Opening up the brood nest

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Bigwig, May 30, 2011.

  1. Bigwig

    Bigwig New Member

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    Any thoughts on how to reduce the disturbance to the brood nest when pulling frames? I've got two hive bodies, but the upper box isn't very full yet. It seems that once I pull about two to three frames from the lower box, a lot more bees take notice. I'm using smoke, but that only goes so far. It feels like a lot of returning foragers or new bees taking orientation flights are the ones that start to really buzz around. No one really is getting angry, but the increase in activity is very noticable. It all dies down once I get the frames back in, the second box on, etc.

    Thanks a bunch!
     
  2. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    do you have a dearth sounds like a robbing frenzy to me. then once you have the hive buttoned back up the bees are able to protect the entrance and things settle down
     

  3. Bigwig

    Bigwig New Member

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    A dearth is when the nectar flow slows down or stops? I can't say for sure, but I don't think so. Then again, I didn't get a comprehensive look at all the frames. Most of the middle frames have had nectar or honey, and I didn't take a look at those.

    I recently stopped feeding (about two weeks ago) because I became concerned that the bees were backfilling because I had seen a supersedure cell. They've only had the second hive body for little over a week, but perhaps I should keep feeding until they've got that second box crankin'?

    Thanks again.
     
  4. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    do you have foundation in the 2nd deep or drawn comb. If it is foundation I would move a frame of brood up into the 2nd deep to bait the bees up and encourage them to start pulling comb in 2nd deep. Replace the frame from the bottom deep with a frame of foundation. I would start feeding again until they have the 2nd deep drawn. The feed will make them think they need more room and encourage comb building. And you are correct on a dearth that is when things dry up and there is little nectar to be had at the time
     
  5. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a Bigwig snip..
    Any thoughts on how to reduce the disturbance to the brood nest when pulling frames?

    tecumseh:
    humm.... just don't do that. it is my experience that casual poking around the honey stores above the brood nest really doesn't bother the girls so much. muchin about with brood frames (their chillins) will invariable raise the battle cry an decibel or so. my only suggestion would be lots of smoke and always apply Patton's battle strategy here which basically is... get in, get it done fast and this will limit casualties.

    ps... a lot of rain over time has the same net effect as a dearth (as described by riverrat above) which is basically you have noting coming in to the hive and lots of old field bees setting around waiting for something to do. quite typically one to two days of dry and sunny weather are required for nectar to be present in flowers after a rain spell.
     
  6. Bigwig

    Bigwig New Member

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    Thank you all for the great suggestions. Robbing had been my first instinct, but hadn't been sure.
    I have already done the frame flip-er-oo, but not having feed has probably slowed them down.

    And we have also had a silly amount of rain this spring and early summer, so I think that has been a factor for sure.

    Thanks! Will resume feeding ASAP.