Managing spring build up
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
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    Wharton, Texas, USA
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    271

    Default Managing spring build up

    So me being further south and with a mild winter the white Dutch clover is in bloom, willows and greening up and wildflowers and dewberries are starting to bloom. My bees are building up and drones are showing up but realistically it will be April before I have queens ready to split. A lot of my hives are singles I’m considering putting another deep on them and letting them have more room to build up. Should I put a deep on bottom Incase we get a cold snap I don’t want them to move up into an empty box or should I risk it and put an excluder on and super. My supers have drawn comb and my deeps are just foundation.83AD0CE0-4DD8-410C-AF92-D2FAB365CA57_1581420000504.jpeg83AD0CE0-4DD8-410C-AF92-D2FAB365CA57_1581420000504.jpeg

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    1,084

    Default Re: Managing spring build up

    G'day Amk,

    Sounds like Opening the Sides of the Brood Nest (OSBN) would work for you. But like other swarm prevention methods, in Swarm Season you need to check the hives at least every 2 weeks.

    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 mention this to point out that OSBN helped to stop this large hive from swarming and produced a honey crop without having spare drawn comb.


    You can put an inner cover inbetween the two boxes if worried about cold weather. As long as the bees can get to the frames in the top box during the day. They often empty them out.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    879

    Default Re: Managing spring build up

    Matt,

    Good to see you back on the board with good advise. Right now I can only dream about white "Dutch clover" and "OSBN".

    P1120977.jpg
    Cheers,
    Steve

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Wharton, Texas, USA
    Posts
    271

    Default

    Well I’ve heard of the method but never seen any kind of detailed write up like that thanks! I’ve got my hives in a 800 acre pasture of this stuff we call it white Dutch
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    4,997

    Default Re: Managing spring build up

    I hope you call it that because that is what it is.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Sisters, Oregon
    Posts
    213

    Default Re: Managing spring build up

    Matt so glad you're here. I'm such a fan girl. Printed out your stuff and will be needing to head off the boomers who want to take over the world. Will need my A game.
    I'm smart but at the end of the day I'm still the help.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Catskills, Delaware Cty, New York, USA
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    2,036

    Default Re: Managing spring build up

    Quote Originally Posted by amk View Post
    Well I’ve heard of the method but never seen any kind of detailed write up like that thanks! I’ve got my hives in a 800 acre pasture of this stuff we call it white Dutch
    What color is the honey? Deb
    Proverbs 16:24

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    Victoria, Australia
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    Default Re: Managing spring build up

    Thanks for your kind words.
    As a backyard beekeeper I've tried various methods since I started beekeeping round 30 years ago. But since having developed OSBN over the last several years have found it to work the best for me.

    I have tried to make the descriptions so that they can be applied in various climates. I hope that more beekeepers try it out and report their results.

    @AMK
    With the amount of capped brood in your photos you will need to take action within the next few days.
    I'm assuming with that the hive is at least 90% full of bees.
    1 frame of capped brood like that will when they emerge be 3 frames of bees!
    You need to give them room before then, otherwise they will start feeling crowded and start swarm preparations.

    If you can take photos and report back on the progress that would be fantastic.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Salisbury, NC, USA
    Posts
    179

    Default Re: Managing spring build up

    Quote Originally Posted by MattDavey View Post
    Thanks for your kind words.
    As a backyard beekeeper I've tried various methods since I started beekeeping round 30 years ago. But since having developed OSBN over the last several years have found it to work the best for me.

    I have tried to make the descriptions so that they can be applied in various climates. I hope that more beekeepers try it out and report their results.
    Matt. I used the OSBN last year for the first time. I had no swarms in my 3 hives and made a lot of honey. I will be doing it again this spring as the bees build. I'm actually going to try a couple single deeps and super them with queen excluders and see if OSBN will keep them in check. I will pull brood and bees if needed to prevent swarming. I will also be using full sheets of foundation in lieu of partial sheets to see if it works as well and cuts down on the drone comb.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Seattle WA
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    1,247

    Default Re: Managing spring build up

    Jason, I can tell you that full sheets do not work at all. As best as I can figure, in the spring the bees see the undrawn foundation as a wall, not something to be building on. That is an issue second year beeks have struggled with for years. The empty space next to the brood nest clearly lets the bees know they need to start building to fill in the gap. They really do not like empty space. The bees want and need drones in the spring and trying to stop them from building it rarely works. Once the major drone rearing period ends you can cut out the drone comb and they will build mostly worker size cells.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    West Bath, Maine, United States
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    2,741

    Default Re: Managing spring build up

    The willingness of bees to move onto the next frame varies a lot to my observations. As much the bee as the conditions. Moving the foundation one frame in with one at least partially draw outside helps, as does a hole cut in the foundation. Or maybe not.

    I do not find it a problem to drop foundation into the nest itself provided you have the bees to cover. Blasphemy to some.
    It is hard to design a safety net that some will not use as a hammock.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Salisbury, NC, USA
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    179

    Default Re: Managing spring build up

    Quote Originally Posted by dudelt View Post
    Jason, I can tell you that full sheets do not work at all. As best as I can figure, in the spring the bees see the undrawn foundation as a wall, not something to be building on. That is an issue second year beeks have struggled with for years. The empty space next to the brood nest clearly lets the bees know they need to start building to fill in the gap. They really do not like empty space. The bees want and need drones in the spring and trying to stop them from building it rarely works. Once the major drone rearing period ends you can cut out the drone comb and they will build mostly worker size cells.
    Thanks for the reply. I will keep that in mind. I have cut out the drone cells from the half sheets from last year and will add them the first time I add frames to the side.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
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    Wharton, Texas, USA
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    271

    Default

    @Deb I’m guessing it’s light colored ive never extracted it I hear it crystallizes fast and I’ve just always used it to build up bees for splits

    @matt I’ll have more pictures this weekend all 40 of my hives look like that with several frames in each. Hopefully I can get to them before they swarm luckily it’s been 50s and rainy all week. They had such a good fall on the golden rod and broom weed they had a lot to build from.

  15. #14
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    Dec 2011
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    Victoria, Australia
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    Default Re: Managing spring build up

    Quote Originally Posted by amk View Post
    @matt I’ll have more pictures this weekend all 40 of my hives look like that with several frames in each. Hopefully I can get to them before they swarm luckily it’s been 50s and rainy all week. They had such a good fall on the golden rod and broom weed they had a lot to build from.
    Wow that's more hives than I thought. Even with the rain they will still be growing in population as the capped brood emerges. Sounds like you will have a busy weekend ahead. Have fun!

    With frames of partial foundation consider the following:

    @dudelt
    I have found that some hives will draw out full sheets foundation in the initial stage, but I think it depends on the amount of nectar coming in. Also, if you move up a couple of honey frames and decap that honey, they start emptying out those frames and it simulates a flow.
    But as you said, other hives may only draw out a small patch of foundation and then completely ignore it, treating it like an obstacle.

    I believe that partial foundation causes the night time cluster to experience the empty space around the outside of the Broodnest. They have to cling onto each other and store nectar/honey in their stomach. So this is like they are in a swarm cluster and it helps to stimulate wax production and build comb. But it takes a few days for this to happen and they may chew wax from other places in the hive to build comb. So the hole needs to be big enough to get past that and for wax making to start happening.

    @JasonA
    So it may be possible to still stimulate wax production but have less drone comb, for example by cutting smaller triangles off the bottom corners of a full sheet of foundation. As long as the night time cluster experiences the empty space. I prefer to go for the corners so that the majority of the middle area of the frame is worker comb. Maybe something to experiment with.

    @Saltybee
    I don't have a problem with inserting a frame inside the Broodnest later on in the season when temperatures are warmer and more stable. But here in early spring the temperatures can be very variable and have sudden temperature drops. So I don't want to force the bees to have to heat a larger area than they are used to. The result can be chilled brood.
    Last edited by MattDavey; 02-13-2020 at 05:27 AM.

  16. #15
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    Default Re: Managing spring build up

    It would also be worth marking the frames of Partial Foundation so that you can easily identify them later.

    If you don't want these frames with some amount of drone comb left in the Brood Box you can then easily move them out later. These frames can also be used in Splits for stores or as bait frames in a Swarm Trap.

    I haven't got photos of how the Partial Foundation cut in a wedge shape was drawn (as those frames were drawn out with mostly worker comb). But here is an older photo of one that was a 1/3 or 1/4 horizontal strip of foundation. It was later on in the season. Notice the drone comb around the bottom edges.


  17. #16
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Nacogdoches, TX, USA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MattDavey View Post
    It would also be worth marking the frames of Partial Foundation so that you can easily identify them later.

    If you don't want these frames with some amount of drone comb left in the Brood Box you can then easily move them out later. These frames can also be used in Splits for stores or as bait frames in a Swarm Trap.

    I haven't got photos of how the Partial Foundation cut in a wedge shape was drawn (as those frames were drawn out with mostly worker comb). But here is an older photo of one that was a 1/3 or 1/4 horizontal strip of foundation. It was later on in the season. Notice the drone comb around the bottom edges.

    Great stuff in this whole thread. I’m going to try this next week, and I was just going to plop on foundation, but I will follow advise and cut some of the plastic foundation out.

    Question - when I go to cut out the plastic foundation, do you cut out all four corners? Also, how big are the chunks of plastic foundation that you cut out? I’m dealing with deep frames.

    Many thanks,
    Ryan

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    West Bath, Maine, United States
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    Default Re: Managing spring build up

    If the trigger is feeling the cold, would not a 3 inch hole saw in the middle work?
    It is hard to design a safety net that some will not use as a hammock.

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
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    Aylett, Virginia
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    Default Re: Managing spring build up

    Saltybee, even with a communication hole cut in the center of the foundation, you will have still split the cluster. Here in VA, I will do OSBN until the nights stay above 60F. At that point I have no problem dropping an undrawn frame smack in the middle of the broodnest. Only takes a few days to get it drawn.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    West Bath, Maine, United States
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    Default Re: Managing spring build up

    Agree early cold and warm are two different games. As MD indicates he does a triangle early and full sheets later. Center hole instead of triangle was my thought. Earlier switch to worker brood. It would appear to me that a centered hole would give the cluster as much exposer to the cold as a larger opening away from the cluster with a triangle. Speculation only, tried not at all.
    Last edited by Saltybee; 02-15-2020 at 03:29 PM.
    It is hard to design a safety net that some will not use as a hammock.

  21. #20
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    Default Re: Managing spring build up

    Wont the bees seal up a hole drilled in the center plastic foundation?
    Proverbs 16:24

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