Advice on timing and boxes

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Slowmodem, May 24, 2013.

  1. Slowmodem

    Slowmodem New Member

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    I installed two packages on April 24th and two nucs on May 5th. It's been a couple of weeks since I've looked into them. My back went out Tuesday, and I've been in bed all week. I'm going in for MRI and stuff tomorrow.

    By my calculations, I figure that the nucs are about ready for a second box and frames. I figure that the packages are starting to increase their numbers now that eggs should be hatching out, and it might be a week or two before the packages will need another box with frames.

    I was going to get my Dad to do this Monday (weather permitting). He's helped me with inspections before, so he should be able to take the top and feeder off, add a box with frames, then put the top and feeder back on each nuc hive.

    Does that sound right? Or should I be thinking about putting another box with frames on the packages, too?
     
  2. pistolpete

    pistolpete New Member

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    seems to me that this time of year too much room is not as bad as too little room.
     

  3. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Depends on if that room has honeycomb or just foundation. SHB are ferocious down here this year.
     
  4. pistolpete

    pistolpete New Member

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    I keep forgetting about those critters. We dont' have them up here yet.
     
  5. The Bee Guy

    The Bee Guy New Member

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    Need to watch the boxes, when they like 2 or 3 frames being full add a super.
    I've found that if I spray 1-1 sugar syrup with Pro Health on the foundations the bees take them a lot faster.
    Right now we are in a major honey flow.
    Check your brood box if there is capped honey move it towards the outside and move the empty or partially filled foundations in towards the center.
     
  6. Slowmodem

    Slowmodem New Member

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    Thanks. The problem is that I'll probably be in bed for another week and can't get out to see the hives. I was just calculating that some of them might be ready for another box of frames.
     
  7. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    greg,
    very sorry to hear you are laid up, well wishes to you, and my best wishes to you!
    your question is hard to answer without knowing how each of these hives are coming along individually, and whether there is drawn comb, foundation, your setup for each, and laying progress of the queens, and also your pollen abundance and nectar flow, and the progress of each individual hive. what's in there. (sorry if i missed this somewhere on the forum, and i could have, so my apologies in advance).

    your dad will have to be your 'eyes' for now, to tell ya what's going on in each hive. it doesn't hurt to give them more space, if they are progressing nicely and ready for it, and it might be that they are. if they aren't there is a problem to be addressed and adding more space will just be ignored, and for you, will add to problem solving and problems with any drawn comb, shb, etc.....

    wish i could be more helpful.......:grin:
     
  8. Daniel Y

    Daniel Y New Member

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    I add a new box when the one they have is 80% full. For a 5 frame that is 4 frames drawn. It also means 80% drawn out. a frame is 3 dimensional and I see very little mentioned about the depth that fraems are drawn. I consider a frame 100% drawn when the comb reaches the same plane as the top bar. A frame of foundatoin that has 1/4 inch deep comb drawn from edge to edge and top to bottom is only considered about 25% drawn. It must be 100% drawn on both sides to be counted as one full frame of comb. If you do not do this the added box will just be ignored anyway. I consider any brood or cells with pollen 100% and any capped honey 100%.

    My bees have been favoring the East side of the hive so far this year. even to the point they will draw the east side of a frame 100% and not even touch the West side. They are startign to build some of what I call "Fat" fraems. that is a frame they just keep building the cells clear into the next frames space. THese fraems will be taken out. decapped, extracted, and placed back in the hive with the comb facing West. this way the bees can begin work on the east side as they prefer.
     
  9. bamabww

    bamabww Active Member

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    Funny, my bees, 5 hives, all started from the west this year.
     
  10. pistolpete

    pistolpete New Member

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    Daniel, I am curious why you would not just flip the frames when they are 90% drawn on the one side and let them work on the other side. Seems like what you are doing is disruptive to the bees and a lot of extra work for you. I do a fair amount of frame manipulating in the supers. If they've drawn and capped the middle of the box, then I move the middle frames to the outside and let them fill in the blanks before adding another box.
     
  11. Daniel Y

    Daniel Y New Member

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    The fat frames where the result of placing frames of foundaiton between frames that had already astrted to be drawn. rather than start drawing the new foundation the bees simply kept on lengthening the cells already made. In time the bees did finally start drawing the other comb and are in the process of shortening the fat frame. Today I took them all out and will extract them.

    Turning them was not possible because they would not fit. I will get photos of them so you can see just how far out from the top bar the comb protrudes. My answer was to simply wait until I had enough frames to make extractng worthwhile. and then clean them up.
     
  12. Slowmodem

    Slowmodem New Member

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    After mulling it over and reading the responses, I figure I'll wait another week before doing another level. Maybe I'll be up and around by then and I can see what's going on in the hives and make a more educated decision. Thanks for y'alls input. :)
     
  13. ibeelearning

    ibeelearning Member

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    I think you have plenty of time, Greg. I am not that far from you and our weather has been lousy. The pack I installed about the same time you did dwindled badly and are just now beginning to build up.
     
  14. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Greg, above all, take good care of your back, it's your most important hive tool.
    You're lucky to have your father willing and able to give you a hand (a back?) when in need. :thumbsup:
    If he's "in the know" with bees, let him examine the hives and decide according to the advice given above. If he can't do an inspection, let him just put up the supers and let the bees decide what they want to do---they'll know best. You have to give them the option to build and store. From my estimate of your region, you're still early in the season so a flow could be just around the corner. It would be a shame to miss it.
     
  15. Slowmodem

    Slowmodem New Member

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    Thanks Ef! I hate laying here knowing everything that I should be doing outside now. It is great to have Dad here to help. Because of my work, we had to live away from them. Since they've moved up to the little house here on the property, we can do a lot of catching up. I am hoping to be able to get around soon. I think looking into the hives next week will be ok. I guess the worst thing they could do would be to think about swarming if it gets too crowded.
     
  16. Tyro

    Tyro Member

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    Up here in the north anyway, adding boxes too early can really jam up your season. Because it is cool at nights most of the summer (and can be cool in the day) - too much space can affect the bee's ability to keep brood warm. I learned this the hard way - I was adding boxes too early and then wondering why my nucs and packages never seemed to build up all summer.

    I finally figured it out when I spoke with comm. beekeeper from Saskatchewan. She told me to wait on adding boxes for as long as possible. The smaller space was easier for bees to regulate with respect to temperature. That is how she got big hives in time for the flows.

    Now, I try to wait until the box is almost full of bees before I put the second box on.

    Mike
     
  17. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    "I guess the worst thing they could do would be to think about swarming if it gets too crowded."

    or the underneath side of your inner cover and tops of your frames have now become a 'honey super'..........:lol: (oops, been there).
    greg, take care of yourself :grin:
     
  18. Slowmodem

    Slowmodem New Member

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    Thanks! My wife (really an angel!) is doing the taking care of part. All I have to do is lay here.