Moving brood frames to boost low population?

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by heinleinfan, May 4, 2012.

  1. heinleinfan

    heinleinfan New Member

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    Hi all! I think this is possible, but I wanted to run it by the forums...

    I have done two splits so far this year on my zomgfull hive. And still, it's just overflowing. I have no more boxes, no more money, and no more space so making another split is really not possible. I'm going to put a second super on the box, but still, I have no doubt they'll fill it up in about a week.

    I wouldn't mind all that much if my busy hive swarmed, I think it's awesome to expand population...but I don't want it to overswarm, where it just keeps swarming time after time (I lost a hive that way in my first year) and I would like to make sure as many bees survive as possible, in a safe place instead of leaving them to the whims of swarming.

    I know I can't just take a frame full of bees and stick it in another hive, but, could I shake/brush frames clear of all bees, leaving only brood, and then put them directly into one of the split hives? I thought this would reduce population in the full hive, and add to the weaker ones.

    Will the new hives take care of the brood and welcome them when they hatch?

    Assuming I can do this, how long can a frame of brood be outside the hive and not covered with nurse bees before it could endanger the brood and in what kind of weather/time of day should I aim for? Should the brood be open or closed?

    Thanks everyone!

    -Nat
     
  2. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    You can do this no problem, I do it all the time. Just shake off the bees that are on some capped brood frames and transfer those frames to your weaker hive and swap them out with some empty comb or replace them with foundation. Bees will not abandon brood. You could swap frames with open brood along with the adhereing bees (mostly nurse bees) but I don't usually practice this.
     

  3. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    You can also swap the location of a strong hive and a weak one. The returning strong hive foragers will go into the weak hive and stay, thus weakening the strong and strengthening the weak hive. You can do it anytime the bees are flying.
     
  4. bamabww

    bamabww New Member

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    Hi Nat, I did exactly what you said you can't do with a small swarm and it worked out just fine. I made double sure the queen wasn't on either of the two frames and swapped those two frames of brood, bees and all in the place of two empty ones from the swarm hive.

    I wouldn't have done it though without, like you, asking a local bee keep of 50 years his opinion and he said he done it all the time, just make sure you don't move the queen also.

    Good luck
     
  5. heinleinfan

    heinleinfan New Member

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    This is good to know, that a couple of you have just put the bees right on in. I've always read that the hive ladies would be all "hey, what's the password?" and the new ladies would go "Um...er..." and then it would be havoc. LOL

    I checked on my split, and honestly I don't think they don't need any more population. I've got 2 deeps pretty full, but not overfull, and at least 3 frames full of brood on both sides in there. Our garden hive is full of bees as well now, I had put extra capped brood in there and they obviously hatched. They definitely both have "what I want to see in May" population sizes now.

    So...I'm trying with every contact I have to get a hold of a box affordably and in the next few days, and if I can, we're just going to split again and get ourselves a 3rd hive. If that doesn't work out, then...I'm not sure what I'll do! But, I'll figure out something.
     
  6. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    heinleinfan says"
    "This is good to know, that a couple of you have just put the bees right on in. I've always read that the hive ladies would be all "hey, what's the password?" and the new ladies would go "Um...er..." and then it would be havoc. LOL"

    :lol: lol PASSWORD.....fortunately the bees have much better social skills than us humans.:grin:
    good solid advice by perry and iddee, i do the same. i do more of what perry says than iddee, cuz i don't like lifting and hauling boxes around......
     
  7. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a snip..
    Will the new hives take care of the brood and welcome them when they hatch?

    tecumseh:
    yep. if the temperature is up and down you would want to only transfer enough brood that the existing adult population can still cover the brood. small quantities added over time is best.

    if you did have a nuc boxes either homemade or of the signage board type taking a nuc away with the exiting queen and leaving the hive to make a new queen certainly is a way of taking advantage of very populated hives and remove the threat of swarming.
     
  8. Buzzen

    Buzzen Member

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    If you are putting the frame in a weak hive, wouldn't you want the nurse bees with the frame to cover the brood, since there may not be enough population in the weak hive?
     
  9. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a Buzzen snip...
    wouldn't you want the nurse bees with the frame to cover the brood

    tecumseh:
    with the proper trick you can do that also. sometimes 'tricks' ain't so much required as knowing when you can do this and when you cannot. with workers attached to the brood this certainly making boosting population much quicker. the down side is of course the adult bees you are combining are not related which can (has) lead to robbing and/or the queen being murdered by the adult bees you toss into the box.