spring build up northern versus south educate me??????

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by barry42001, Oct 24, 2011.

  1. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    I started beekeeping in Pennsylvania, where it gets cold in the winter, moved to upstate NY, where it is down right frigid. practices were identical for spring buildup, and bearing in mind that in march it is still quite cold up there. always ran a double brood chamber, rotating them about once every 3 weeks to ensure the queen would be using both chambers. by late may, was our target date to have a huge workforce to take advantage of the floral sources maintained the double brood chamber through summer, allowing the bees to start filling the one brood chamber with honeyfall flows were enough to fill the brood box with sealed honey---that was the bees ( approx 60lbs was figured enough to get a colony through the winter and start massive brood rearing without fears of starvation. Most queens slow down brood rearing in early August a large colony going into the winter while will certianly consume more stores then a small one, which one will be more capable to start a late winter brood buildup? Which one will have the workkforce to forage and tend to the colony needs, and will infact require supering faster? To my feeble mind, I can't gather how using one brood box is enough brood space. Also as the nectar starts comming in the bees will store atleast some of the nectar in the brood box to Spread out and condense, further using valuable brood space. Seen scales indicate a weight gain of almost 23 pounds a day of nectar--now that would translate to about 12 pounds of honey or less. How can more bees not be better
     
  2. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a snip one...
    Most queens slow down brood rearing in early August a large colony going into the winter while will certianly consume more stores then a small one

    a snip two...
    How can more bees not be better

    tecumseh:
    sounds like you kind of answered your own question here??? with 'most queens' being the key word.

    1) you can do the math of the brood area and determine optimal brood space by assuming (varying) the queens egg laying rate. for most average laying queens (which is really what most folks really should want) a story and a half is adequate brood rearing space + some space for resource (nectar and pollen) at the periphery of the brood nest.

    2) as a general rule honey flows as you approach the equator are short and punctuated (but may well span the entire year) and as you approach the pole are continuous (but totally done in a few months). managing bee population at the two end of this spectrum are totally different.
     

  3. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    In Israel, we pretty much work with one brood chamber all the time, adding supers as needed (depending on season, population growth and honey flow) for needed storage room. One full sized (deep) Langstroth with 10 frames usually provides enough space for a cycle of queen laying (when he queen has finished laying in all the frames, the first one is opening up space for re-using). When things get a bit tight, it's easiest to raise a few frames with brood to the first honey super and add new frames (built or for building) into the brood nest. The moved up frames, make room for honey storage when the bees emerge. This system uses a queen excluder-- something avoided by many of the beeks on this forum. Before the winter comes, hives are reduced to brood nest only and, as egg laying is reduced, more honey is stored there for winter use.
     
  4. Skyhigh

    Skyhigh New Member

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    A couple questions...Does this mean you use deeps as supers? I can see how this would work and be quite effective, but only if the first two boxes are the same size (otherwise I'm confused). And, what frames would you generally move? 1&10, 2&9, 2,3&8,9...? Then, when you reduce to "brood nest only" does that mean removing ALL boxes except the one deep? No supers at all?

    This sounds organized in a way that makes more sense to me than what I'd learned (or rather, what I'd put together from what was said.)

    This is a very interesting thread to me!
     
  5. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Hi Sky
    1. I use only deeps--and don't know of anyone in Israel who does otherwise. You're right--it makes things much simpler, but, with a good yield, the honey supers can be really heavy. [We accept that difficulty, when it comes, with a big smile.] I suppose the local suppliers might be able, on special order, to sell mediums, but certainly not many are sold.
    2. When moving frames from the brood nest to the first super, I take frames that are closest to emerging. It doesn't matter where in the nest they come from. But, I place them in the middle of the super (5 or 4-5-6) depending on how many I move up. If I add frames for building, they are spaced between built frames. This is most reliable when there is a nice honey flow coming in, otherwise you can get stuck with frames that don't get built.
    3. The general recommendation here is to winter the bees in the brood box only, but I confess, I usually leave one super--not so much for the honey reserves but for the protection of the combs from wax moths. Leaving one super on the brood box does, however, make it a bit more difficult for the bees to keep warm when we get a cold snap, but,at least in my area, they are few and far between. It's rare for the bees to be "locked in" for more than a few days at a time (by a long spell of rain).
     
  6. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    I don't know how Israel fits in with your general rule. Most of the country is located between 30-32 degrees north. We have our season divided into two productive honey-flows: The first gradually builds up from January-February for hive build-up and March thru April for collection. The first crop is taken off in May. Then there is a dry spell for a few weeks, till the summer flowers start producing and the second crop comes off toward the end of July. From then on, the bees slowly collect for themselves.
    But this is a generality, for my area. Agricultural crops, flowering at other seasons can, of course, change this situation.
    The big factor here is our long dry season, generally we see no rain to speak of from late April, early May till October (the north of the country has seen its first few mm of rain, but here, we're still waiting to see anything that can be measured---Maybe tomorrow, if the weather forecast doesn't disappoint).
     
  7. Skyhigh

    Skyhigh New Member

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    Interesting! And lots to think about! :thumbsup: I may (actually, undoubtedly will) have more questions later as this processes...