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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hope I'm not hijacking this thread http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=237967, but my situation is a bit different. After my winter die-out (too few bees to manage keeping warm, with only scattered fist-sized clusters, other individuals head-down in cells and quite a few individuals just frozen in place thru-out the hive) of my first-year nuc hive, I have (2) 10-frame deeps that were formic acid treated (varroa) late fall which are drawn in the various cell types:

Old empty , dark, used brood comb, some newer capped and uncapped brood comb as well as capped and uncapped honey. There doesn't appear to be any visible sign of disease on the comb or on the dead bees (moths, DWV, SHB-affected comb).

I want to split these 2 deeps into 2 hives. Assuming that I can I utilize all the different types of cell frames in re-establishing, what should I do (depending on cell-type) to prepare for use (scrape, cut-away, uncap, leave as-is...)?

If I package & queen each old deep as seperate colonies, what would be the best way to utilize and configure the old drawn frames, based on their cell type? I have no more drawn foundation, so all upper boxes would be undrawn foundation in medium supers unless I purchase 2 more deeps and frames if it would be necessary to span drawn frames vertically across a 2-tier deep configuration.

If I nuc (instead of package) 2 new colonies (provided I can still get some this late), what would be the best way to utilize and configure the old drawn frames, based on their cell type, both horizontally on the outside of the nuc packages, and, if necessary, vertically above the bottom deeps?

In nucing, I'm either going to end up with 10 drawn frames with no where to go (if I go with 2 single deep colonies), OR end up 2 deep boxes and 10 frames short if I go to double-deeps. Economics aside, drawn foundation is like gold for a newbee. As all my equipment is new, it would be some time that I could use those drawn deep frames for replacements. I could cut these down to mediums & intersperse them into undrawn mediums above each new deep, or make (2) 5-frame nucs for later expansion, - the possibilities aren't endless (but it makes my head hurt), but I would like to use the drawn foundation most economically and effectively - suggestions?
 

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I'm no expert but you could also use some of the old dark comb frames in nuc-sized bait hives. If you caught some swarms that would be free bees and a good deal. :)
 

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I had ten of fifteen hives die in the 2008-09 winter, probably due to mites. In the spring of 2009 I reared several new queens from one of the survivors and started new hives using brood/bees from the five surviving hives and the newly reared queens. By the end of the summer I had 20 strong hives and three nucs. All the drawn comb from the 15 dead-outs were used in the new hives, mostly in the brood chambers. It worked fine.

I did not harvest any honey in 2009. I reared bees.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have hunted, fished, hiked, paddled and traversed thousands upon thousands of hours thru almost every sort of terrain on 3 different continents and thru a war, and in my 61 years have NEVER seen a swarm - I'm either totally non-observant, or just unlucky.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Galaxy,

Per my question, did you treat or use the different comb in different ways that could help me? In some cases I have multiples of dark, empty comb, and on the other end of the spectrum, double-sided (and heavy) capped honey. And then everywhere in between.
 

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I tried to put comb in the new hives where it had been used before. That is, brood comb in the brood nest and comb that had been used to store honey only, in the honey storing areas like on the outside and above the brood nest.
 

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I tried to put comb in the new hives where it had been used before. That is, brood comb in the brood nest and comb that had been used to store honey only, in the honey storing areas like on the outside and above the brood nest.
How'd that work for you? If it works for you keep doing it. I've done it many times and it works just fine, though we don't have SHB here yet. To me, the orientation or use of the frame (brood or storage) in the old hive doesn't matter. I'll put a frame (empty or otherwise) in another hive and they will completely use it properly in it's new orientation.
 

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in my 61 years have NEVER seen a swarm - I'm either totally non-observant, or just unlucky.
Once folks discover that you keep bees you'll get calls....and once you overwinter some hives you'll surely see some swarms that you'd rather not see....your own bees.
I can't begin to suggest how to reorganize your frames to start new hives this spring. I will suggest that you put those frames...especially the dark ones...in a freezer or else you may have wax moth damage before you get to put them to good use.
Best of luck to ya.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I will probably be able to freeze all my comb for a good month before I am able to get any replacement bees.

Have you sold out on your 'student nucs' yet? As I mentioned to you on a PM earlier, I would be interested if you haven't sold out. If I figure it right, if I package for 2 hives, I can use all my drawn deep frames & initially super/expand with the (undrawn) mediums I already have

If I nuc 2 new hives, I'll only be able to utilize 10 of the 20 drawn frames I already have, considering I only have 2 deep boxes. I could build out 2 more deeps ($$$), or use those 10 frames in new (2) 5-frame deep nucs (not sure how that works or timing, or if I'm ready for expansion - but still $$$, I assume) - or cut them down and populate the mediums I already have.

I guess my question is (expenses aside), considering your best success rate, do you favor purchased packages over purchased nucs (not your own, of course). As far as packages, I have been looking at Long Creek Apiaries in TN for packages and queens - I'm down to the wire and need to purchase yesterday, regardless.

As time allows - thanks
 
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