Welcome, Guest

Author Topic: How many bees on a frame of brood?  (Read 11435 times)

Offline doak

  • Super Bee
  • *****
  • Posts: 1788
  • Gender: Male
Re: How many bees on a frame of brood?
« Reply #20 on: February 11, 2010, 09:16:54 PM »
I'm just glad I don't have to spend a lot of time counting bees on frames. :roll: :shock: :)doak

Offline bee-nuts

  • Queen Bee
  • ****
  • Posts: 1101
  • Gender: Male
    • Nectar Meadows Apiaries
Re: How many bees on a frame of brood?
« Reply #21 on: February 11, 2010, 10:05:51 PM »
Bee Nuts,

Is that small cell or what......?  :-D

Its What.
The moment a person forms a theory, his imagination sees in every object only the traits which favor that theory

Thomas Jefferson

Offline Michael Bush

  • Universal Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 14649
  • Gender: Male
    • bushfarms.com
Re: How many bees on a frame of brood?
« Reply #22 on: February 12, 2010, 01:06:35 AM »
Hopefully everyone knows we are all kidding... of course we don't know how many bees are on a frame.  And I don't care.  I count frames of bees.  I don't count bees... and I only count a frame of bees if it's thickly covered in bees...
Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen

Offline doak

  • Super Bee
  • *****
  • Posts: 1788
  • Gender: Male
Re: How many bees on a frame of brood?
« Reply #23 on: February 12, 2010, 04:27:23 PM »
I'll buy that for sure. ;) :)doak

Offline Tyro

  • House Bee
  • **
  • Posts: 115
  • Gender: Male
Re: How many bees on a frame of brood?
« Reply #24 on: February 12, 2010, 04:53:03 PM »
Well, my purpose in asking the question was to try to get some feel for how a nuc (be it 3-, 4-, or 5-frame) compares to a typical 3lb package in terms of bees only.   

But, if as Finski says, there are about 10,000 bees to 2 pounds and 3lbs will cover 5-6 frames - then one could estimate about 3000 bees/frame, meaning that a 3lb package has an equivalent amount of adult bees as a 5-frame nuc (not considering the advantage of the brood/stores in the nuc).

Offline Finski

  • Galactic Bee
  • ******
  • Posts: 3928
  • Gender: Male
Re: How many bees on a frame of brood?
« Reply #25 on: February 13, 2010, 03:31:27 AM »
.
When I started beekeeping I bought lots of swarms.  I noticed that 4 kg swarm (8 lbs) war the best start in hives. It occupied 2 boxes. It made one box brood and another box honey.

After 4 weeks new bees emerged enough and the size of colony has had same size as the swarm.

Before new bees' emerging the hives had lost half of their bees and they had difficulties to keep the hive warm.

After that the hive was ready to grow as much as  queen is able to lay.

To me the limit of hive size is one box full of bees. It takes care itself. It needs 4 lbs bees to occupy the whole Langstroth.

1) If you allready have hives and you bye a new package, put the package over the big beehive with Snellgrove board. Then the hive will grow fast.

2) If you have other hives, give 2 brood frames to package hive and it will grow much more better.

.
.
.
Language barrier NOT included

Offline Pren10

  • New Bee
  • *
  • Posts: 2
Re: How many bees on a frame of brood?
« Reply #26 on: December 06, 2011, 04:21:59 PM »
 :idunno: It depends very specifically on the outside temperature. There are three times the bees on the brood at 75 degrees than at 90. I don't know any logical reason for determining this number exactly.
The only thing I measure is the brood itself, and this, for the purpose of determining the queens ELR (Egg Laying Rate).
If you really want to know the number of bees on a frame, you better first count how many frames your colony fills at various times in the hive (note the temperatures). Then wait until night and shake all the bees in a trash bag and weigh it (3,600 bees/ lb). You will then obtain some very useless information in exchange for a lot of chilled brood and dead bees. Might be worth it if your writing a book. :-P


Offline FRAMEshift

  • Super Bee
  • *****
  • Posts: 1681
Re: How many bees on a frame of brood?
« Reply #27 on: December 06, 2011, 07:32:29 PM »
A worker bee's body covers two brood cells of the size it came out of.   If you are using foundation, you can calculate the number of cells per frame and divide by 2 to get the maximum number of bees that will fit on a frame.  But the bees will rarely be packed that tightly.  Most of the time frames are half covered or less.  But this does vary with hive and time of year. 

We have one hive that just decided to consolidate this fall.  The bees moved all the stores into the smallest number of frames possible and then spaced themselves out to cover all the honey frames.  It looked like a very different distribution than all the other hives at this time of year.
"You never can tell with bees."  --  Winnie-the-Pooh

Offline Vance G

  • Queen Bee
  • ****
  • Posts: 1155
Re: How many bees on a frame of brood?
« Reply #28 on: December 06, 2011, 07:41:31 PM »
Tyro, it depends an awful lot on when you are getting the bees.  I doubt if your commercial beek is going to come back north til some time in mid May.  Last year you and I were still seeing wet freezing nights and snow showers in mid May!  I got five frame nucs the middle of April with queens and it was too early really.  With the cold they just sat there until it warmed up.  Now I bought six five frame nucs with queens and four extra queens that were supposed to be spares in case a consortium of 55 of us hobbyists needed them.  No one wanted them so I split off three two frame nucs from the strongest of my nucs and split another in half.   The weathert stayed cold and it was not my best idea!  But I had the bees in a threeway nuc over the strongest colony and the split over the next strongest and it worked out better than I deserved.  I drew all comb and ended up with 12 colonies with hopefully enough stores to winter and 15 deeps of surplus mostly drawn out a crop I was well pleased with.  I was lucky and have quite a bit of experience so I am not advocating trying any of it.  If you are only budgeting for 15 frames of brood, your best bet is to put them in three or no more than four boxes.  You might consider building two deeps with a wall in the middle so each could house a four frame nuc and they will benefit greatly from each others heat and a smaller amount of space to keep heated.   You can take that even further and make one of your duplex nuc boxes with a screened bottom so the top will benefit from the lower colonies rising heat.  But whatever you do, you need to make sure your queens arrive very shortly after you get these frames of brood!  You can probably buy the queens from the guy supplying the brood and gettingthe supply from him will take a big worry away from you!  Probably the only reason I got lucky with my mad splitting of nucs last spring was I had all ten colonies sharing three bottom boards.  My entrances all pointed in different directions with the outer three way nucs having entrances out the sides.  Since you are shopping for ideas, I thought I would throw this in the mix.  Winter bee dreaming is a fine way to pass the cold.   Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.  

Offline bee-nuts

  • Queen Bee
  • ****
  • Posts: 1101
  • Gender: Male
    • Nectar Meadows Apiaries
Re: How many bees on a frame of brood?
« Reply #29 on: December 07, 2011, 05:43:41 AM »
Heres some food for thought.  A deep frame has about 7000 cells so there would be about 3500 bees if packed tight like carpet over a deep frame.  Now they should be covering part of the frame as well so lets call it 3600 bees a frame and at 3600 bees to a lb, thats a lb of bees a deep frame.  A three pound package should then crowd three frames.  That would make my six frame nucs six pound packages, hmm!

Now if a queen lays 1600 eggs a day, or 33,600 in a 21 day cycle from egg to hatching bee, you would only need five deep frames if brood was wall to wall, hmm!  2000 eggs a day, (42,000 in 21 days) would take up only 6 frames, hmm!

Now if bees live 6 weeks (42 days) in summer you would end up with 67,200 bees for 1600 egg layer and 84,000 for a 2k layer.  Thats 9.6 frames and 12 frames of bees, hmm!  Diss stuff does not add up, I have hives that have at least 3 deeps of frames covered with bees in summer time.  I also believe though that my best laying queens probably would cover 8-9 frames of brood if it was all wall to wall.  So I do believe good laying queens lay up to 3000 eggs a day in peak of season.

How about you?
The moment a person forms a theory, his imagination sees in every object only the traits which favor that theory

Thomas Jefferson

Offline kingbee

  • Queen Bee
  • ****
  • Posts: 1083
  • Gender: Male
Re: How many bees on a frame of brood?
« Reply #30 on: December 13, 2011, 03:28:56 PM »
I go with Michael's advise and only count the frames of bees.  I mean this is obviously what was intended, a double deep ten frame brood box set up has 20 frames, the exact number of fingers and toes on a bee keeper, duh!!!  :-D

I think I read some where that a well covered frame has at least 5 bees per square inch of drawn comb, now the ball is in your court.

Offline jaseemtp

  • House Bee
  • **
  • Posts: 330
  • Gender: Male
Re: How many bees on a frame of brood?
« Reply #31 on: December 13, 2011, 11:50:08 PM »
This is my understanding [off the top of my head]. There are about 3,000-3,500 bees in a pound. A deep frame has about 6,000 cells and assuming about 75% filled that would be about 4,500 brood per frame. My guess is that it takes about 1,500 bees to cover the frame so a frame of bees would have the potential for about 6,000 bees or say 1.75 # per frame. That is just how I would figure it, so I would say a 3" package would be about equivalent to two deep frames covered with bees and with a good queen.
 
"It's better to die upon your feet than to live upon your knees!" Zapata