Should I split the original Nuc frame order?

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by ASTMedic, May 12, 2013.

  1. ASTMedic

    ASTMedic New Member

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    So I think I'm going to open the hive this coming weekend (on shift today till Wed) and see how the queen cell situation is looking. Its been 2 weeks since my last visit and they were all sealed at that time so I thought a peek might be in order. While I'm in there I was thinking if they haven't touched the non Nuc frames I'd move them towards the center of the box to see if that gets them interested in drawing on them. Thinking of moving the outer most drawn comb out one slot and an undrawn one one slot closer in. Figured if it works vertically to entice movement it might work laterally. Thoughts?

    I was also reading up on stimulating bees to draw comb. I've been feeding 1:1 for the past few weeks so that is covered however can a poor queen situation effect comb drawing?

    Hive looks nice and active. Good group on the front of the hive every day doing orientation flights, grooming and going foraging. Bees are taking about a quart of 1:1 a week but seems to have slowed a touch recently but the blackberries just opened in the past 2-3 days.
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    They won't draw comb until it's needed, and if the queen isn't making new bees, it probably isn't needed. The frame movement you describe is something I do regularly, so go ahead.
     

  3. ASTMedic

    ASTMedic New Member

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    Figured that was the case. With finding supersedure cells that makes more sense why the comb drawing was so poor.

    They were deposing new wax to the tops of frames and bridging the gaps between tops of frames when I looked a week ago. I was just hoping to see some on the foundation though.
     
  4. Barbarian

    Barbarian New Member

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    I would think of priorities.

    Priority 1 would be to have a Q. I wouldn't look for her but rather look for eggs and the way the bees are. If eggs aren't visible then if the bees are bringing in nectar and pollen, moving purposely on the comb face I would take these signs to say a Q is present. I would try to do this inspection quickly.... less disturbance to the colony.

    Priority 2 would be to get some foundation drawn. I would be happy to leave this until after the Q starts to lay. Once this starts, then I would ensure there is sufficient pre-drawn comb for the brood nest to expand onto. You only have a finite number of bees until the first batch of brood starts to emerge. When it comes to getting foundation drawn, I prefer to use a 2 box system. Both boxes would have 5 or 6 frames and a dummy board. The bottom box would hold the brood nest and drawn comb. The box above (no excluder) would have 1 or 2 frames of foundation, a frame with brood and frames of drawn comb. The heat of the brood nest helps the bees to draw out the foundation fully and the upper frame of brood encourages the bees to move upwards.

    I realize that my resources and circumstances of weather and nectar flow will be different from yours but hope the ideas help.
     
  5. ASTMedic

    ASTMedic New Member

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    The last 2 weeks I've been leaving them alone to see if the queen situation settles. So I've been watching them come and go and they are foraging for sure. Not a lot (well I'm guess its not a lot cus its my first hive) but they are gathering pollen and I'm assuming nectar.

    I'll try and check on the egg status when I take a look this weekend.
     
  6. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    an Iddee snip..
    The frame movement you describe is something I do regularly

    tecumseh...
    same here....this places bees on both sides of the frame and get a bit of early drawing of the cell. in a pinch a queen will even lay in this kind of frame even though it barely looks drawn at all.

    caution.... if you still have some coolish weather in the near term you do want to make certain that there are no eggs or very young larvae on the frame you are moving to the outside position. you can in some cases create the situation for a bee keeper induced superscedure by dividing a brood nest with a frame of foundation.
     
  7. Daniel Y

    Daniel Y New Member

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    Comb drawing to me so far is a great mystery. I have swarms that will fill frames in a matter of days. while I have seen others that have not drawn 7 combs in a year. Yes I favor observation even at great expense. I also tend to observe failure as closely as I do success. there is much to learn from both.

    I always feed young building hives to the point they have two boxes drawn. That time span varies greatly but I cannot tell you what causes the variation. Season will of course. but I have had one nuc setting next to another. While one will draw frames in days the other may take weeks. Best I can tell they work at thier pace due to factors known only to them. I find it best to leave well enough alone. A slugghish colony may very well out perform a faster paced one in the end.

    As for the manipulation. I also do this as standard practice. I found out within the first two weeks of beekeeping that it makes an obvious difference. Btu I woudl not do more than two frames at a time. making sure that they have started working the first pair. then I will move in the next pair. Under the best of conditoin you can find they will draw out a complete frame in 2 to 3 days. Best performance I have seen to date was 5 complete frames drawn in 4 days by a swarm captured last month. They took all of a week to draw the next 5 frames and are now in the process of populating what I consider a full size basic hive. I will say that is an extreme and exceptional example. This swarm is all of about 3 weeks old and ready for a second box in the next week. This brings me to my final issue in brood frame manipulation.

    take care that brood is never removed from food stores. if all the honey and pollen is in the outer frame. do not completely seperate the bees from that by any empty space. this may mean you can move in empty frames only form one side for example. A typical brood frame should have an arch of brood. with a band of pollen over that and a band of honey over that. all on one frame. I consider this adequate food for that frame. The colony mentioned above also happens to build textbook perfect brood frames. I beleive this arrangment is part of the key to their progress.
     
  8. Barbarian

    Barbarian New Member

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    How not to do it.

    DSC00124.jpg

    This is a frame of foundation that went into a strong hive with plenty of stores. The nectar flow stopped (June gap) and I neglected to feed.

    Oopps....Ooopps..... OOOPPPS ! :cry: