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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So, I've got two hives that I established on the 22nd of April. Both seem to be doing well and are bring in lots of pollen right now. BUT I need clarification on a few things, please.

1) It's been colder and windy here for the past couple of days. I have SBB for both hives and slid the mite count boards back in to help it stay a little warmer in the hives. Is this ok or a waste of time?

2) I've had, for one reason or another(i.e. to change out syrup baggies) to go into the hives about every 4 days. I haven't wanted to do this but felt it was necessary for checking on queen releases or seeing how much comb has been drawn out. Last Thurs was the first time I've pulled any frames though. As of Thurs, each hive had 5.5-6 frames fully drawn. Tomorrow will be sunny and warmer but after that, it's going to rain for 5 days. Should I go back in tomorrow and plan on adding a box?

3) Is it normal for just the center two frames in each box to contain brood in a 10 frame medium?

4) Finally, is it uncommon for there to be much darker bees within a hive? I'm seeing some that seem to belong but are much darker.

Thanks for the input.

Cameron
 

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Throttlebender! Lol thats a different sort of name!
If you only have a couple of frames of brood in each box it dosn't sound like it needs another box.
Have you got plenty of bees on most of the frames? If you have heaps of bees then it's probably ok but I wouldn't rush it.

It wont do your bees any harm to have the slide in.

The bees can change colour and temperament depending on which of the drones semen she is currently using to fertilise her eggs.

kiwi
 

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I keep the SBB open Unless its way down in the teens or way below zero. I keep it open.Bees can handle the cold it Moister is what they can't handle it.

You should wait a week longer it won't hurt them to wait.
how many brood boxes do you right now?
If you just have one and they are in the center thats fine if you have two and they are in the center they are chimney up and not speading out. I never add a nother deep till 8 out the 10 frames are drawn out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Throttlebender! Lol thats a different sort of name!
If you only have a couple of frames of brood in each box it dosn't sound like it needs another box.
Have you got plenty of bees on most of the frames? If you have heaps of bees then it's probably ok but I wouldn't rush it.

It wont do your bees any harm to have the slide in.

The bees can change colour and temperament depending on which of the drones semen she is currently using to fertilise her eggs.

kiwi
Hey Kiwi, thanks for the reply. And Throttlebender is my screen name because I'm a pilot and like to go fast:D

Ok, I thought that adding another box was based upon the number of frames that were drawn out and not on how wiedspread the brood area is. When I checked them 4 days ago there were enough bees to completely cover 6 frames.

The color/temperment issue makes complete sense. I'm a little embarrassed that I didn't work that one out for myself:doh:
 

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Just use the rule of thumb 10 frames have 8 drawn out 8 frames have six drawn out and it will be ok. The most important thing to remember is we only think we keep bees Bees just rent a home from us. Your doing fine keep enjoying the hobby.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I keep the SBB open Unless its way down in the teens or way below zero. I keep it open.Bees can handle the cold it Moister is what they can't handle it.

You should wait a week longer it won't hurt them to wait.
how many brood boxes do you right now?
If you just have one and they are in the center thats fine if you have two and they are in the center they are chimney up and not speading out. I never add a nother deep till 8 out the 10 frames are drawn out.
I have been reluctant to go back in to see how much more they have drawn out because I was just in there 4 days ago. But I don't know yet how long it takes them to draw out frames when they are bringing in a lot of pollen.

And to answer your question, I only have one 10 frame medium hive body on right now, and from what I could tell, only the center two frames were being used for brood so far.
 

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Lol a pilot was not what I imagined when I read your name I had you on a big black Harley with long flowing beard and hair!!! :eek:
kiwi
 

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If they have drawn 8 frames then add another chamber or else you risk starting a "swarm mode" :)

Opinion:
You said the bees covered 6 frames? 2 Frames out of 6 I wouldn't worry. Sounds good.
I have heard of some new lkeepers going in every day. If they will put up with that I don't see 4 days harming them. Supposed to be every 7 but I have shortened it many times especially if I'm trying to figure something out. Also left them for much longer.

Mike
 

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I think with a new hive and only having 2 frames of brood you wont have any swarming for a while.
If you are building out new foundation I would wait untill all frames are drawn and you have a good amount of bees on at least 8 frames. once you get brood hatching it wont take long to get to a good strength to add another box.
kiwi
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
If they have drawn 8 frames then add another chamber or else you risk starting a "swarm mode" :)

Opinion:
You said the bees covered 6 frames? 2 Frames out of 6 I wouldn't worry. Sounds good.
I have heard of some new lkeepers going in every day. If they will put up with that I don't see 4 days harming them. Supposed to be every 7 but I have shortened it many times especially if I'm trying to figure something out. Also left them for much longer.

Mike
Thanks Mike. That's truly my biggest concern....trying to balance my desire to learn and do things correctly with their need to be left alone.

By the way, I've bought three wood stoves from couple of guys in Weston recently. Seem to be nice people up your way.
 

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Weston Maine? That seems a long way to get a stove :)

I'm not native to ME. I'm from S.C. - then Fl., Mass., N.Y., PA., now ME lol.
 
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