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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've wintered 2 hives as singles. One has ocupied the box by 90%. The night temps are around freezing, day temps permit pollen gathering(10-15C)
Aren't there any rules on adding the second brood box, depending on temperatures, above or bellow the existing one?

Adding one above(supering) would lead to temperature dispersion in the above space.

How do you do it?

Thanks,
Cristian
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
OK I understand that adding it above or bellow makes no difference and that you add it when 80% full but from what I've read on Walt Wright's "Nectar management" adding the huge space above the brood nest leads to at least 2 weeks stagnation(queen stops laying). That's why he recommended checkerboarding the super.(super or second box same thing to me)
So if Walt Wright is right then we are wrong adding the second box above the brood nest especially this critical time of the year.

What do you think?
 

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Hi Cristian,

You'll find that the bees are only heating the cluster rather than the whole hive.

For example a hive that is wintered with two brood boxes, the cluster will be heated up to 35C if they are raising brood. But comb only inches away may be only slightly warmer than the temperatures outside the hive. The boxes are only acting as a buffer to slow down the speed of temperature changes inside the hive.


I also winter with one brood box and add a new brood box by "Opening the Sides of the Broodnest"

Here's links to more information:
http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...-the-Broodnest

http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...warm-managment

http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...-for-Beginners


"Opening the Sides" is specifically for beekeepers who don't have spare drawn comb.

It is all about triggering wax production and then maintaining wax production into the main flow.


Steps:

1. Several weeks before swarm season, move each outside frame up into a new box and alternate them with new frames, directly above the Broodnest.

2. Insert a new frame on each outside edge of the Broodnest. (So that a Brood frame is only on one side of the new frame.)


3. Check them in 2-3 weeks and repeat if comb in the frames has been mostly drawn.


Important: The new frames only have a strip of foundation as a comb guide. They must not be a full sheet of foundation.


When to start:

1. The weather forecast for the next week has a few days with Daily Maximums getting to 15C/59F

2. Drone brood is being raised.

3. Lots of young bees taking orientation flights in the afternoons. (Think - wax makers!)


4. At least 4 weeks before swarm season.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Uau... thanks for the very usefull and detailed information :)
A similar technique is used on dadant deep hives in our country except for moving the side frames up. Langs are not that familiar to our people but I like it's maintainability that's why I wanted to start with this hive.
So, I will keep them crowded for a while and add the second box probably on the begining of March, if the weather permits. I also want to use foundationless/wired frames. I hope it works.

Bye
 

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cN,
Don't think I said that the queen stops laying, but there is a delay in broodnest expansion for a couple reasons:
Work goes on around the clock. They only do constructive work within the warmed cluster interior. In the early season, that is the compact cluster of the cool overnight temps. Further, the insulating band of bees at the ouside of the cluster is thickest at the top to contain or cap the heat rise from the cluster. The result of these considerations is that the population must increase enough for the cluster insulating band to enclose some comb in the next higher box before any work starts there. Therefore, the delay length is dependent on population increase.

Almost all colonies will ignore foundation added above their functional comb, and some will ignore drawn comb added above. They seem to see the top of their honey as the top of their residence cavity. (That would be true in the wild nest on continuous comb where they work to the top.) Have seen cases where no honey was opened in a full medium of capped honey that was at the top. The steps to swarm commit were all accomplished in the deep below.

Walt
 

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Important: The new frames only have a strip of foundation as a comb guide. They must not be a full sheet of foundation.
Great info, Matt. Why is it that it must be foundationless? This is very curious to me.

When to start:

1. The weather forecast for the next week has a few days with Daily Maximums getting to 15C/59F

2. Drone brood is being raised.

3. Lots of young bees taking orientation flights in the afternoons. (Think - wax makers!)


4. At least 4 weeks before swarm season.
Is the timing for this different for checker boarding? I'm trying to figure out if I should be doing that right now. Today it will be 72, but next week several days of below freezing temps. Oy.
 

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Anyone who thinks space doesn't matter apparently hasn't spent any time in a small cold building and a large cold building...

Of course the amount of space definitely does matter. The extra space affects the "Rate of Change" of Temperatures in the hive. So it takes longer to heat a larger space.

There's many factors involved which makes it complicated. Including the size of the cluster as compared to the size of the hive, the position of the cluster (as heat rises), and the heat loss through the walls.

If the cluster mostly fills the box, they can also heat the box, allowing them to break cluster.


But if the hive is running out of room, the beekeeper needs to add space. As heat rises, it encourages the bees to move the broodnest up to where it is warmer in the top of the hive.

Direct sunlight and the colour of the hive also affects these dynamics.

I just found this website which shows thermal imaging of different hive setups showing the heat from the clusters and the effect of sunlight and the colour of the hive bodies:

http://www.opticsinfobase.org/oe/fulltext.cfm?uri=oe-19-1-399



VitaminBee: I see you found the current thread about When to Open the Sides of the Broodnest.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I've added the second box for about a month now. It has 4 drawn frames in the middle and foundation for the rest. I still think it's not yet a good timing to open the sides of the brood nest.
I have 8 frames full of capped brood wich is about to hatch these days. The nights are still pretty cold: 3-4 Celsius. The bees from the upper chamber migrate bellow during the night. Maybe after this batch of brood hatches we'll have enough bees to permit this manipulation. I think the apples will bloom in about 2 weeks at most. The day temps are OK but the nights are still too cold. Our swarming season starts when the black locust blooms: about the begining of May until late June but this year is definetely different as we have an explosion of brood due to the very mild winter.

What do you think?
 

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If you have 8 frames of mostly capped brood, then in the next two weeks you will have nurse bees covering about 16 frames!
So you can definitely Open the Sides within the next week

What is in the 4 drawn frames in the second deep? Is there some capped honey and brood?
If they are empty then you may be able to wait a little longer (maybe 2 weeks), but if they are mostly being used I would do it sooner than later.

They may start drawing out the foundation in your current configuration because of the 4 drawn frames in that box, but it will help to move a couple of drawn frames up from the bottom as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
What is in the 4 drawn frames in the second deep? Is there some capped honey and brood?
Two of them contain nectar and pollen(no capped honey or brood), so they are using them for stores now. Opening the sides now would mean moving 2 frames of brood up that's why I hesitated to do that yesterday.
I would like to make a powerfull breeder hive out of this one. Let's see if I can keep it from swarming :)
This is challenging and fun. I can't wait to see how many bees will be in the hive after hatching. I also plan to do another jar sampling later on.

Thanks for reply.
 

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OK I understand that adding it above or bellow makes no difference and that you add it when 80% full but from what I've read on Walt Wright's "Nectar management" adding the huge space above the brood nest leads to at least 2 weeks stagnation(queen stops laying). That's why he recommended checkerboarding the super.(super or second box same thing to me)
So if Walt Wright is right then we are wrong adding the second box above the brood nest especially this critical time of the year.

What do you think?
cristian,
I would not recommend supering just yet unless you cannot monitor your bees closely. I would wait. They only appear full in the day time. They cluster at night. If you insist on adding another box, please do not checkerboard. Temps are not high enough yet and the volume of bees not large enough. You do not have premium swarming conditions. In my experience you could leave them till they beard slightly overnight or until you are sure they are full. Adding the second box and checkerboarding will result in brood chilling and more consumption of feed. I would crowd them but pay close attention.
This is my opinion.
 

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So all the frames in the bottom box have brood?

You can move two brood frames up, but put them in the middle and effectively checkerboard the 4 drawn frames. With empty frames on the outside edges, like this:

EDEDBBDEDE
EBBBBBBBBE

E-Empty
D-Drawn
B-Brood
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I've added the second box for about a month. No problem in that. No chilled brood.
I don't want to checkerboard cause I don't have the resources to do it. I just want to open the sides of the brood nest.
It is also my opinion that it's not the right timing yet.

http://www.wunderground.com/history...tml?req_city=NA&req_state=NA&req_statename=NA

I think those 9 weeks before the apple are a bit too much for my area. I live near the mountains and have cold nights and drafts. Anyway I think I can make good decisions looking in the hive and with the help of you guys.

Blooms so far:

gone
---
hazel nuts
pussy willow


currently
---
salix babylonica,
prunus cerasifera,
prunus spinosa
dandelions

soon to come
---
cherry trees
prunus domestica
apples

Thanks
 

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Based on what you have said, I would leave it no more than 2 weeks for you to start Opening the Sides. The above configuration I've just posted is still Opening the Sides. Alternating/Checkboarding drawn frames with empty frames.

Once those 8 frames of capped brood have emerged they will have plenty of wax makers and a large enough cluster to keep them warm enough in the 2 boxes.

You want them making wax before the Apple trees blossom.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Sorry for not having seen your reply Matt.

So all the frames in the bottom box have brood?

You can move two brood frames up, but put them in the middle and effectively checkerboard the 4 drawn frames. With empty frames on the outside edges, like this:

EDEDBBDEDE
EBBBBBBBBE

E-Empty
D-Drawn
B-Brood
All except 2 on the sides wich are filled with nectar and pollen.

Current configuration:

FFFFDHDFFFF
HBBBBBBBBH

I understand that opening the sides means moving up #2 and #9 and putting F or E instead.

In my case that would mean:

FFFDBBHDFFF
HEBBBBBBEH

Corect?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I just moved the outside honey frames above not the brood.

...and now have smt like:

FFHFHFHF
BFBBBBFB

I used foundation as that was available. I will use empty frames in the future, just that I need to build them first.
I talked to other beekepers around and we are 1 month ahead of regular schedule this year. Let's hope it's not gonna be a dry year. In my country dadant deeps are the most used system. I wonder if this is not the main cause of swarmig(crowded as being the cause) issues having arround the carpathian race of bees.
I think we'll have apple bloom during the next week.

In God we trust!

Cristian
 
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