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Author Topic: Normal Pace or Need for Space  (Read 800 times)

Offline MrILoveTheAnts

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Normal Pace or Need for Space
« on: June 28, 2007, 06:41:03 PM »
Let's say you do a split that's only 3 frames and a new queen hatches the next day. Let's also say you put them in the bottom box of a two deep hive, with all of the frames drawn out with comb. Assuming it's always warm enough for the brood to never chill, will the queen lay eggs like crazy all over the place or will the lack of workers slow her down?

Online pdmattox

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Re: Normal Pace or Need for Space
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2007, 07:46:29 PM »
The queen will only lay enough that the bees can take care of,and giving them room above before the fill the bottom box up will not  make them build faster.  From what I have learned, bees will build upwards faster than outwards.  Try a five frame nuc box with brood and then put another nuc box with out the bottom on top with the drawn frames and they will fill up a lot faster.

Offline Apis629

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Re: Normal Pace or Need for Space
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2007, 10:24:09 AM »
The queen will only lay enough that the bees can take care of,and giving them room above before the fill the bottom box up will not  make them build faster.  From what I have learned, bees will build upwards faster than outwards.  Try a five frame nuc box with brood and then put another nuc box with out the bottom on top with the drawn frames and they will fill up a lot faster.

That's not always the case.  I've heard of a few cases, especially with Italians, where the queen will lay at a rate greater than what the workers can insulate in the spring.  Although, it is true they build up faster along the virtical rather than horezontal plane, it's not too hard to coax them to build outwards. 

MrILoveTheAnts, you may want to consider starting such  a small group off with just one deep box.  Two is far too much space.  Even if it's drawn, there's no way that small amount of bees would be able to adequately patrol the comb surface and keep it free from damaging insects such as wax moths or SHB.  If these other 7 frames are not drawn,  to entice the queen into laying, and the workers to draw out the comb, be sure to feed a thin 1:1  sugar syrup.  In my experience, a top feeder is best as the boardman will seem to always attract ants and, with a weak colony just starting off, that's the last thing you want.

Offline Brian D. Bray

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Re: Normal Pace or Need for Space
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2007, 09:53:24 PM »
Putting on a super too early can cause your bees to move up and pretty much abandon the lower box.  The excess room also makes them work harder to maintain the temperature of the brood nest as they have to heat the entire hive.  When 1st setting up a hive smaller is usually better than bigger.  Let the bees grow into the space provide and then add space.  Starting a 3 lb package in a nuc box is wise, then adding a 2nd box and letting them build that out before moving them into a full size box usually workers better. 
Bushy Mountain has a reducer that will allow for a nuc box to be placed on top of a regular box.  I have 2 of them and use them alot.  I can build up a swarm or package 1/2 a box (nuc) at a time.
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