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Author Topic: Long Hive Management - What do you think?  (Read 892 times)
justgojumpit
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« on: January 03, 2009, 09:49:21 PM »

So I built two long hives, and will be trying them out next spring.  Each long hive accomodates 33 deep frames.  The hives that will be moved into them are both overwintering in three deep hive bodies in North Salem, NY (about 1 hour north of New York City)  Here are my thoughts for management throughout the next two years.  What do you all think?

Year 1:
     As soon as it becomes warm enough that the bees are making their cleansing flights, move bees into long hives.  Try to keep brood nest together as much as possible... pollen in the very front, then brood frames, then any honey left over.  All empty frames will be rendered for wax, as the comb is old in many cases and I want to cycle some new foundationless frames in there to move toward small cell.

     Feed the bees 1:2 sugar syrup for brood stimulation, as well as pollen patties, until they stop taking it.

     Feed empty foundationless frames into the brood area one at a time, as they are filled, to expand the brood nest.

     When the major honey flow starts to come on, remove the queen and all open brood from each hive to conduct a cut down split.  Leave one frame of eggs in each long hive to allow for a new queen to be reared, and put honey supers, with queen excluders below them, over the brood area of the long hives.  Configuration of supers will be in multiples of two side by side, over the brood nest.

Once the long hives have re-queened, and good broodrearing has been re-established, keep honey supers on the hives as needed, feeding new empty ones to the bottom of the pile, for the rest of the season.  These hives will then be stripped of honey supers in the fall, and then fed 2:1 syrup, if necessary, to be full for overwintering.  Same process for the second year on long hives.

As for the cut-down splits:
     Keep the each queen with young open brood and a frame of pollen in a five frame nuc. These splits will be fed 1:2 syrup as long as they take it.  The rest of the frames will be placed into single deep hive bodies.  8 frames brood, one frame pollen, and an empty foundationless frame.  At least one frame of eggs per queenless colony. 
     Queenless colonies will raise queen cells, which will be cut out when capped.  All frames resulting from cut-down splits will then be separated into 5-frame nucs in the following manner:  2 frames brood, one frame pollen (if there are enough to go around) two empty frames, and two queen cells (if there are enough to go around - I could always take a few from the long hives as well, as they will be on the same timing with the queen rearing)
     The two frame nucs will then be heavily fed pollen and nectar as long as they will take it.
     When the nucs become crowded in their boxes, I will move them to 10 frame boxes.
     I will then add two supers of empty shallow foundationless frames as needed to allow for colony growth.  This way I can draw out some comb for additional honey supers.  A drawn out frame, if available, will be placed in the center of each shallow super.
     Splits will overwinter in this configuration.

Second year: Established long hives will be managed in the same way as year 1.

     Overwintered splits will be moved into long hives.  frames from the deep box will be transferred into the front of the long hive.  5 rear-most frames will be removed from the long hive, temporarily.  bees will be shaken off of the shallow frames into the hole created at the back of the long hive.  This way, I am sure that the queen is in the bottom box.  shallow supers will then be placed above a queen excluder, in their original orientation, above the ten deep frames.  Any brood will be able to emerge from the shallow frames, and the brood nest will begin to move laterally as the queen will not be able to regain access to these shallow frames.  From this point on, these long hives will be managed in the same way as the other long hives in year one. 

When I have enough honey super frames drawn out, I will raise my splits in all deep equipment, preferably in long hives with a follower board.

What do you all think about my long-winded plans?  Do they make sense and are they realistic?  Am I overlooking anything?  Can anyone offer some improvements?  I don't use chemicals, so I am not too worried about the shallow frames being drawn out for brood, and then subsequently used for honey.  Should I be?

Thanks for the input!

justgojumpit
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« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2009, 11:48:47 PM »

Got any pics of your long hive?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2009, 12:45:44 PM »

>   Feed the bees 1:2 sugar syrup for brood stimulation, as well as pollen patties, until they stop taking it.

Almost a sure way to get them to swarm.  I would only feed until there is nectar coming in.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfeeding.htm#when

>     Feed empty foundationless frames into the brood area one at a time, as they are filled, to expand the brood nest.

Good plan.  If they are really booming and the weather has warmed enough, you could probably do two at a time.

>     When the major honey flow starts to come on, remove the queen and all open brood from each hive to conduct a cut down split.  Leave one frame of eggs in each long hive to allow for a new queen to be reared, and put honey supers, with queen excluders below them, over the brood area of the long hives.  Configuration of supers will be in multiples of two side by side, over the brood nest.

I always try to get my supers NOT over the brood nest so I don't have to move them to get to the brood nest.  I move the brood nest to the back and put the supers on the front.  But I also have a top entrance so they have to go through the supers.  But you can try it that way if you like to lift boxes.  But that's what I was trying to avoid--lifting boxes.

Also keep in mind that all this is only a plan.  The bees often have different plans.  Smiley

>Once the long hives have re-queened, and good broodrearing has been re-established, keep honey supers on the hives as needed, feeding new empty ones to the bottom of the pile, for the rest of the season.  These hives will then be stripped of honey supers in the fall, and then fed 2:1 syrup, if necessary, to be full for overwintering.  Same process for the second year on long hives.

Are these long deeps?  Like with deep 9 1/4" frames?  33 deep frames is almost a hive as it is.  You may not get them to work the supers.

>As for the cut-down splits:
>     Keep the each queen with young open brood and a frame of pollen in a five frame nuc. These splits will be fed 1:2 syrup as long as they take it.  The rest of the frames will be placed into single deep hive bodies.  8 frames brood, one frame pollen, and an empty foundationless frame.  At least one frame of eggs per queenless colony.

It's not exactly a cut down split when you take your frames out of the long hive to make the split.  A cut down split involves removing space for brood and crowding them into the supers.  You cannot crowd them into the supers with a long hive unless you restrict their access to the long hive.

>     Queenless colonies will raise queen cells, which will be cut out when capped.  All frames resulting from cut-down splits will then be separated into 5-frame nucs in the following manner:  2 frames brood, one frame pollen (if there are enough to go around) two empty frames, and two queen cells (if there are enough to go around - I could always take a few from the long hives as well, as they will be on the same timing with the queen rearing)

That can work, but odds are they will build up faster with stronger splits.  Again, though, I don't know that these are deeps, but assuming that, three frames of brood and two of honey is a small split but strong enough to probably take off pretty well. More would probably so better and build up faster and then might be able to split again.

>     The two frame nucs will then be heavily fed pollen and nectar as long as they will take it.

Two frame nucs are a great way to mate queens.  Not so good for building up into a colony.

>     When the nucs become crowded in their boxes, I will move them to 10 frame boxes.

That's a big jump from two to 10.  I try not to increase space by more than double at one time.

>     I will then add two supers of empty shallow foundationless frames as needed to allow for colony growth.  This way I can draw out some comb for additional honey supers.  A drawn out frame, if available, will be placed in the center of each shallow super.

Sounds like you have planned the bee's year.  Good luck with that. Wink  They usually have their own plans.  It's not a BAD plan, just keep in mind you'll need to play it by ear...
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
justgojumpit
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« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2009, 05:28:05 PM »

Hey, thanks for the reality check!  I was planning on starting the bees two frames of brood plus honey/pollen which would come out to 3-4 frames in a five frame box.  That's why I'd up them to a 10 frame box when they got crowded.  I guess I wasn't too clear on that!

Also, you are correct in your assumption that they are deep long hives, 33 frames long.  Is this too long?  I could also put a divider in the back and drill a hole so I can raise nucs in the back end.  Then I would make the brood area just big enough that two supers would fit perfectly over it.  I like the idea of having two supers side by side over the long hive because it allows for much more access into the supers, as well as a greater feeling of emptiness for the bees, hopefully stimulating increased harvesting efforts.  I don't mind the lifting, but I was looking to get all of the brood into one box that I could overwinter them in.  It would make it easier for me to stack the honey supers all together into a pile, and then have access at the whole uninterrupted brood chamber in a single box.  It seems to me that I will be better able to move empty frames in without as much of an impact on breaking up the brood chamber into smaller, disjointed units.

As always, my plans are just plans, and I will have to follow the bees!

justgojumpit
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2009, 10:11:10 PM »

>Also, you are correct in your assumption that they are deep long hives, 33 frames long.  Is this too long?

Not at all.  It's just that it's doubtful they will fill all of that AND the supers.  The idea of a long hive is to not lift boxes.  That's it's primary purpose and 33 frames is a nice size to do that.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
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