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Author Topic: Unlimited Broodnest and Frame Manipulation  (Read 1417 times)
TheMasonicHive
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Location: Oxford, MI


« on: June 27, 2010, 11:04:14 AM »

Hello everyone,


This is my first year keeping bees.  I've made a determination early on that I want to be good to the bees, and if they are good to me with a good honey crop, then all the better, but it isn't my aim.  I want bees that are given every opportunity to survive and be healthy.

I'm reading a bit about unlimited broodnest and I think my major goal for this year will be to establish this fashion of hive.

They say that I should be looking at establishing the hives broodnest in a "bell curve" orientation, which I understand.

A few questions:

1)  Is the "broodnest" simply ANYWHERE where brood is reared or is there a primary area that is termed the "broodnest".

2)  Are there any general rules regarding moving frames from one place to another in the hive?  I hear about not splitting up the broodnest, and I really can imagine that moving frames could be confusing to the bees.

Thanks everyone!
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Christopher Peace
Oakland County, MI

"It teaches us that, as we come into the world rational and intelligent beings, so we should ever be industrious ones; never sitting down contented while our fellow-creatures around us are in want, when it is in our power to relieve them without inconvenience to ourselves." - Freemasonry on the Beehive
TheMasonicHive
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« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2010, 11:06:24 AM »

Oh, and if there are rules out there for moving frames from one place to another can you present a logical reason for WHY this is and what the bees experience when the frames are moved?  It would help me visualize things better!
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Christopher Peace
Oakland County, MI

"It teaches us that, as we come into the world rational and intelligent beings, so we should ever be industrious ones; never sitting down contented while our fellow-creatures around us are in want, when it is in our power to relieve them without inconvenience to ourselves." - Freemasonry on the Beehive
riverrat
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« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2010, 11:32:41 AM »

I have moved a frame of brood up into a second deep to get the bees up to start drawing comb in second deep. And I have put foundation between 2 frames of brood to get them to draw out faster. The thing you got to be careful of when moving brood frames is how cool the weather is if you move a frame from a small hive they may not have enough bees to cover all the brood. and end up with chilled brood Also if you move a frame of eggs and brood to far away from the brood nest the bees will loose the queen pheromones on that frame and may think they are queenless which will cause them to start emergency queen cells.

As for the brood nest it is the area in the hive where brood is being raised which usually will be in the same area of the hive from year to year.
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never take the top off a hive on a day that you wouldn't want the roof taken off your house
FRAMEshift
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« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2010, 01:32:44 PM »

If the bees wrote a book on the subject, that's what I would follow.  Until that happy event, the best writing on the subject is the Complete Idiot's Guide to Beekeeping by Dean Stiglitz.  Michael Bush has also offered good advice on his website. From what I've seen I would summarize the situation as follows:

1. Don't spread the broodnest out too much because the nurse bees won't be able to cover it.
  
2. But if the broodnest is crowded, it should be gradually opened and expanded.  You can do that by putting a couple of foundationless or small cell foundation, or small cell plastic frames (PF100)  interspersed among existing brood frames.  No more than every third frame should be empty at one time.  (So every undrawn frame would be surrounded by two full frames on each side).  This should only be maintained if the bees quickly jump on the new frames and start drawing and laying.

3.  As you add frames in the middle of the broodnest, move the displaced frames gradually outward and eventually up to the center of the next box.  You can then continue the expanison of broodnest in two or more boxes.  Don't use a queen excluder and let the queen go where she wants to.

4.  This process will result in a bell-shaped broodnest with honey toward the sides, which is the natural form in the wild.   As the population of the hive rises and falls and as honey stores increase and decrease, the top of the bell curve will move up and down, sometimes dropping down into a lower box.   Iddee has described this as an inverted beachball going up and down with the rise and fall of water.

The above is just my assimilation of what I've read and observed.  I'm now trying to adjust these ideas for a horizontal hive.  I would appreciate hearing what people think happens with unlimited broodnest in a long horizontal deep.
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"You never can tell with bees."  --  Winnie-the-Pooh
TheMasonicHive
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« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2010, 02:28:52 PM »

FrameSHIFT, that is the book I'm reading!
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Christopher Peace
Oakland County, MI

"It teaches us that, as we come into the world rational and intelligent beings, so we should ever be industrious ones; never sitting down contented while our fellow-creatures around us are in want, when it is in our power to relieve them without inconvenience to ourselves." - Freemasonry on the Beehive
TwoHoneys
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« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2010, 06:31:49 AM »

Here are a couple of 40-50 minute videos of Dee Lusby inspecting some of her Arizona hives. I find them fascinating, and think myself sort of dorky for watching all of it. In this first video, Dee manipulates both boxes and frames in her unlimited broodnests to allow the queen room for brood before the onset of honey flow. (On a side note, I'm amazed at how quickly and easily and efficiently Dee works...and at how she can sling those deep boxes around.)



This second video is of Dee in another yard. In this yard, she makes splits from her strong hives. And they all look as strong as hurricanes to me.



In the first video, there's discussion of the Housel Positioning method of frame manipulation; if you find it intriguing (as I do) here's Dee's link to Housel Positioning:

http://www.beesource.com/point-of-view/ed-dee-lusby/more-on-small-cell-foundation-for-mite-control/housel-positioning-how-i-view-its-importance-to-beekeeping/

Liz
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"In a dream I returned to the river of bees" W.S. Merwin
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