Ok, the newbee did something...

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Intheswamp, Mar 7, 2012.

  1. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp New Member

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    Well, I'm hoping I did right by putting a box on each of my hives today. I wasn't sure how it would go but it wasn't an issue. Even brushing a bunch of bees off the inner covers wasn't really an issue.

    I have three colonies...two 10-frame deeps and one 8-frame medium nuc. My goal is to eventually be in all 8-frame medium equipment. All three colonies were needing room. I ended up putting 8-frame mediums on all three hives, replacing the inner and outer covers on the 10-frame hives with 8-frame covers. I used a 1x4 to cover the gap on top of the 10 frame boxes.

    The location of the 8-frame nuc was in front of my hive stand row so I began it's slow march backwards. That worked pretty good, too, with not a lot of fuss from the bees and apparently they followed the hive pretty good....I only moved it about 3-1/2 feet. I've got a few more moves to make before it finally reaches it's final location.

    BTW, what would the boxes that I added today be called? Would I say that I added a brood box to each one, or simply say I added a super? I'm thinking that the term "super" only applies to boxes intended for honey stores? :confused:

    Anyhow, here's a couple of images from this morning...

    These are 8-frame boxes on top of the 10-frame boxes. Rembrandt I ain't, so no comments on the art work. :lol: The marked boxes will eventually be the bottom brood boxes and hopefully will help keep down drifting. Hives are 4' apart....
    [​IMG]

    This is the 8-frame nuc after I moved it. I went ahead while I was at it and set up some blocks for the next two moves. A question here is....how long should the hive sit before the next move? I'm thinking a day is long enough. ??? The boxes in the background are some newly painted mediums that I'm letting air out...the nuc will take their place.
    [​IMG]

    Anyhow, hope they survive my newbeness!!!! ;)
    Ed
     
  2. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a snip..
    BTW, what would the boxes that I added today be called?

    tecumseh:
    in the older days we would have called this the food chamber. thus the bottom box is the brood chamber and above this the food chamber. also in the old days we would have termed anything above the food chamber as a honey super (generally considered to be surplus and subject to being taken by the beekeeper).
     

  3. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Using all 8 frame mediums, I would call the first 3 boxes brood chamber.
     
  4. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp New Member

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    Thanks ya'll. Yeah, the 8-frame will eventually be the bottom brood chamber so I guess I'd say I add some "brood chambers", eh?

    Iddee, I'm planning on a minimum of 3 boxes for the brood chamber...maybe even 4 if the ladies cooperate.

    Naturally I'm wanting to look and see if there's any white wax on the foundation but it hasn't been even 24 hours yet! :roll: It looks like some inclement weather coming in for a few days so it'll be a good time to keep the hatches battened down. Tuesday and Wednesday the wx prediction is for partly sunny and mid-70F temperatures and a week will have elapsed since putting the boxes on so I'll probably wait till then to check them (maybe).

    Ed
     
  5. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    I would give it 2-3 days between each move, but that's just my two cents. I figure what's the rush?
    Looking good, Ed!!
     
  6. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp New Member

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    Thanks Omie, I'm trying. :)

    The way it looks it going to end up being that long or longer between moves. It was fun standing among all the flying bees. I"m looking forward to the spring and summer. ;)

    Ed
     
  7. bamabww

    bamabww New Member

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    Sounds like to me you've got a good plan. Are you moving them back to the tree line? Thanks for sharing your pictures.
     
  8. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp New Member

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    Howdy Wayne. The second picture of the 8-frame hive shows another hive behind it. Those are empty boxes sitting on the blocks where the 8-frame hive will make it's final move to. That is probably 30-35 feet from the tree line.

    Here is a picture as I was just about finished laying down the cement blocks for the stands. It'll give you an idea of how far from the tree line the hives are. It'll also give you an idea how far I've got to move the small 8-frame colony. I was probably standing on a terrace when I took this picture...there's another terrace on the other side of the jeep.[​IMG]

    This is the row of stands after I've got them pretty well situated but before any hives were put on them. I wasn't sure how far apart to place the blocks so I spaced each pair roughly 9 inches part. The outside edges of each pair of blocks are 2 feet apart. Space between pairs of blocks is 4 feet. I hope this distance separating the hives will help with drifting issues. The short solid blocks will probably be replaced with 4" hollow blocks stacked on top of 8" hollow blocks (or maybe not :) )[​IMG]

    Ed
     
  9. Slowmodem

    Slowmodem New Member

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    It looks like you've really got it going on there. :)

    I think the 10 to 8 frame adapter (board and brick) is innovative. I hope it works for you.
     
  10. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp New Member

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    Thanks, Greg. *Somebody* was innovative...not me.:wink: I found the idea on the internet somewhere. In my readings I'm thinking Langstroth or Miller may have come up with it. The 1x4 seems to be working but I do wonder if having a board that fit flush with the three exposed edges of the 10-frame box would be better....less area for wind or "critters" to lift it up. I also placed them on the east side away from our prevailing wind/rain to hopefully shelter the small gap between the board and the side of the 8-frame box...naturally, the next 5-6 days we have rain predicted and the predicted wind???.......from the east/southeast, naturally! :roll: With the propolis that was on the brood box the boards seem to be sticking pretty good. If I decide to cut some boards that are a flush fit I may look for some weather stripped to fix to that joining edge....or just let the bees seal it up for me. :thumbsup:

    Ed
     
  11. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp New Member

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    Well, I did a little honey bee work yesterday. Nothing in depth, but got a couple of things done.

    First thing was I put out my two little 10-frame 2-story medium nucs for swarm traps....made from the Dcoates plan but modified for medium frames. Used some LGO and smeared some propolis around the inside of the chamber and around the entrance. I'm using some starter strips of foundation in the frames.

    I ended up using too much time getting them squared away and secured in their trees. They're up about 8' roughly.

    I've got four 8-frame deeps that I'm going to use also...got a little more painting and probably some thin tops and bottoms to install. I'm still debating those...I've got some solid bottoms and migratory tops that I could use, but they add a good bit of weight....some 7/16 plywood would be a lot lighter. We'll see. Anyhow, after spending way too much time on these two little traps I got back to the house with the sun getting further and further westward...

    I checked the small 8-frame nuc out first. I was really pleased to see fresh wax on the center four frames of small cell foundation. I don't know if small cell foundation makes a hill of beans or not...I hear pros and cons...I figured I'd try it. The ladies in this little nuc are always busy. They were a small group when I got them...probably 3 full frames of bees. I fed them over the winter with syrup and they brought pollen in from *somewhere* all winter long. They were pigs with the syrup. I was definitely happy to see that new white wax.

    While I had the nuc disturbed I figured I'd move it another step. I had prepared stands for it's incremental move. In doing so I had used some 4" blocks as base blocks with the intention of either replacing them with 8" blocks or placing more blocks on top of the 4" ones. After I moved it I realized that I forgot to replace the 4" blocks with 8" blocks position....grass was sticking up in front of the entrance and with the rain coming I new I needed to raise it up a bit. I had moved it ~3-1/2' and the bees were already coming to it. I looked at it and the 8" blocks that I had already set up for the next step. So, I moved it again...this was a total of about a 7' move. The ladies seemed to follow it quiet well. I did run into a few out in front of it but I kept watching and it seemed the foragers were finding there way to it ok. Today, business seemed as usual at that hive. In checking, I didn't see any hive beetles but went ahead and added another beetle jail (oil and acv) to the new brood box.

    I then moved on to the other two hives...the hives with the 10-frame brood chambers. I was a bit disappointed with these. I was expecting them to have drawn out more comb than the small nuc had drawn, but that wasn't the case. There were some bees on the foundation in the added box but I didn't spot any new wax. This is kinda interesting to me. The two 10-frame hives came from one place and the 8-frame nuc came from another. I've got small cell foundation in all three hives. Could it be the difference in the bees attitude towards the small cell foundation that is making the difference? Is the small nuc possibly more acceptable to the sc or ...??? I have some large cell foundation already in the frames...I may swap it out in the large frame hives and see what happens.

    I went on and put another beetle jail in each of those hives, too. And again, I did not see any beetles. But, I did not go into the brood chambers. I know beetles are there or will be there so I'm not letting my guard down.

    I did take the new boxes off of each hive to get to the top of the original brood chambers. The 8-frame looked good but the 10-frames need some attention in regards to burr comb, etc.,. :| With the time change I'll have more time in the evenings...maybe one hive each evening. I think this is going to be *really* fun. :roll:

    Here's a shot of the 8-frame nuc after I moved it. The spot right in front of the hive is where it's "supposed" to be sitting after this move...basically I moved it twice as far as I first intended to. It seems to be fine.[​IMG]

    Ed

    PS...no stings.
     
  12. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp New Member

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    One last thought. This is my start-up year and my goal is to get as much comb drawn as I can. Would it be good to feed the colonies some 1:1? I don't want them to become honey/syrup bound, but would the extra room of the added boxes and foundation encourage them to build comb rather than store the syrup?
     
  13. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    feeding does encourage the pulling of wax. a lot of new folks to bee keeping seem to believe that the wax in the foundation is all that is needed. this is actually just something for the girls to start on so a lot of young bees with active wax glands are required for generating frames of comb. often times the difference between hives 'pulling wax' is the number of young bees in the box.
     
  14. Slowmodem

    Slowmodem New Member

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    Whew! That's a day's work!

    Good going no stings! :thumbsup:
     
  15. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    Keep in mind that bees don't build comb just to leave it empty, or just because you give them foundation. They build comb when they need more comb to either store food or for the queen to lay in. They build a lot of comb in the Spring, very little in the Fall. It's hard to 'force' bees to draw comb if they don't feel they need it at the moment. But a booming hive will want more comb to meet their population needs for food and brood. In early Spring feeding 1:1 syrup can jumpstart them into building up, but once there is a substantial nectar flow happening they will likely ignore your inferior syrup offerings. In my opinion they have better natural food out there to gather and you'll be wasting your time and money offering them syrup all Spring. Best to stop feeding when the nectar flow begins.

    I found that nucs tend to build comb fast. I used a nuc last year as a sort of mini 'comb factory'- it kept booming and the queen kept laying like mad, they only had 5 frames. So every couple of weeks i'd take out a whole deep frame of capped brood, brushed all the bees off, and gave it to another hive. I would replace that frame with a completely empty foundationless frame and the little nuc drew that frame fast every time, until autumn when I let them alone. They seemed none the worse for my rather rude mass kidnappings. It was a great way to A) Get more natural drawn frames made all Spring and summer, B) boost other hives, and C) keep the nuc from swarming or outgrowing its 5 frame box. That little 5 frame nuc made it through the winter along with my other 5 frame nuc. They are happy and bustling and ready to grow into full hives this Spring. Soon I'll put them in their own 10 frame deeps. It was fun having those little nucs around all year!
     
  16. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    For my own edification, again why are you switching to 8 frame hives? Is weight the issue--not so much for brood chambers ( 10 frame ) they have alittle more weight then 8 frame of course, but nothing to run home screaming for mom. Honey supers are weighty, but then is why one uses carts and wheel barrows in my case a strong back, and dull wit lol.
    Barry
     
  17. rast

    rast New Member

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    Intheswamp, I've done that change over before, never cut the boards flush, but I did put a couple of finishing nails in the boards. Drove them through the boards before laying them on the bottom brood chamber and just tacking them to it. A bead of silicone sealer or foil AC duct tape will seal em fine.
    Barry, my reason is physical limitations.
     
  18. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp New Member

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    Howdy Barry. On the physical aspect of things...back surgery back in '93(?), doc has inquired whether I want to visit another orthopaedic doctor (no thanks), I'm not getting any younger. :)

    My mentor (78yo) and a close friend of his (81yo) have both said that if they had it to do over that they'd go all 8 frame mediums...this was after they found out my intentions so they weren't an influence on my decision....just thought I'd mention what the old guys said.

    On a practical/technical approach I like the idea of using all mediums for being able to swap equipment around and steal resources from a strong hive to give to a weak hive, etc.,. I understand, too, that I can do this with either 8 or 10 frame equipment.

    I guess, bottom line...weight and a less than pristine back...and a newbee having to make a decision. :)

    Ed
     
  19. kebee

    kebee Active Member

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    I am going with 8 frame boxes at the start will have problems even handly these at my age and seem to be going downhill faster than I though. Sure trying to stay in shape though and have plenty of stuff going haywire around here to stay in shape. Had 85 yesterday, burned a pile of bushes and had to mowe the back yard again. Today so for I weedeated the back yard and now whip.

    kebee
     
  20. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    I really hurt my shoulder a couple years ago by lifting a full 10 frame deep brood box. It was HEAVY. Took over 6 months of winter to heal that shoulder. Now I know enough to take out at least 3 frames before I move it. But if I had it to do over again from the beginning I'd go with 8 frame boxes instead of 10. I may still make the change gradually.