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Discussion Starter #1
If you do the OTS notching in a queenright hive, will they make queen cells? I'm getting itchy to make a split and have one hive that has back filled most of the bottom deep and filled most of the top deep, but as of yesterday there are no queen cells in the hive. I figure with that much nectar filling the hive and the queen running out of room to lay in, that a swarm is pretty certain, right? I don't want to risk losing a swarm and our weather predicted for Sunday through most of next week doesn't look too good for checking hives, so if they start queen cells they may have them capped and swarm before I can get back in the hive. The weather looks decent for tomorrow and I was thinking about making a walk away split, 10 frames per split. The queen in this hive has always been next to impossible to find. I've seen her once this year and maybe a couple times last year. So, instead of looking for the queen, if I do a split I was thinking of just notching frames in both hives, but I don't want to encourage the queenright half of the split to make queen cells....

I have some drones in each colony but not an abundance of them. There is a good amount of capped drone brood (looked pretty freshly capped) in each hive that I checked yesterday. If I do a split tomorrow, will the drones that will be hatching in the next 12-14 days be fertile and flying by the time a queen cell hatches from the split?

Thanks for any advice and responses.
 

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Whether or not you do an OTS you still have to monitor them for a possible swarm. Bees are so unpredictable.
And the drones nearby might not be from your current hives. The virgin queen will fly far away for her mating flight.
I usually will time the queen cell making 2 weeks after the drones are capped. Of course, you can always experiment
to learn from it to better your process.
 

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Vance, it is always the decision of making more bees or making honey.
Feed, feed, and feed some more!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Why on earth haven't you supered? Honey is good to eat you know.
Yes, I do know and would LOVE to have some, but the bees are apparently on strike. I don't have any drawn medium frames of comb. I have a super of foundation on the hive and it's been on the hive for 3 weeks. They apparently like looking at the bare foundation. Not one speck of comb being drawn in that super...

Another hive has put 40-50lbs in the top deep of the double deep brood box in about 10 days, and they haven't drawn any comb in their super yet either.
 

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I believe in feeding and I know that two smaller populations cannot produce what one large population can store. Continuing to plug the brood nest just results in a swarm or less bees being raised! Aren't you on a natural flow yet? I guess I didn't understand you were feeding too.

I see this has been jumped. Consider putting the medium between the deeps to basically force them to move into it. As soon as they start drawing comb, like overnight! Put it back on top and they should continue. It is why I always liked to run all deeps! You will almost certainly get some brood in the medium but you will also get the bees working on it.

Or in all that expanse of brood box frames, can't you find some non syrup frames to pull and extract a four or five and put them right smack in the brood nest to give her room to lay.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'm not feeding. I have only fed one quart of sugar water to my hives this year. I haven't fed much since I got my bees last year and I don't know that we would have any valid reason for it around here during a normal year.

We aren't on our main flow yet, but apparently they're getting a heck of a lot of nectar from somewhere. I would think our maples are done, they are putting on leaves yet. Dandelions are everywhere but I have yet to see a bee on one, anywhere. I'm not sure what they are feeding on, but it's producing. Clover isn't blooming, maples, elms, willows are past, wild cherry hasn't started, no fruit trees to speak of around here. Ornamental cherries are past. Very few redbuds around, but they are blooming. I don't guess it matter, so long as they are bringing in nectar and pollen, and boy howdy they are bringing it in.

If I don't split them tomorrow, I'll try putting the medium between the deeps. I've never heard that trick before, it's definitely one I'll try, if not on this hive, then on another.
 

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If you split two plugged boxes they are still two plugged boxes sir! They will need some room to lay and the need room to store honey and even more to store and work nectar. If you haven't fed then spin out about six frames. I have seen bees swarm rather than enter a box of foundation. If you have several mediums, you could put two medium supers on top full of frames except the center one on both and move a frame of brood up to fill that slot in both. That will get them up there too. Wish I had your problems right now!
 

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Bees will often not make wax until swarm season. It's like they are saving it up for swarming.

So they will often ignore a box of foundation on top.

You can do a few things to Trigger wax making, but having all the same size frames makes this a lot easier!

I use Opening the Sides, in which you move a couple of the outermost frames up into the box above with a new frame inbetween them. That way they have 3 frames to work on. The 2 in the brood box and the 1 inbetween the 2 you moved up. Foundationless frames work much better at triggering wax making. Placing new frames beside brood frames also helps.

In terms of OTS you can do it in a queen right hive. But it helps to put a couple of the frames you have notched up in the top of the hive (away from the broodnest) to help trigger an emergency response by the nurse bees on those frames. Just make sure you move them to a split within 10 days, or a virgin queen may kill off the old queen.
 

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Opening the Sides, ..
A friend of mine says: every sheet of foundation drawn in the brood box costs one super of honey. One stimulates comb building in the honey super, just there the wax makers should go.

Anyone actually tried OTS in a queenright hive? Would be good for automatic supercedure...or swarm triggering. :)
 

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A friend of mine says: every sheet of foundation drawn in the brood box costs one super of honey...
But if you haven't got drawn comb in the first place, what else can you do?

With OTS, if the hive is not in the mood to make queen cells, notches will be ignored, larvae removed and cells rebuilt. That's why you need to move the frames away from the Broodnest to trigger an emergency queen cell response.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I will try moving some frames and see how it goes. I don't have much practical experience yet so this is just a guess, but looking at the weather forecast we are supposed to have rain tomorrow and Monday. If the bees are hive bound for 2 days, the will surely consume some of the nectar. Maybe.
 

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"A friend of mine says: every sheet of foundation drawn in the brood box costs one super of honey. "

Really, lets do the math. A new package on average will build 20 frames after being installed. So with the above logic next season they should fill 20 supers of honey. Say on average you get 40#'s per super. Thats 800#'s of surplus. Now I don't come even close to that. How about the rest of you guys and gals. I would be a little leery of that friends advice.
 

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Maybe that friend did not say he feed the bees with syrup so that they can draw out more combs instead of using the
super of honey. Remember the 1:1 to make more new combs.

With OTS I found out that in a normal hive the bees will not make any queen cell if there is still a good laying queen in
there unless they are in swarm prep mode or something wrong with the current queen. To solve this issue I just removed
the current queen to put her into another weak hive. Then the current hive will make more queen cells with or without the OTS
method. Every time your removed the queen they will make some qcs.

But if you haven't got drawn comb in the first place, what else can you do?
The only to make more new comb is to put an empty frame into the middle of the brood nest then they will draw it out.
This is the only way that I found out to make more drawn combs. I will feed them also so that they have the resource to make
the new comb.
 
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