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I put six on last week. From the looks of things it is time to put on some more this week while the weather is good.

Count me in the group that likes them a lot.

Alex
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I put six on last week. From the looks of things it is time to put on some more this week while the weather is good.

Count me in the group that likes them a lot.

Alex
Do you decide on the basis of frames of capped brood or a particular event? Snelgrove, if I remember, spoke about apple blossom time in England. That seems close for me here too. Usually approaching 6 frames mostly capped brood at that time.
 

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I did a presentation on the use of Snelgrove boards for our State Annual Meeting in 2018. I still have the Powerpoint. Would be happy to post it if someone can tell me how. I also created a YouTube video where I am trying to construct it and hold the camera at the same time. Pitiful quality, but maybe you get something out of it.
 

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The Redbuds are what I consider to be the beginning of the season. When the buds can be seen I check to see if the Queens have moved down. The ones that have not, get reversed, which gives me an idea about how much brood is present in the hives at that point.
The rapidity of the build-up is dependent on whether we get a killing frost during the Redbud bloom which makes for a larger gap in the onset of the flow, slowing their swarm prep. It does seem as though if there is still adequate honey at this point it mitigates the harm done from the late frost.

These bees I have like to swarm so my adding of the SBs is probably earlier than most would need.

The easy answer would have been to say yes, I go by the amount of brood tied to a specific event, but I kept having to write "unless, but and or".

This is only my second year of using them, so I am sure I still have a lot learn about timing, but it was an easy fix to swarming last season.

Alex
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
how long are you leaving the snelgrove boards on? I've watched lots of you tube videos and read lots of posts, but all I'm seeing is how to build and how to work the boards, but not a single mention of when to take them off.
That will depend on what your motives are. If I primarily wanted another colony and had the new queen created in the upper box I could remove it to its own stand as soon as the queen was mated and laying. That would take it out of the way (being on top of the honey supers of the lower main colony. A person could also let the queen continue and divert bees to the box below as foragers. Functionally a two queen colony. When supers were pulled at end of flow the upper box could be combined and either choose which queen or let (probably) the younger take over.

Some people will put the board on for only long enough to instigate the starting of cells on multiple frames and pull them off to perhaps three mating nucs. The boards would only need to be on a few days or put on another colony.

If you installed the board in the face of an imminent swarm and moved queen, brood, started cells up to the upper box, you could recombine after peak swarm and remove. Probably lots of other creative scenarios but there is nothing saying it has to be removed. It is a pain (literally, if you have a bad back) to take it off and on for work on supers below or to inspect lower brood box. That is the main negative but once you have confidence that all is well in the lower box and put on say three supers, you will be less inclined to be going down there.

If you leave the lower box with quite a few undrawn foundation frames and raise the replacement queen, it will take quite a long while before they get back to threaten another swarm. I got challenged one year because I put the board on early, left the old queen down, and didnt take away enough brood. They were getting ready to go off again, when I checked 2 or 3 weeeks later. That may have been an unusual warm summer too.

I hope some people with more experience local to you will chime in.
 

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I use S.B.s primarily for swarm control, so I typically remove them after prime swarm season is supposed to be ending, which is around the second week in May.
At this time I will also remove the old Queen to a split so I will have a new Queen in the bottom box to ensure the swarming impulse doesn't begin again. This does necessitate finding Queens and QCs one more time and arranging things as to what I wish to accomplish. It helps if one can be flexible according to what the bees have to offer.

Alex
 

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I think it has a lot to do with a particular type of bee. Mine are very determined to swarm, yours may not be. Before I started using S.B.s, I would watch for the brood nest being opened up, which necessitated inspecting every four days or so while also looking for QCs.
I tried destroying QCs and letting them raise a new Queen, but it was a lot of work and the results were less than satisfactory.
Mine usually transition away from swarming to storage about the middle of the Blackberry bloom. As long as they are putting nectar in the brood nest, the threat of swarming is there. That's not to say, no nectar on the brood frames, however there has been much said about keeping the honey dome above the brood nest open. Walt Wright has written extensively on this subject. His writings are accessible on this site.

I hope this helps.

Alex
 

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Snelgrove must have been a pretty observant guy. He figured out a way to get the bees to do what he wanted them to. That's admirable!
 
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