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Author Topic: brood everywhere  (Read 1230 times)
Zoot
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« on: July 05, 2007, 11:08:54 PM »

Just got back from a 5 week absence and was expecting at least 2 of my hives to have swarmed.  No swarming - no swarming behavior either - but every hive is busting, even my 3 nucs that I brought home in May. I had risked putting extra supers on - 4 mediums below everywhere and 3 above an upper slatted rack.

What I do have on my hands is at least several hundred pounds of honey (hope to extract tomorrow) and a fair amount of brood above the upper slatted racks (intended them to work as excluders). The queens in each hive have apparently moved with ease up through all of the boxes - is this typical? Did they do this because of the lower brood chambers being filled?

One positive note - I had installed numerous frames with starter strips only throughout each hive's upper supers hoping it would occupy the bees in my absence. It is all filled beautifully.
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Cindi
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« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2007, 09:06:02 AM »

Zoot, yeah!!!  You must have done something very right, good for you.  Have a wonderful day.  Cindi
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kensfarm
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« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2007, 10:29:21 AM »

Sounds like the girls were working hard while you were away..  it's been really dry this spring.. finally some rain over the last couple days. 

Any pictures of those starter strip frames filled?  Happy Extracting!! Smiley 
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Zoot
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« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2007, 11:48:31 AM »

sorry, haven't gotten motivated to get in the picture mode though I intend to at some point. What's interesting about the frames with starter strips is the size of the cells - quite large. Also, all of those frames are solidly filled with honey and some pollen - no brood.

We've apparently had this amazing good fortune in that the very few storms that have come through always hit our area, hence the amazing flow. They're still foraging heavily on clover, cone flowers, etc so I am looking forward to a bountiful summer. Back to the extractor!!!
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jl
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« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2007, 07:02:04 PM »

here I stress and fret pver every little detail and you leave for five weeks and come back to a truckload of honey, nice work

Jeff
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asprince
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« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2007, 07:21:24 PM »

I know for a fact if I had left 5 weeks ago my hives would have been better off today. Over management.

Congratulations on your good fortune!

Steve
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2007, 07:06:13 PM »

Zoot, 

Good to hear of your good fortune.  As you have reported in your above post the production of honey using the DuBray (French for Of Bray) system of SBB and dual slatted racks confirms what I've experienced using the methods I developed and my claim that a good hive can produce as much as 300 lbs of honey per year.  sounds like with half of the summer gone you're halfway to the 300 lb mark already, congrats. 

A Couple of questions:
1. Are you using top entrances?  If so this does have a tendency to encourage the queen to move up in the hive.  Top entrances help in HAVC concerns making the bees spend less time on that necessity, freeing them up for other things. 
2. Are the brood in the honey supers worker or drone brood?  Even with the use of excluders some hives will have workers laying drone eggs above the excluder.
3. How extensive is the brood above the 2nd slatted rack?  You evidently have very good queens but an assessment of how much of the brood production is going on above the 2nd slatted rack is a question I would like the answer to as I'm still trying to refine my DuBray system.  At least with using all the same size equipment you have the means of rectifying the problem that such extensive brood dispersal throughout the hive can cause.  4 mediums chucked full of brood after the  honey harvest isn't bad.
4. What's your own thoughts on the production, etc?  You are the 1st person to utilize the DuBray system outside of my own apiary so I'm interested in you experiences.  Maybe we need to cover the top of the upper slatted rack with 1/4 inch hardware cloth to discourage the queen from going up.

The concept of the DuBray Beehive System is to maximize brood and honey production, as strong hives means high honey production as long as there is good forage.  You may have also noticed that the presence of the 2 slatted racks does aid in having the bees not work as hard on such things as ventilation, air circualtion, and keeping the hive "open."  Plus giving the bees extra space.  The less effort they require on HAVC requirements means the more effort can be put into foraging. 

Keep me posted on your experiences and observations using the DuBray Beehive System.  If you don't want to waste forum space with your reports you can always PM me.  But I think the forum members might like to know more about the DuBray system, Right, Everybody?

B2 
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Ken
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« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2007, 06:08:55 AM »

Bring on the info guys! Smiley
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Zoot
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« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2007, 10:13:56 PM »

Brian,

I am using top entrances and, in the case of my biggest hive (7 mediums at the moment) both a top and bottom entrance.

Most of the brood that has appeared in the honey supers has been drone with one exception in the big hive; in that hive box #5, the first super above the upper slatted rack, was largely filled with worker brood - a perfectly filled frame. Also, that's where the queen was on that particular day. After harvesting I re-configured that hive with all of the brood back below the supers. All 4 lower boxes were solidly full of brood and honey, so much so that I moved some frames over to my other 2nd year hive and replaced with undrawn foundation.

My thoughts:  Admittedly, 14 months or so with this setup is not a huge period of time to come to definitive conclusions but.... so far I couldn't be more pleased and feel that it has vindicated itself many times over. The queens seem quite capable of moving up through the upper slatted racks at their whim, a habit that seems to be encouraged by using top entrances. At the same time, their ability to lay anywhere is, as you noted, easily remedied due to the universal nature of the all-medium setup. The ability to move frames anywhere in any hive is a powerful management advantage. As for honey production, with even a moderate flow this fall I could hit 300 lbs easily in the big hive (maybe 450 lbs total for the 2 second year hives combined) and even my 2 nucs have grown quickly and have unusually large amounts of honey. All in all 4 of my 5 hives are doing far better than I expected this year and the 5th, my problem hive from last year,  is catching up.

Only one mild disappointment - a bit more varoa than I had hoped to see. That's in contrast to virtually none last year. I'm wondering if last summer's intense heat could have been a benefit there - we have yet to experience any real prolonged hot weather here this year.
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