I am starting to make my fall/winter to-do list and was wondering about something concerning my hive. My top deep is plastic foundation, while my bottom is bees wax. Should I move 1 or 2 frames of bees wax up to the top box?
If you're saying they haven't drawn any wax in you're second deep yet, I'd say move one brood frame from the middle up. They need to get that wax drawn.
You might need to feed also, if that is the case.
Sorry about that, I guess I should have givin a little more info.
Top deep is full of honey with some brood on the lower part of some frames. Bottom deep is basicly where the main brood chamber is, with some honey/pollen. My concern was the bees would not be able to go through the plastic foundation if they wanted to when they form there winter cluster. Why I was thinking of moving some frames of bees wax up into the top deep. This is my first attempt at bee keeping.
George Imirie told me one time after I told him about manipulating frames around this time of year thinking I knew better than the bees how their nest should be arranged, "just leave them alone, they know what they are doing"! Since George's passing my wife now reminds me frequently....
I too have thought about this issue. It seems to me that if the bees are stuck in their cluster and can't move up and over to reach the other side of the honey frame why wouldn't they just chew through? It only makes sense, wouldn't it be easier to go 1mm than 5-8 inches? Especially if your in a do or die situation. Thanks for bringing up the issue! I have asked this question to some very prominent beekeepers in my area. They either didn't understand my question or thought it was a stupid question because they didn't really give me an answer. It seems that a beekeeper with foundationless would overwinter better than one that uses plastic foundation. However, sometimes ideas that make perfect sense don't pan out in the bee world.:s
That was my thought exactly, as the bees move up the hive they will be mainly in the upper deep at the height/end of winter. And with the foundation being plastic would bee unable to chew through it if they needed to. Maybe I'm over thinking this a little to much. :scratch:
>That was my thought exactly, as the bees move up the hive they will be mainly in the upper deep at the height/end of winter. And with the foundation being plastic would bee unable to chew through it if they needed to.
They never chew through the foundation, wax or plastic, over winter, that I have seen. Langsroth used to recommend drilling a hole through the entire hive and all the combs for this purpose. I've never tried that. With mediums that doesn't seem to be an issue. With deeps they do sometimes get caught after a warmer spell when the cluster contracts and they are on the other side of a deep, but all in all it's not that big of an issue and having wax instead of plastic will neither help nor hurt the issue.
I use all plastic frames and have never had a problem with bees overwintering on them. The clusters should be large enough to cover more then one frame, allowing them to move between frames, left, right, and up and down. If your cluster covers only one frame, especially this time of year, they probably won't be alive come spring.
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