Feb 2020
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    Default Re: How to keep within your (newbee) limit

    Photini Grace, Beekeeper Newbee.
    Just sayin' --- er --- warning, actually.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Campbell River, BC, CA
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    Default Re: How to keep within your (newbee) limit

    Quote Originally Posted by photini.grace View Post
    I keep reading that people start out with two nucs and before the year is out they've had to split and end up with 6 or more hives.

    A lot of this is because of either swarms, or swarm control. When you read about swarm control, there are two main methods applied. First is split, second is 'give them space'. The problem for the new beekeeper, a box of brand new frames may look like a lot of space to the beekeeper, to the bees, it's just a bunch of things with no comb. Bees dont view that as space, they view empty drawn comb as space, and in the early part of the season they will want more space then the amount of comb they can draw. The lack of comb leads to swarm preparations, and then splits to try prevent the swarm.

    The other thing one notices about new beekeepers, they tend to be eager for 'free bees' when and will jump at the chance to go chase a swarm.

    This all adds up to 'start with one, end up with 6'.

    If you dont want to end up with more colonies, read up on ways to prevent swarming that dont involve making splits.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    Victoria, Australia
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    Default Re: How to keep within your (newbee) limit

    Quote Originally Posted by photini.grace View Post
    I keep reading that people start out with two nucs and before the year is out they've had to split and end up with 6 or more hives.
    G'day Grace,

    That's one of the reasons why I developed a method called Opening the Sides of the Brood Nest (OSBN)

    When you live in a residential area there are restrictions to the number of hives you can have and you don't want to upset the neighbours with swarms going into their yards or buildings.

    It appears to be an effective swarm prevention method. (But like other methods requires inspections at least every 2 weeks during swarm season.)

    For detailed information have a look at :
    http://daveybees.wikidot.com/openingthesides

    Main points -
    During Swarm Season:

    • Maintain at least 2 undrawn frames in every box.
    • Place undrawn frames on the outer edges of the Brood Nest.
    • Move honey frames up and out of the Brood Box(es).
    • Start as soon as Drones are being raised.


    Steps -
    Start 3-4 weeks before your usual Swarm Season (or when Drone Brood is being raised):

    1. 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 Old Frames have moved up.)
    2. Insert a New Frame (Partial Foundation or Full sheet of Foundation) 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, at least one Partial Foundation initially, the other can be a Full sheet of Foundation.)
    3. Check the Hive in 2 weeks and repeat steps 1-2 if comb has been at least partially drawn on the New Frames in the Brood Box. (So that 2 Old Frames are moved up, 2 New Frames inserted into the Brood Box.) You will now have 4 Old Drawn Frames that have been moved up into the New Box.
    4. Check again in 2 weeks. The New Box should now have comb getting drawn out. Repeat steps 1-2 if needed.
    5. Throughout Swarm Season ensure that there is at least 2 Undrawn Frames in each Box. This is to maintain Wax Making by getting the young bees to draw out new comb. (These Frames can now all be full sheets of Foundation.)


    My largest hive this season has drawn out, filled and capped honey on at least 40 Deep Frames of Foundation. It was wintered as a Single Deep. So be prepared!

    I actually first developed the method in a Horizontal hive, so the same principles can be used. Start opening up one side of the Broodnest closest to the main entrance and move honey frames across towards other end, away from the entrance. (I can also put supers on my Horizontal hive.)

  9. #8
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Spokane, Washington, USA
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    Default Re: How to keep within your (newbee) limit

    First year, it is not my experience that a nuc grows into more than a full hive. Second year is a different story, assuming sucess.
    So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

  10. #9
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    Default Re: How to keep within your (newbee) limit

    Quote Originally Posted by bushpilot View Post
    First year, it is not my experience that a nuc grows into more than a full hive. Second year is a different story, assuming success.
    I mentioned that more to focus on the point that the method helped prevent this large hive from swarming.

    This is a second year hive. It was a swarm the previous year that grew to 3 Deeps. I purposely winter in a single Deep in this area, because if the box is not full of bees going into winter then the hive has issues with condensation and mould.

    The smallest hive was a first year hive wintered as a 5 frame Nuc. It grew to 3 Deeps, but I also took a couple of splits from it as this hive is less defensive. So it would have grown to 4 Deeps.

    It really depends on both the nectar and pollen flows in your area as to how large hives can get. You need both for good wax making.

  11. #10
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    Default Re: How to keep within your (newbee) limit

    Quote Originally Posted by bushpilot View Post
    First year, it is not my experience that a nuc grows into more than a full hive. Second year is a different story, assuming sucess.
    That's what I assumed too before mine swarmed in May in Vermont. In TN, Photini might very well have to confront the possibility of splitting. J

  12. #11
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    Default Re: How to keep within your (newbee) limit

    No harm in trying OSBN first and splitting as a last resort.

    It really depends on how heavy the flow is in Swarm Season.
    At least with OSBN you get a head start when you don't have spare drawn comb.

  13. #12
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    Default Re: How to keep within your (newbee) limit

    No harm at all Matt. I started using OSBN last season and plan on it again. J

  14. #13
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    Feb 2020
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    Auburntown, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: How to keep within your (newbee) limit

    MattDavey, THANK YOU!!! This is incredibly helpful! I am printing your answer and putting it in my notebook. THANK YOU!
    Photini Grace, Beekeeper Newbee.
    Just sayin' --- er --- warning, actually.

  15. #14
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    Feb 2020
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    Auburntown, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: How to keep within your (newbee) limit

    FifeJ - at my first beekeepers association, the speaker was warning the newbies not to take the swarm season and their nucs for granted. He asked others who had new nucs last year what happened -all but one either had to be split or swarmed -and that hive died from hornets attacking it. So, yes, it's a very good possibility that I may have to do something to keep within a workable limit while I am learning.
    Photini Grace, Beekeeper Newbee.
    Just sayin' --- er --- warning, actually.

  16. #15
    Join Date
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    Algérie
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    Default Re: How to keep within your (newbee) limit

    La Méthode Demaree convient bien aussi.Non?

  17. #16
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    Default Re: How to keep within your (newbee) limit

    Yes the Demaree method can be used, but it requires finding the queen, finding all the queen cells and shaking bees off frames. Then coming back and checking for emergency queen cells. Also need two queen excluders and it also raises a new queen.

    I just found OSBN easier.

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