Layens Frame Weight / Overwintering / Little Pollen Coming In / Entrance Reducer

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Working with Layens Horizontal Swarm 7-Frame Traps and 14-Frame Hives and could use a little help . . .

Caught a nice swarm May 2: https://youtu.be/LE4HrQAKN3g

May 14, moved the swarm on 7 frames to a 14-Frame Hive with nice comb developing. All 7 frames were looked something like this:

So I added two more frames. Yah, no suit, just a long sleeve shirt, nitrile gloves and a veil. My bee jacket had not come in yet! I think, at least during nectar flow, I could work these girls with nothing more than a veil . . . well, OK, shorts and a t-shirt!

Adding frames every couple of weeks I'm up to 12 frames, with all but the two most recent looking like this:

I know I need to leave something around 50 lbs of honey for the bees to overwinter (Zone 6a/b). I've searched the Internet and this forum, I've tried emailing Dr. Leo; I can't find an approximate weight of a honey filled frame. I've done lots of extrapolation. He mentions in some writings at one point, leaving 10-12 frames in a 19 frame hive.

From HoneyBeeSuite I find:
The Mann Lake catalog used to have estimates for the weight of full boxes. According to them, a full ten-frame deep weighs 80-90 pounds (36-41 kg), and a full ten-frame medium weighs 65-75 pounds (29-34 kg). Discounting the weight of the structure and dividing by 10, a full deep frame holds about 8 pounds (4 kg) of honey and full medium holds about 6 pounds (3 kg). (If you evenly space nine frames in a ten-frame box, a full frame will weigh a bit more.)

From Horizontal Hive I find a Langstroth to Layens Conversion (about 3/4 of the way down the page) of two mediums turned sideways.

Sooooo,
• If a full medium weighs about 6 pounds
• You can convert two sideways mediums to a Layens
• Each double medium conversion would be about 6 pounds
• Layens Frame should be about 6 pounds
• I need to leave 4, preferably 5, honey-filled frames (48-60 pounds) for my bees to overwinter?

During the swarms build-up in the first month, I was regularly seeing pollen coming into the hive:

Now, I'm seeing little, or no, pollen coming in:

Am I correct in thinking that the pollen foraging will slow with the full nectar flow on, so this is normal?

Can I open up the second entrance to help speed things up for the bees? I initially left it closed so the swarm, with reduced population, could more easily defend from robbing.

John
GWSBees
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GregB

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Sooooo,
• I need to leave 4, preferably 5, honey-filled frames (48-60 pounds) for my bees to overwinter?

Am I correct in thinking that the pollen foraging will slow with the full nectar flow on, so this is normal?

Can I open up the second entrance to help speed things up for the bees?

John
You need to leave about 8-9 frames (not 5) for a full colony (always good to leave extra than to leave not enough).
Adjust your math - you do NOT account for 100% full medium Lang frames; you account for them to be 2/3 full.
Picture the Layens frame - it will NOT be full of honey top to bottom at 100%.
It will be about 2/3 full of honey (the honey band above) and about 1/3 of the lower part will be empty comb.
The proportion could also be ~3/4 honey and ~1/4 empty lower comb.
So you get the idea.
This is how it generally works in naturally managed long and deep hive, e.g. Layens.
The frames are almost never 100% full (unlike those in vertical hive supers).

During intense flow, more bees with switch in to nectar foraging, indeed.
They even will restrict the queen laying; especially so in your long hive due to the fixed volume (make sure your hive has plenty of frames; just fill it up with frames).

You can open the second entrance as mitigation to the hot weather (for extra ventilation) and as assistance in honey drying (again, extra ventilation).
However, don't expect they will start flying into the secondary entrance; they will keep flying through the main entrance.
I know because this is what I have been doing (running two entrances).

As long the colony is strong and filling up the entire volume and starting to beard, sure, open the second entrance.

JayTee

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Thanks for those thoughts Greg! With 20 years having passed since the last time I overwintered bees, recollections of how full a frame are and having used a Langstroth Hive, don't help me today. They are definitely much stronger and there are more bees coming out every day, with more to come. No bearding yet. Will continue to monitor and consider opening the second entrance.

We'll see how the girls do in the Fall. I would love to have a little of 'our' own honey.

John

GregB

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Thanks for those thoughts Greg! With 20 years having passed since the last time I overwintered bees, recollections of how full a frame are and having used a Langstroth Hive, don't help me today. They are definitely much stronger and there are more bees coming out every day, with more to come. No bearding yet. Will continue to monitor and consider opening the second entrance.

We'll see how the girls do in the Fall. I would love to have a little of 'our' own honey.

John
The second entrance for sure helps with ventilation.
They immediately start using it for that - but only for that.
Somehow this is different from the vertical hives.

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