Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We've had bees for just over a month, and it has been a roller coaster of learning! We saw our first waggle dance on the weekend! One of the things I wished we had done is going all mediums from the start. Right now, we have 2 nucs that's starting to fill out a deep each, and I'm wondering if it is getting too late to transition them into medium foundationless frames. On top of everything, nuc 1 swarmed 2 weeks after we installed, and got queen right about a week ago, and looks like they have 2-3 frames with brood, Nuc 2 looks like it is about to explode with 4-5 frames of brood. Both hives have a couple of frames with no drawn comb as we had to take out a messed up honey frame from Hive 1. We added a foundationless frames to each hive last week, and it was really really cool to see the newly drawn comb! The cells in Hive 2's foundationless frame looks really large to us though.. we were wondering if that frame was going to end up being all drones.

Hive 1: photos 161-185
Hive 2: photos 189-218

We are not wood workers, and the frames we bought have grooved top and bottom bars. So far, the foundationless frames we put in has paint sticks in the groove, and the bees seem to work well on those. We bought a cant stripe and was also thinking about glueing/nailing a triangle stripe to the top bar.

We are in a small city in SW Ontario, and it has been a pretty cool summer. We haven't found out much about the nectar flows in the areas, and don't know if there will be enough resources for the bees to build comb and get ready for winter. Another thought would be to winter them over 1 medium + 1 deep. From searching on bee source, I'm trying to convince my partner that what we want to do next is to add a medium on top, pull up one drawn non brood frame from the deep for a ladder and fill in the rest of the mediums with foundationless frames.

I think our main worries are whether the nucs would be able to build up fast enough. Any thoughts, suggestions and experiences with moving to medium foundationless would be much appreciated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,130 Posts
If you pull a deep up and drop it into a medium it will be a PAIN to get the boxes apart since the deep will drop past the medium down into the deep If you fell you must have foundationless frames, I would suggest pulling one of your side deep frames that is either empty or has stores in it, and drop a medium foundationless right smack in the middle in the broodnest. Check it every few days, once it's drawn out you can move it up and then close your brood nest back up and re-insert the deep from the side. If you leave it too long you will have to trim comb off of the bottom of the frame and you might have to anyways. If you are carefull and be sure to keep the orientation the same you can rubberband this comb into another foundationless frame and stick it beside the one that will have brood in it. This late in the yr you are probably best off leaving the deep for winter and hope they move up in late winter and by spring you can remove the empty bottom box. If not it won't be hard to move the queen at that time above an excluder. let the bottom hatch out then pull the box.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
388 Posts
I would be carefull putting a medium in a deep or a deep in medium hanging into a deep. There is so much room below that the bees will build comb on the bottom of the frame. After I did this, Mr Bush suggest I put the deep frame in two mediums. This would eliminate much of the extra space. This might not accomplish what your after, but leaving them too much space could end up with a disaster, as I found out. They built this bottom comb in 3 days after I tried to get them drawing comb in a honey super above the brood deep.

http://s1206.photobucket.com/user/wrlcpa/media/DeepFrame_zpsc94fa11e.jpg.html
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So a big concern seems to be the bees drawing comb under the bottom of the frames, for either a medium in a deep or a deep dropping into a medium. Has anybody tried attaching a piece of wood or something to a frame to fill out the extra space, and then removing that later?

Another thought maybe is to just put the medium super on top, and running a few pieces of twine down for them to use a ladder?

It also sounds like it'll be too late to move them into all mediums, so deep + medium. Partner actually wants to winter in one deep, since that's what a number of people do here, but I think they may run out of room soon and we'll need to add a box anyways.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,148 Posts
So a big concern seems to be the bees drawing comb under the bottom of the frames, for either a medium in a deep or a deep dropping into a medium. Has anybody tried attaching a piece of wood or something to a frame to fill out the extra space, and then removing that later?

Another thought maybe is to just put the medium super on top, and running a few pieces of twine down for them to use a ladder?

It also sounds like it'll be too late to move them into all mediums, so deep + medium. Partner actually wants to winter in one deep, since that's what a number of people do here, but I think they may run out of room soon and we'll need to add a box anyways.

medium on top of a deep works great for me. No need to put anything in as a ladder. You are pretty far north for a single deep, but obviously some people do it. I'm in florida and I still winter in a deep and a med. While it gets cold here, it doesn't stay that way long and bees can move around inside the hive and take advantage of any honey anywhere in the hive. Up where you are at they can't break cluster often so they can't always take advantage of stores off to the sides.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
324 Posts
Wow! Nice pattern from your queen that's for sure! I would just make do with what you have so far because from what I see the bees are doing wonderful! Just plan on the med/FL hives next spring and go from there. Appears your bees will be fine on the overwinter stores and brood even though it still is July. I'm not at all familiar with the weather and cold up that way but from what you have if it snows and freezes tonite those girls are gonna be fine.
Great pictures and the closeups are fantastic!! What digital camera are you using ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
medium on top of a deep works great for me. No need to put anything in as a ladder.
Good to know. Maybe we'll just try that, since that is the simplest, and just see how they do after a week. I think they may end up needing a medium for a bit because they seem to be filling up space, and if we want to go down to a single deep later, we can still put an excluder on.

Partner likes the idea of a single deep, and there are advantages to treating, and lots of people treat here. I'd like to go 1 deep + medium, minimal treatment and foundationless. Not sure how we'll end up compromising!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Wow! Nice pattern from your queen that's for sure! I would just make do with what you have so far because from what I see the bees are doing wonderful! Just plan on the med/FL hives next spring and go from there.
Hoping the hives will survive winter! If they do, we may end up doing 1 hive all mediums (how I want things), and 1 hive traditional (how partner want things).

Great pictures and the closeups are fantastic!! What digital camera are you using ?
Thanks. I'm no photographer and just have a point and shoot, an Olympus Tough TG-1. There's a macro and super macro setting that works well for taking pictures of the entire frame and closeups, although sometime it has issues focusing on the close ups. Sometimes I do a little bit of post processing, mostly for contrast and stretch out the dynamic range.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,130 Posts
Has anybody tried attaching a piece of wood or something to a frame to fill out the extra space, and then removing that later?

if you drop that right in the middle of the brood nest they may build queen cells on one side as it might act like a cloak board. If you did that you would want to put it on the edge, but like I said if you are trying to get ladder comb on a med foundationless you can let them draw below the medium if you want and then just rubberband it into another frame. then you have two ladder combs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
388 Posts
if you drop that right in the middle of the brood nest they may build queen cells on one side as it might act like a cloak board. If you did that you would want to put it on the edge, but like I said if you are trying to get ladder comb on a med foundationless you can let them draw below the medium if you want and then just rubberband it into another frame. then you have two ladder combs.
Messy! I did that with the comb on the bottom of the picture above, I wouldn't want to do it again, so I will avoid allowing them to draw in open spaces again. And to add to the mess, it dropped down away from the top bar, so if I ever have to do it again, I would attach it to the bottom bar and let them draw it upward, as they have done.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,130 Posts
Messy! I did that with the comb on the bottom of the picture above, I wouldn't want to do it again, so I will avoid allowing them to draw in open spaces again. And to add to the mess, it dropped down away from the top bar, so if I ever have to do it again, I would attach it to the bottom bar and let them draw it upward, as they have done.
yeah it can be. I don't recommend doing it unless you have to. I think the OP would be better of sticking a sheet of foundation up there to help them move up but he seems dead set on adding a medium with all foundationless frames, it which case he may have a bunch of comb to cut out. anytime I have ever had to cut bur comb out and stick it in frames I always rest it on the bottom and the rubberbands are just there to keep it upright until they fill the gap between the comb and the top bar.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I think the OP would be better of sticking a sheet of foundation up there to help them move up but he seems dead set on adding a medium with all foundationless frames, it which case he may have a bunch of comb to cut out.
Not dead set on anything, just looking for the most idiot proof way :D. I know making mistakes is the best way to learn, but my poor brain is overloaded from all the learning the past few weeks! I think I'll take your suggestion and put one frame with foundation and the rest without and watch for messed up comb. I'd rather save learning how to deal with cut out comb for later. Also saw a thread for partial frames that looks quite interesting.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
388 Posts
I also start my hives with foundationless mediums with the intentions to go all mediums, but one absconded and the other was really really week. So I ponied up and bought two nuc's and two frames of brood for the week hive. It is almost impossible to find medium nuc's so I was forced to put in deeps. Thus why when I tried to get a ladder into my medium honey super, I decided to move a deep frame of drawn comb up for a few days and you see the mess.

Since I try to stay out of the brood boxes for the most part, I don't see much difference between medium and deep brood boxes EXCEPT when you want to exchange frames which was the case I ran into. When I have drawn medium frames available to me from other hives, it won't be an issue.

I personally have had great success with foundationless frames. Not much bad comb and they seem to draw fairly quick. Only wired the bottom deep, got lazy on the second deeps on my two hives that are traditional Lang.

The weak hive that got the extra two frames of brood have 1 deep and two mediums, and is still pretty weak.

So what I am saying is different configurations shouldn't be an issue once you have enough deeps and medium frames drawn out
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,130 Posts
Not dead set on anything, just looking for the most idiot proof way :D. I know making mistakes is the best way to learn, but my poor brain is overloaded from all the learning the past few weeks! I think I'll take your suggestion and put one frame with foundation and the rest without and watch for messed up comb. I'd rather save learning how to deal with cut out comb for later. Also saw a thread for partial frames that looks quite interesting.
I saw that too and if I could find it in small cell I would be all over it. I run 8 frame Med hives and I'm trying to get to where all of them have PF120's for the brood boxes and I will do foundationless supers, but alas one of my hives I got this yr was a 5 frame deep nuc and threw a monkey wrench into my plans, luckily I had drawn comb to put up there in a med so my plan is to let them build up and them remove the deep once they have moved up out of it before they start coming back down.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,301 Posts
Add a medium on top of both hives. Buy enough foundation to make four frames with foundation, put these in the center of the mediums. The bees will move up on their own. They will store their winter honey on top, and (hopefully) move up to eat during the winter. In early spring the deep box will be completely empty and can be removed.

Advice: Your job now is support the bees making their crucial winter stores. This means no messing with the brood nest (i.e. don't rearrange and break it up, don't drag every frame out to photograph it).

The best beekeeper is the one who minimizes unnecessary intervention in the brood box.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top