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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello for everyone!

Im new beekeeper from Finland trying to find the best way for me... I have question about checker boarding with top entrance. I have read all the artiles by walt wright about topic and as I understund its written for point of view of having bottom entrance? If I have only upper entrance, without bottom entrnce, will the bees still put nectar right above brood or do they leave it near entrance?

I have another question also related to checker boarding. As im new beekeeper I dont have any comb build so I have to start fully with foundations. Have you any suggestions how to deal with this? How do I manage CB with only foundations???

Same time I want to regress my bees on small cell foundation so I guess I have to move every now and then few brood frames up and put SC foundation in? How many foundations I can put inside brood nest without damaging hive development?

How would you deal in my situation?

Its still snowing here, I guess after three weeks we start to get first pollen to get it going!

Thank you very much and hope my questions are clear even englist is not my native language.

Ys. Tomi from north
 

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I have regularly checkerboarded with both top and bottom entrances and it seems to work. Even with just a top entrance, the bees would still organize the hive the same way with honey above the brood.
Another method for preventing swarms is to place a frame with foundation or partial foundation directly into the broodnest. There has been good discussion on here about whether it should be placed in the center or on the edge of the broodnest.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ok that clears a bit. So you sugges to open brood nest with foundation or maybe half? Besides that can i checkerbord with foundation or will it happen that they just fatten the existing honey comb and ignore foundation?
 

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There is always some confusion on the terminology. I would hardly ever consider "checkerboarding" a brood nest (as in every other frame is either empty comb, foundation or empty frames). I DO open the brood nest with one or two frames in the brood nest in a typical hive and maybe three or four in a booming hive and maybe none in a less than average hive. But real checkerboarding is done ABOVE the brood nest and is alternating honey and drawn comb. It is also done very early.
 

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Ok that clears a bit. So you sugges to open brood nest with foundation or maybe half? Besides that can i checkerbord with foundation or will it happen that they just fatten the existing honey comb and ignore foundation?
Checkerboarding is opening the honey barrier above the brood chamber with alternating frames of honey and empty frames. Timing is important and I know nothing of your condition in Findand.

Checkerboarding should be done with empty drawn comb and not foundation. As a beginner, if you don't have empty comb, you might be able to take 2 empty combs from the side edges of the bottom to use to checkerboard above the brood nest. Take out a comb on each side, slide the other combs to the outside and put combs with foundation in the center or edge of the brood nest. If the temperature is cold and the hive is not very strong, it may not be a good idea to place foundation in the center because you will seperate parts of the brood and the bees may not be able to cover it to keep it warm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok. I get it. I was reading some treads about opening sides of broodnest. I wintered all the bees with on deep, so in my situation i can take two honey/pollen frames from sides and put them to new empty super on top of brood. New super is then full of foundations exept two frames from brood box. And i should put foundation in between of these two?

As i understand thy build foundationless better than foundation, but at the same time i want to regress bees, so do you suges adding only partial foundations like half or 2/3 foundtion instead of full?
 

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Here's the steps I use for "Opening the Sides":


Steps:


1. Several weeks before swarm season, move each outermost frame up into a new box and alternate them with new frames, directly above the Broodnest.

2. Insert a new frame on each outside edge of the Broodnest. (So that a Brood frame is only on one side of the new frame.)

3. Check them in 2-3 weeks and repeat if comb in the frames has been mostly drawn.


When to "Open the Sides"


1. Temperatures having reached 15°C/60°F recently and a good weather forecast for the next week, with a few warm days of 13°C/55°F or over in the forecast.

2. When Drone brood is being raised.

3. When you see a large number of young bees starting to do orientation flights in the afternoons. (Think - wax makers!)

4. When a good deal of pollen is being brought in.

5. Start to Open the Sides at least 4 weeks or more before your typical swarm season.


Note:

New frames only have a starter strip of foundation as a comb guide. I glue this into the groove in the top bar. Do not use a full sheet of foundation, as it may be ignored. I use a 1" wide starter strip of foundation and would suggest that no more than a half a sheet of foundation should be used to trigger wax production (as the cluster needs to experience a large enough hole to cause them to build more comb).

I have been putting a new frame in-between the first two drawn frames that are moved up into the new box, but you could just put them together as well.

If you have a short spring build up before swarm season, you may need to check once a week instead, as you want them to continue to build more comb through the swarm season.

I have both Top and Bottom entrances on my hives.


Also see:

http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...-the-Broodnest

http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...-the-Broodnest
 
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