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A beekeeper told me about checkerboarding the brood nest. have any of you done this if so what was the result and how early in the year can this bee done.
 

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I checkerboard my hives every spring as soon as temperature become warmer and stabilize.It is a great way to rotate out old brood comb.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Do you put in an empty frame every other brood frame or every second how exactly is this done right now the weather here ranges from 70 daytime to freezing at night is this to early yet
 

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I don't do a full checkerboard of the brood nest all at once. When the bottom box is plum full of bees with a lot of capped brood I take two or three frames out of the brood nest and put them in the top box in the center. In their place I drop empty frames. But not two together, separated by drawn comb. The bees will have them drawn in a week or less. When their drawn I move a couple more up and drop a couple emptys between some top frames also.

I keep doing this until the top box is full.
 

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Checker boarding is a particular method aimed at reducing or eliminating swarming. It does not involve the brood nest. What you are talking about is referred to as opening the brood nest. Quite a bit of information in other threads on both topics.
 

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Thank you! I started reading this site a few months ago and lost the link. I was bummed because I only got to read a few of the articles that I wanted to read (which is all of them). I looked for the site everywhere but couldn't remember the name of it.

Thanks for the great site!
I am going to go read now
 

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It would take a REALLY strong hive to handle every other frame in the brood nest being empty. "Checkerboarding" is usually referring to something you do ABOVE the brood nest. If you want to put empty frames in the brood nest be careful that the bees can fill the gap you are creating quickly with festooning bees.
 

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Sets them back, they stop laying, move to one side or the other and shrink the brood nest. Little is good, little too much or a change in the weather, bad. Safer too add empties on the edge rather than in the nest.
 

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To give you a non answer that is the truth; Depends; 6 or 7 frames, with a lot of capped brood, ten day forecast in 60s? I might put on an undrawn hive, more likely under than over but it feels like March here so maybe that is part of it.
Would not hesitate to only pull a frame or 2 from just out side nest and store for later, letting them draw out frames to use in the 2nd top box later. My June, it would be 2 capped brood up and 2 empties down on the sides of nest with the core left alone.

Saying a lot of bees in a single is kind of like saying "We do sell small drinks, only large and extra large." Means different things to different people. When in doubt, do less.
 

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>And if they're not really strong, what happens? They die, just take a while to recover, leave, etc?

If they get lucky with the weather, maybe they will keep the brood alive. If they are less lucky they will get chalkbrood. Even less lucky and a lot of brood will die (maybe luckier than the chalkbrood? easier to clean out).

Most healthy hives can take an empty frame in the brood nest in stride. A really strong hive can take three or four per box of brood.
 
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