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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What happens if you put the 2nd brood box on before most of the frames of the first brood box are built out?
 

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They could move into it and start building comb in the top before the finish out the base box. I would wait (assuming 10 frame) until you have 8-8 1/2 frames built out before you add the second box and them switch frame 1 and 10 (outers) with 2 and 8 when you add the second box. Usually the out frames are storage for the girls and you'll need them built out come winter. At that point put on the second box. Something to keep in mind is once you add the second box, thing move much quicker as the population grows, forage and the weather improves so keep an eye on them. If conditions are right as they are in the spring, they'll build out the second deep much quicker and if your not ready to super, you could have an irreversible swarm started. At the second box, start some frame manipulation as they build out. The best way to avoid swarming is to keep them thinking they have plenty of room
 

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Nothing. If "most" of the frames are built out then they'll continue on as normal. This is probably when you WANT to put the 2nd box on.
 

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I think that Iris asked "before most of the frames were built out". Not sure what goes on up in Canada but at least down here on the east coast of the States, if you get too far ahead of the bees, they can't cover the hive properly and your then open to wax moths and hive beetles and other nasties. You want to have a health population and good wax building going on, expand with the hive, bee one with the hive ;-). Of course all beekeeping is local and Iris doesn't have her location on her Avatar other than the US.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I am in northeast pa in the pocono mtns. Going to do a check on Thursday. Last week when we checked, they only just started on 1 of the 5 remaining. These were nucs. We have a 10 frame hive.
Temps are better now and more things are starting to bloom. Checked the feeding boxes and they are now empty. So I will remove them on Thurs. Any other advice you have? Thanks so much.
 

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I think that Iris asked "before most of the frames were built out". Not sure what goes on up in Canada but at least down here on the east coast of the States, if you get too far ahead of the bees, they can't cover the hive properly and your then open to wax moths and hive beetles and other nasties. You want to have a health population and good wax building going on, expand with the hive, bee one with the hive ;-). Of course all beekeeping is local and Iris doesn't have her location on her Avatar other than the US.
Oops, my bad but good point, up here we don't really worry about hive beetles or wax moths, though I have seen some moth larvae on occasion. But yes, agreed, if they HAVEN'T built out most of the frames then don't add more boxes. I usually let them get about 70-80% before I think about putting another box on.
 

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It seems now a days every nuc and packages come readily stocked with both hive beetles and moth eggs/larvae. Most packages come from the south or west coast so they can be infected. It's always best to buy local bees that have ben wintered over whenever possible. It seems there are plenty of local guys where ever you are but those southern bees come in early and eclipse local guys due to fears that if people wait, they won't get bees.

I'm actually going to Wilkes Barre tomorrow to pick up an order at Mann Lake-full pallet of medium supers. That's the next step-do you have enough wooden ware? We're slightly warmer down here than where you are, (100 miles southeast) a couple weeks ahead weather-wise, my this spring nucs are all double deeps now and we'll probably be supering next week. My hives from last Spring have been split and are building quickly into doubles. The weather has warmed, the rains generous and the flow is on and getting stronger. Many of those hives from last year went to as many as 5 supers by mid July and a second harvest of 2 supers in the fall after the goldenrod. All of hives went into winter heavy and for the most part didn't even touch the feeding supplements. I'm not sure of your yields up in the Poconos but its easier to have extra than not enough. Prepare for Varroa and winter. I think it was Michael Palmer who said when asked in this Forum when do bees start preparing for the next winter, (to paraphrase) his answer was on Christmas Day. Bee like a bee, bee prepared.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
We got our nucs from Better Bee in NY. They were overwintered. More expensive, but wanted them to have the best chance of survival. We did find a couple of small hive beetle larvae on our mite trap drawer of 1 hive.
We bought formic acid pads to treat for mites. Planning on treating prophylacticly, should we do this before adding the honey supers?
Ty
 

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We bought formic acid pads to treat for mites. Planning on treating prophylacticly, should we do this before adding the honey supers?
FA is fine with a super, in fact NOD suggests having an extra box for at least the first three days. What you need to be more concerned about is your temperature window- you don't want temps over 85, especially for the first three days. I shoot for a time when I know the temp will not get over 80.

Preferably, I like the temps to be between 50 and 70.
 

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I'm gonna jump in again on this again. I love Formic Pads, great product that I use if and when necessary HOWEVER, not something I'd use on a new colony in a single box. On a new box, if your breeder didn't, a couple of Apivar strips is all you need-95% effective and you can leave them in until two weeks before you add honey supers. Typically, that will control the mite issue for the first month or so afterwards. Formic is something I consider the nuclear option. It is very strong when used as directed and needs certain conditions to be effective including temperature (I think for the first few days). In an established colony, it will most likely impact the queen, potentially killing her (that has not happened to me) but even as important with a young queen, shut down her egg laying for a week or more. Not exactly what you need early growing out your colonies. Even your own exposure to formic vapors, face mask (preferably full face) with organic vapor cartridges, heavy latex 9mm gloves, long sleeve shirts etc. If you ever get a wiff, your lungs will not be happy nor will your eyes-serious stuff for serious needs. I'm not a fan of chemicals like Apivar due to mites building a resistance (eventually rendering it useless) but one and done is ok, especially early on. Look into Oxidic Acid (OAV) as a maintenance tool. Finally, if you saw 1 hive beetle, you have more. Don't sweat them though, focus on the colonies' growth and the bees should control them where you are.

I was just up there near you at Mann Lake this am-yes, you're a couple weeks behind us in blooming-you have plenty of time.
 

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Formic is something I consider the nuclear option. It is very strong when used as directed and needs certain conditions to be effective including temperature (I think for the first few days). In an established colony, it will most likely impact the queen, potentially killing her (that has not happened to me) but even as important with a young queen, shut down her egg laying for a week or more.
I keep hearing/seeing this, but it has not been true for me.

I put it in cold/frozen, perhaps a little further away than shown in the picture in the directions (closer to the outboard edges of the box), and generally when the ambient air temperature is on the cool side. I get no issues doing it this way.

Even your own exposure to formic vapors, face mask (preferably full face) with organic vapor cartridges, heavy latex 9mm gloves, long sleeve shirts etc. If you ever get a wiff, your lungs will not be happy nor will your eyes-serious stuff for serious needs.
Full face with vapor cartridges is overkill, and not necessary. Just don't stick it under your nose and take a sniff. I don't bother with anything other than my usual bee gloves (goatskin). No issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm gonna jump in again on this again. I love Formic Pads, great product that I use if and when necessary HOWEVER, not something I'd use on a new colony in a single box. On a new box, if your breeder didn't, a couple of Apivar strips is all you need-95% effective and you can leave them in until two weeks before you add honey supers. Typically, that will control the mite issue for the first month or so afterwards. Formic is something I consider the nuclear option. It is very strong when used as directed and needs certain conditions to be effective including temperature (I think for the first few days). In an established colony, it will most likely impact the queen, potentially killing her (that has not happened to me) but even as important with a young queen, shut down her egg laying for a week or more. Not exactly what you need early growing out your colonies. Even your own exposure to formic vapors, face mask (preferably full face) with organic vapor cartridges, heavy latex 9mm gloves, long sleeve shirts etc. If you ever get a wiff, your lungs will not be happy nor will your eyes-serious stuff for serious needs. I'm not a fan of chemicals like Apivar due to mites building a resistance (eventually rendering it useless) but one and done is ok, especially early on. Look into Oxidic Acid (OAV) as a maintenance tool. Finally, if you saw 1 hive beetle, you have more. Don't sweat them though, focus on the colonies' growth and the bees should control them where you are.

I was just up there near you at Mann Lake this am-yes, you're a couple weeks behind us in blooming-you have plenty of time.
Thanks for that Larry. Took feeding boxes off and found this. Will they leave it and go back into hive or must we intervene? Ty
63316
 

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How many frames are built out at this time? I am going to assume (forgive my memory-I've got a full plate-today was equalizing hives in the various yards) you're starting to see a build out on the bottom deep, so keep feeding. Bees will be bees and will build comb wherever they can-leave it, they'll just waste resources rebuilding, keep feeding. Now, lets talk about manipulation. Depending on the number of frames that are built out, you want to start shifting frames around-manipulation-keeps the girls occupied. Once they have expanded out (think of the frames as number 1 thru 10) of the initial 5 frames (assuming 3, 4 ,5, 6 and 7 with 1, 2, 8, 9 and 10 were bare foundation) and have gotten comb on, as a minimum, say 2, 8 and part of 9, you want to take the unbuilt frames 1 and 10 and slide them into the 2 and 8 position with the current 2 and 8 slid towards the outside. This will encourage comb building on the bare frames that are now in between built out frames-manipulation. You might want to do this on paper with bars numbers-I'm not the best at explaining this in writing. Keep feeding.

In order to build comb, the basic answer is you need 3 things-population, food/flow and temperature. Since I was up your way yesterday in Wilkes Bare (guess where) I did see that a the higher elevations, it was still early spring. I'm also looking at the 10 day forecast on my iPhone and it looks like cold temps-50's and low 40's at night and rain-cold rain, I'd assume at elevation you'll be even colder. This is another reason we don't want to add the second box yet-more for a starting colony to heat which is a unnecessary waste their energy. Keep feeding until you on the second box, leave the burr comb-not worth removing and when you pull the feeders, use smoke to get any stragglers out them leave the feeder off, leaning against landing board, any nurse bee/non-yet-flyers will walk back into the hive in a few hours.

Edit note for clarification: The girls will congregate in the feeder channel and build comb, just leave them and they'll go back down into the brood boxes when it get cold.
 

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What happens if you put the 2nd brood box on before most of the frames of the first brood box are built out?
Bad things happen, don't do it. See how we're getting cold weather? Bad advice would have been to add a 2nd deep. Hope you didn't take that advice.
 

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We got our nucs from Better Bee in NY. They were overwintered. More expensive, but wanted them to have the best chance of survival. We did find a couple of small hive beetle larvae on our mite trap drawer of 1 hive.
We bought formic acid pads to treat for mites. Planning on treating prophylacticly, should we do this before adding the honey supers?
Ty
Formic acid kills queens, so keep in mind that your colony may supercede and any hopes for honey will be gone.

Do a mite check if you're worried about mites, treating with the dangerous formic acid prophylactically is a horrible idea.
 
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