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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've spent a rather enjoyble afternoon reading Walts articles on the point of view at beekeeping home GO THERE!!!Does anyone use his methods.
 

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I am attempting to do just that. I have finally gotten to a point where I have enough boxes and comb.

But I still need to read his literature some more and have a planned visit with him. I hope things slow up soon so that I can make the trip and have a nice long chat. We have talked before but not in the detail I want to have next time I see him.

I really enjoy talking to him, he has a good sense of humor and really wants people to try his learned techniques.
 

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Some people on this forum don't agree with everything Walt says, but then, everyone has their own opinion. I personally like reading Walt's writings and find them to be well thought out and based on HIS observations. He seems to approach his writings on scientific methods rather than speculation.

Fuzzybeekeeper
 

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As for checkerboarding, I really would like to see a thread started discussing the results folks have seen using it. I checkerboarded early this year around and above the brood nest and went to three deeps all second-year and older colonies. Cut swarming way down and experienced very near to 'supercedures only'. Great big strong colonies with a better yield than most folks in my area. It's been the most worthwhile thing I've done in a long time.

-Doug
 

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Walt Wright’s “Nectar Management” or “Checkerboarding”

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Checkerboarding_(beekeeping)

Checkerboarding is a term used in beekeeping that describes a specific hive management technique to prevent swarming. The technique was developed by Walt Wright, a long time beekeeper from Tennessee.

Checkerboarding takes advantage of the bee colony's primary motivation, which is survival as survival of the existing colony takes priority over swarm preparation and swarming. Bees will not prepare for a reproductive swarm if they perceive the survival of the existing colony might be jeopardized. It is hypothesized that swarm preparation starts in the late winter. The over-wintering colony consumes honey and expands the brood volume. At this point, the bee colony apparently senses that it has enough remaining honey stores and a large enough brood nest to risk swarm preparation. The bee colony's first activity of swarm preparation is to reduce the brood volume by creating additional stores inside the brood area. As brood emerges, selected cells are back-filled with honey, nectar, or pollen. Later into the season, as space for egg laying decreases the queen will not be able to lay as many eggs. This forces the queen to diet and lose weight so she becomes fit for the swarm flight.

Apparently, at the first time this type of backfilling behavior starts is the best time to do the Checkerboarding intervention. It requires filling two hive boxes above the broodnest each alternately with capped honey-filled frames and empty drawn frames. Alternating empty drawn combs above the brood nest "fools" the bees into thinking they don't have enough stores yet for swarming and causes them to expand the brood nest, giving both a bigger field force and avoiding reproductive swarming.

Timing the checkerboarding intervention is very important. (Note: all these times are difference reference points that refer to the same time.) The best time for the intervention is:
• at the time the elm trees bloom
• four weeks before the maple trees bloom
• five weeks before redbud trees bloom
• eight weeks before the start of the apple tree blossom
• nine weeks before the peak of the apple tree blossom


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I have used checkerboarding on some of my hives with good results. As I continue to expand the number of hives and as they draw out comb I’ll continue to use Nectar Management.


More information
http://www.k4vb.com/Walt's%20BIO%20reduced.htm

http://www.beesource.com/point-of-view/walt-wright/

http://www.knology.net/~k4vb/CKB%20articles%20only.htm

http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=233212
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Since I use only mediums this has me a little confused Most of the time that I've checked my hives in early March the lower box is usually empty.So what should I do put it on top and Checkerboard with that and add one more medium box with comb on top of that for the ladys to move up into or what?I know he wants to start the flow with 2and1/2 large supers of brood If that is the case mabe two supers of comb making that five brood chambers altogether.
 

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I would also like to hear from those that have used his methods, and how things worked for them. I have great respect for his observations, and am confident in his recommendations, but wonder if they are regional. I may be misunderstanding some portion of his methods, and am not sure how they would apply to hives that are wintered and maintained in one deep.

Roland
 

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Roland the way his articles are written he uses only one deep.
It's been a while since I read his articles, but I thought it was very important that you use more than one box. I thought that was the whole point. Unless you mean using one deep, with one or more medium boxes.

Perhaps I should re-read the articles though.
 

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He used more than 1 box. If I remember correctly the bottom box would always be full of pollen. Or perhaps it was the box above the brood.
 

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Since I use only mediums this has me a little confused Most of the time that I've checked my hives in early March the lower box is usually empty.So what should I do put it on top and Checkerboard with that and add one more medium box with comb on top of that for the ladys to move up into or what?
Yes thats what I have done. But this year mine made swarm cells anyway. Made splits. Ya never can tell with bees.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Today I opened up my hive this is what I saw The super of frames that I put on Thursday they have started drawing on one frame. Looked at the top medium hivebody to check to see about the stores(saw where my buckwheat went)some brood some larva but looked mostly like they were filling in with nectar when bees hatched. Looks like I might have to feed to get comb and honey for spring.
 

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I will have to re-read his works this winter. I was uncertain how his techniques could be applied by someone who uses one deep for a brood chamber, and deeps for supers(with an excluder).

Roland
 
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