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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't know if this is known already or not, but I think that comb from the year before is a trigger to swarm for old queens. Freshly mated queens take to old or not freshly drawn comb just fine but old queens will not lay in it, or will very little. I read about Asian honeybees not laying in re-used comb and now I think that our European or Western honeybee has the same thing.

So, for old queens you will want to let their colony start from scratch or almost so, like they would in swarming naturally.

I think that honey bound and pollen bound condition comes from having an old queen with old comb.

Actually old queens do lay in old comb just fine, too, during Spring build-up but some time after building up the old queen stops laying so well in non-fresh comb.

I have done opening up the brood nest as a swarm control method by placing empty foundation-less frames in between brood frames. It worked well to control swarming. But it took a lot of my time and labor. So I was hoping for better methods to control swarming without having to put so much time into each colony, opening up the brood nest. I think that one reason that opening up the brood nest works is that it gets freshly drawn comb into the brood chamber for the old queen to lay eggs in.

I have had colonies this year with old queens that would slow down egg laying and become almost as if the colony was sick or had a bad queen, but then I took a little split out of each of these colonies and replaced the space with empty foundation-less frames (like in opening up the brood nest method). They drew out fresh comb and the queens laid beautiful compact brood in the new frames of comb, yet still all the rest of the comb in the colony was patchy in brood pattern and filled with bee bread.


Horizontal top bar hives would be easier for looking for the queen. Frames get glued to the rabbeted frame rests and lifting the top boxes off is bad for the back. Also, the top bars have a good handle on each end of the bar while frames do not.

My father recently has made these "blue belly hives" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=srdbdTkRNVY) for me and I actually see some potential in them. The combs on the top bars are so wide that I may not have to lift out the top-bar to look for the queen. I have a good view just looking into the hive and sliding aside each top-bar of comb that I have checked for the queen.

Sincerely,
Nathaniel Long IV
 

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I am not seeing this in my hives. Queens are laying fine in old comb. I do have one hives that is extra zealous about collecting pollen and tries to put it in every nook and cranny and don't leave much room for the queen to lay. Perhaps it's your bees' genetics.
 

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Nadiring often leads to swarming
you see it all the time in warres, they don't build into the 3rd box and swarm.
same reason reversing brood chambers is done for swarm control
 

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Watch this (jump to 2:30) - 10-frame Dadant box swapping (pretty much the same as Nadiring).
I don't want to even think of an equipment failure OR the operator mistake.
Not to mention the need for a solid piece of machinery purchased or made (neither option is cheap or trivial).

The operator calls this a "lazy method".
I call this "trouble waiting to happen method".
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1_KIQDQjl8

Anyways, there are basic safety issues that a reasonable person should just avoid.
These should always tramp secondary beekeeping minutia like "swarm control".
 

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Fillmore is great, their shipping can be a bit much sometimes, buying in semi large quantities seems to be the best way to go with them
 

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I tried checkerboarding this year on a couple of my hives. This entailed adding a third deep on to my 2 brood boxes. I will say that they produced a lot of honey this way and did not swarm. I wouldn't recommend this for anyone with a bad back or weak arms. Lifting a deep full of honey can be a killer. Here is a video that I used as a guide (thanks to JWPalmer):

http://www.bkcorner.org/spring-management-swarm-prevention/
 

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I tried checkerboarding this year on a couple of my hives. This entailed adding a third deep on to my 2 brood boxes. I will say that they produced a lot of honey this way and did not swarm. I wouldn't recommend this for anyone with a bad back or weak arms. Lifting a deep full of honey can be a killer. Here is a video that I used as a guide (thanks to JWPalmer):

http://www.bkcorner.org/spring-management-swarm-prevention/
Good video, thanks!
Lee
 

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I tried checkerboarding this year on a couple of my hives. This entailed adding a third deep on to my 2 brood boxes. I will say that they produced a lot of honey this way and did not swarm. I wouldn't recommend this for anyone with a bad back or weak arms. Lifting a deep full of honey can be a killer. Here is a video that I used as a guide (thanks to JWPalmer):

http://www.bkcorner.org/spring-management-swarm-prevention/
interresting . I am going to try the 3 deep set up this spring on a couple of my 2 deep overwinter hives.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I am not seeing this in my hives. Queens are laying fine in old comb. I do have one hives that is extra zealous about collecting pollen and tries to put it in every nook and cranny and don't leave much room for the queen to lay. Perhaps it's your bees' genetics.
Okay. My old queens reuse comb fine in the summer dearth season when feeding sugar syrup, the same in Spring build-up. But, it was around after the earlier Spring build-up that the old queens would stop laying healthily in old comb, but would do wonderfully when placed in new comb. Are the colonies with old queens you have doing well laying in old comb from during the nectar flow season, or is it from sugar syrup feeding? Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Nadiring might be good for the bees, but it sounds like a recipe for developing a bad back. But - the equivalent is as easy as pi to do with a horizontal hive. :)
LJ
Yes, little_john, you are right... It is going to hurt my back if I nadir often. I was thinking of making a hive lift to be possible for me to nadir on a regular basis.
 

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Yes, little_john, you are right... It is going to hurt my back if I nadir often. I was thinking of making a hive lift to be possible for me to nadir on a regular basis.
If you're dead set on doing this, then the various Warre sites on The Web have quite a few hive lift designs to choose from. Also there's a number of YouTube videos showing various lifts - some being much better than others. Good luck with that.
LJ
 

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Okay. My old queens reuse comb fine in the summer dearth season when feeding sugar syrup, the same in Spring build-up. But, it was around after the earlier Spring build-up that the old queens would stop laying healthily in old comb, but would do wonderfully when placed in new comb. Are the colonies with old queens you have doing well laying in old comb from during the nectar flow season, or is it from sugar syrup feeding? Thanks.
They don't start slowing down until the late fall. We don't have a dearth here so that may have something to do with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
If you're dead set on doing this, then the various Warre sites on The Web have quite a few hive lift designs to choose from. Also there's a number of YouTube videos showing various lifts - some being much better than others. Good luck with that.
LJ
Thank you. I will look up videos on YouTube about hive lifts.

They don't start slowing down until the late fall. We don't have a dearth here so that may have something to do with it.
That is interesting that you do not have a dearth in Summer.
 

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Thank you. I will look up videos on YouTube about hive lifts.



That is interesting that you do not have a dearth in Summer.
There always seems to be something in bloom here, one after the other. Right now we have a lot of knapweed, elderberry, Virginia creeper, dutch clover and thistles. That will be replaced by the start of goldenrod into the fall.
 
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