Checkerboarding

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by DOrr, Mar 25, 2010.

  1. DOrr

    DOrr New Member

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    I'm considering the chekerboarding for swarm prevention this year and wanted some input on this from my area. Has anyone tried this in N.C. , and how did it work out for you? I've read Walt Wright's article on it, and it sounds like a common sense, sound, and sure-fire approach to swarm control. I appreciate any info I can get on this, good or bad, before I put it into motion. Thanks in advance guys.
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    I've never heard anything but good about the results of Walt's methods. That being said, it is too intensive for me. I'm just too lazy to work that hard, so I've never tried it.
     

  3. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    iddee writes:
    I've never heard anything but good about the results of Walt's methods.

    tecumseh:
    well some newer bee keepers here would take exception to your statement. evidently one large flaw for anyone that tries to sale some product (highly flawed as far as I can tell) is not much time is allocated to discussing the limitation or boundaries of the idea.

    DOrr writes:
    it sounds like a common sense, sound, and sure-fire approach to swarm control

    tecumseh:
    you evidently read the sales brochure for this 'reinvention' of the wheel without employing any critical/contrary thinking.

    let me see. the author of the idea make the claim that he cannot sale the idea to academics or commercial beekeepers... so what population does that leave?
     
  4. wfuavenger

    wfuavenger New Member

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    You should be warry of these dipping temps. 70 in the day and down into the upper 40's at night can give you some chilled brood and dead babies :( if you are not careful.

    I have checkerboarded mine that I just got, to get them to draw out comb faster for the queen to lay in. I did it when I put them in. 2 full frames in 3 days filled in (and that was a few days ago.... The temps here are supposed to drop consistantly into the 50's this weekend, therefore, I am going to have to go back in tomorrow and move older brood together for warmth.
     
  5. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    Hello DOrr,
    I have often posted about the only swarm prevention I use, and for me it works, and as I live next to my hive, I would know if it swarmed. I rotate the brood chambers 2x in spring, and add supers after first rotation. Mind you is work, but is nothing close as labor intensive as checkerboarding or so it would seem.
     
  6. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Tec, what is walt trying to sell, other than a few sheets of paper explaining the process?

    As for the commercial guys, as I stated, it is way too much work and time consuming to be used by the commercial guys. They would have to triple their work force just for the checkerdoarding.

    Many say it doesn't work when they move a few frames around and call it done. Checkerboarding is much more than a one time manipulation. I still say it works, but it's like taking a job making 2.00 an hour. It just isn't worth the time for the pay.
     
  7. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    iddee writes:
    Tec, what is walt trying to sell, other than a few sheets of paper explaining the process?

    tecumseh:
    some folks think you can slightly change the language just a bit and easily (and safely) reinvent the wheel.

    read my last sentence from post #3 and give me some reasonable answer. I think the 'only' answer to this statement is extremely clear (or at least when I present the statement to mizz tecumseh she had no problem in constructing a reasonable answer pretty quickly). mind you the 'statement' is the authors and not mine.

    This is not to suggest that the opening up of the brood area has no or little value in the early spring time for many beekeepers (beehivers reasonable need not apply here). Here some fairly well educated but new beekeepers have problem with employing 'checkerboarding' (whatever that may mean???) in some reasonable fashion.

    does this mean the 'idea' is poor or just poorly stated???? well I don't know.

    some of these same folks (here) don't really seem to recognize (as seems to also be the case with the author of this 'new' idea) that 'checkerboarding' may induce a hive's brood area expansion in some undesirable direction (vertical expansion vs horizontal expansion). It has been mentioned to me on several occasion that casualty/loss have resulted along the lines of wfuavengers precautions.

    the author and folks using 'checkerboarding' also don't seem to note or recognize the possibilities that the process may well directly lead to early superscedure (which I suspect is actually quite a a bit of the swarm prevention benefit supposedly generated by the process).

    again the author seem clueless (denial seems to be his primary reasoning to any and all questions) about this potential downside of his own process.
     
  8. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    :D :D :D :D

    You're saying it has it's negatives. I'm saying it has it's negatives.
    Neither of us recommends doing it.
    So, where's the argument??? :thumbsup:
     
  9. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    The way i do swarm prevention is to rotate if the top super or deep is getting crowded, i'll do this twice in the spring. When the hive has built up i'll rob three frames of brood (if it's a strong hive) and start a nuc or give them to a weaker hive. I then replace the frames that i took with foundation and arrange the frames in the hive so that the 3 foundation frames are in the bottom box and in the middle, bees don't like to leave things unfinished. :thumbsup: I think i read this in a Richard Taylor article, and it works Most of the time not always :beg: . I think the girls have a tea party in the winter and decide if they want to move or not, and if they decide to move your not going to stop them. :wave: Jack

    PS. So Richard Taylor and Me think your all wronge. :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
     
  10. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    Jack,
    we are talking the same language, looking for the same results,
    "barry42001"
    Hello DOrr,
    I have often posted about the only swarm prevention I use, and for me it works, and as I live next to my hive, I would know if it swarmed. I rotate the brood chambers 2x in spring, and add supers after first rotation. Mind you is work, but is nothing close as labor intensive as checkerboarding or so it would seem."
    The net result is freeing up brood space that otherwise the bees would start to store nectar/ honey / pollen in. EVENTUALLY the brood pattern would spread into the super but by then crowding would result and the swarming would commence.
     
  11. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    P.S. There is some considerable thinking that the " swarming impulse ", may not be that impulsive but apparently some colonies appear to " plan " for the swarm to come as much as 30 or more days in advance--bees start loafing inside the hive, filling up with honey for the building material they will need ( how long does it take bees to metabolize honey into wax.)
     
  12. DOrr

    DOrr New Member

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    First,the long winter "thinned" a couple of my hives down considerably. Those I'll leave alone until they build back up. But after experiencing 3-4 swarms per hive last year, I'm ready to try something new. Adding and rotating supers didn't work for me, hence, the idea of checkerboarding appealed to me. I'm looking for the results of it, good or bad. I currently keep 5 hives, working them more for their benefit doesn't weigh into the decision. I'd rather sweat a little and have healthy, productive hives. I knew beekeeping was more than a status when I started, all honey bees require upkeep.
     
  13. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    iddee writes:
    So, where's the argument???

    tecumseh:
    I didn't think we were? I was just trying to make a point that some new ideas are really nothing new... just some vague change and some new spin in the language.

    Barry writes:
    There is some considerable thinking that the " swarming impulse ", may not be that impulsive but apparently some colonies appear to " plan " for the swarm to come as much as 30 or more days in advance--bees start loafing inside the hive, filling up with honey for the building material they will need

    tecumseh:
    this is my understanding (via reading) also. there is nothing impulsive about swarming unless you consider an absconding swarm (usually associated with starving).

    DOrr:
    I think Jack's methods are pretty standard, tried and true routines for limiting swarming. I have never heard anyone suggest that any manipulation would work 100% of the time.

    If you keep in mind that swarming is generated from a number of variable (large numbers, crowding of brood nest, etc) and simply reduce a number of these you increase your odds of obtaining a winning hand.

    for me... this generally means opening up the brood nest early and in the direction I want the brood/cluster to expand. early on I look for any solid frames of pollen which along with foundation can act as a wall to brood nest expansion (in that direction). adding boxes (especially any with just foundation) early way ahead of population expansion... it doesn't seem to help to add multiple boxes all at one time. in more recent times I have begun to employ queen excluders and inverting entrances (from you standard bottom board entrance) with multiple (two) entrances above the excluder.

    this last manipulation is my 'old dogs can learn new tricks' moment, since I was reared by two commercial beekeeper who taught me that a queen excluder was a honey excluder. this manipulation has been well researched and documented (well after my time with my two mentors) and one of it's benefit (beyond the point that it can yield somewhat of a larger honey crop) is that as the season progresses it tends to limit backfilling and crowding of the brood nest since the field bees do not pas directly thru the brood area.
     
  14. rast

    rast New Member

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    Tec, what type of upper entrances are you using?
     
  15. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    rast... above the excluder I have two entrances. I have a notched entrance built into my somewhat modified migratory covers (I have added a thin bit of wood to lift the covers slightly from the lower box) and I use builder shims (like they use to shim windows and doors in home construction) just above the excluder which creates a long entrance just above the excluder and the first honey super.

    the set up is not mine but is based on a article in an old bee magazines (mid 1980's) that described an experiment related to entrance and use of an excluder. I am fairly certain the article was titled 'Is a Queen Excluder a Honey Excluder'. The experiment was fairly robust (meaning they measured a lot of stuff over the season). It certailyn encouraged me to think about doing things in a different manner.