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Author Topic: Ross Round and Excluder?  (Read 3964 times)
RandGraham
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« on: May 25, 2005, 11:37:05 AM »

My overwintered hive swarmed last Monday. I retrievd them from a tree limb and put them in a deep box with 8 drawn combs and 1 frame of foundation as that is what I had available. Last Tuesday I put on a queen excluder and a Ross Round super hoping to take advantage of their comb building instinct. I inspected them yesterday. They have not done anything in the Ross Round super yet. There weren't even any bees in the Ross Round super. They were all below the excluder. Should I remove the queen excluder?
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2005, 11:40:22 AM »

You might move a frame of brood up into the ross round to draw the bees up into it. Then they might start working it.
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RandGraham
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« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2005, 11:48:58 AM »

Moving brood into the round super won't work because the frames are different sizes.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2005, 12:05:20 PM »

>They have not done anything in the Ross Round super yet. There weren't even any bees in the Ross Round super. They were all below the excluder. Should I remove the queen excluder?

Absolutely.  You should also remove one brood box with ALL the open brood and make a cut down split.  I don't know of anyone using an excluder with any kind of cassette system.  The queen won't want to lay in those little round spaces anyway, she'll want a nice open brood nest.  CROWD THOSE BEES UP INTO THE SUPER!  That's how you get comb honey.
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Michael Bush
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RandGraham
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« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2005, 12:11:30 PM »

O.K. I'll have to go in again today.

BTW, they already performed the split on their own, this was a swarm that I captured.

-Rand
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2005, 12:33:44 PM »

I'd be tempted to take the swarm queen and all the open brood (and adhering bees) and put them in one hive and combine the swarm back with the original hive to boost them up for the flow.  If you really want to get Ross rounds anyway.
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Michael Bush
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SherryL
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« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2005, 01:55:59 PM »

Rand, what Michael is saying is adding bees to the swarm - you probably need more bees than one deeps worth, but you need them all in one box then just add the RR super on top - so they are SUPER crowded (no pun intended!).  Since they've just swarmed, they probably won't again right away so overcrowding shouldn't tempt them.

Everything I've read too about the RR system is that you really don't want a queen excluder on there.  One book (the bible on comb honey) suggests a super of honey between the brood box and the comb boxes to avoid pollen going into the rounds, but I didn't have one to put on when I did my split last week.  I'm going up to my bees tomorrow (my new queen arrived about 20 mins. ago) and check on the RR box, see if they've accomplished anything in a weeks time.  Depending on where they're at with it, I may add a second super (or maybe not).
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2005, 03:00:44 PM »

If I was an organized person, which I'm not, I would take information like this and and organize it into a folder somewhere for quick reference. I was thinking of something completly different when I replied earlier.
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Chad S
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« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2005, 04:11:56 PM »

I have been thinking about cut down splits.  What would happen if you made a way for the bees to get in through the hole in the inner cover?  Let's say you made a channel that the bees could use and only come in or out from the front of the hive.  Think about it you have all of those bees in the supers wouldn't it make sence that they could make more honey if they didn't have to go all the way down stairs to get in and out?  I suppose it would make them more vulnerable to robbing, but in my case the cut down hive I am thinking of is the largest coloney I have.  Any body ever try this?
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« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2005, 04:29:09 PM »

With an upper entrance, you stand a higher chance of pollen in your comb honey.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2005, 05:06:32 PM »

>What would happen if you made a way for the bees to get in through the hole in the inner cover? Let's say you made a channel that the bees could use and only come in or out from the front of the hive. Think about it you have all of those bees in the supers wouldn't it make sence that they could make more honey if they didn't have to go all the way down stairs to get in and out? I suppose it would make them more vulnerable to robbing, but in my case the cut down hive I am thinking of is the largest coloney I have. Any body ever try this?

All of my hives are exclusively top entrances.  Some are inner covers propped with shims, some are migratory covers propped with shims, some are inner covers with the notches enlarged.  

http://www.bushfarms.com/bees.htm

But for comb honey the down side is traffic stains on the combs.  But with RR you have a channel all the way around for the traffic.
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Michael Bush
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SherryL
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« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2005, 05:14:20 PM »

Michael,

As you know, I have the DE Hives, with a really nice upper entrance built into the inner cover.  I closed it when I put the RR super on.  Mainly because I was not going to be up there to close it again if I deemed it necessary.  The weather (temps) has been on the low side and not knowing which way they would go (we had snow flurries up there one day last week), but mostly because I wanted to eliminate any 'variables' at this point of just getting started with the comb super.  I wanted to see what the bees would do with as much a 'traditional' hive set up as possible.  I think in a few weeks, if they're working the supers OK, and the weather has leveled off a bit, and I'm up there with them 24/7, then I may open it to see if it makes a noticable difference.

Last summer I left the 'upstairs' door open all the time for them and it seemed to be their prefered ingress and egress.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2005, 09:32:58 AM »

>I closed it when I put the RR super on. Mainly because I was not going to be up there to close it again if I deemed it necessary. The weather (temps) has been on the low side and not knowing which way they would go (we had snow flurries up there one day last week), but mostly because I wanted to eliminate any 'variables' at this point of just getting started with the comb super.

Two questions.  First, how did you put the RR super on the DE hive?  Did you make an adapter?

Second.  Do you have an excluder on?  If so, then closing the upper entrance is a very bad idea.  If you close the upper entrnace with an excluder on, all the drones will be trapped in the supers and will die and fall on the excluder blocking access to the supers.

Of course the right thing to do with ANY kind of cassette system is to do a cut down and remove ALL the open brood and cut them down to one brood box to crowd the bees into the supers.

>Last summer I left the 'upstairs' door open all the time for them and it seemed to be their prefered ingress and egress.

If you have an excluder it tends to create a situation where the top entrance is preferable.  Otherwise they don't seem to care and use both.  But then when I let the grass get too tall, they tend to prefer the more accessable top one.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
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SherryL
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« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2005, 09:56:16 AM »

How did I put it on?

Yep, I made a little adapter out of some kind of trim wood.  The guy at the lumberyard cut it into managable lengths for me so I could get it home, then I just sort of arranged them to fit snuggly against the boxes.  I made 2 so I have one on the bottom and then one on the top to accomodate the inner cover, vent, outer cover.  No problem.

Nope, no excluder.

Yep, I switched out frames, moved the open brood to the new "second" hive, gave them a couple of frames of honey, mostly capped brood though, all in one box, put the RR super on top, closed them up.   The 'new' hive got 2 brood boxes (the top was empty of course), mostly uncapped brood and some honey.

I really wasn't able to take any honey for myself last year (my first year), I finally put a honey super up on the hives in Aug. just to let them try to draw some frames - it had taken them all of June and July to draw out 2 deeps for themselves.  So even this year, I don't have fully drawn regular honey supers.  I'm half wondering if their reluctence to draw the honey frames were due to the fact that they were drone foundations (you're aware that's what David sends with his supers).  Anyway, the 'new' hive doesn't have a super on at this time, depending on what's happening with the apple blossoms, I may put one of the DE supers on this weekend (I'm heading up there as soon as I get off-line here) and let them work on that foundation.

Here's a "newbie" question....

If the bees seem to prefer using a top entrance, why don't we as keepers give them what they want?  In other words, why not have a 2" or 3" upper entrance, rather than the little 2 bee space they get?

Is that what's accomplished with the Irimi (sp?) shims?  I've read not to use those with comb frames, but I don't remember why.

OK, gotta run, I've got a 6 hour drive ahead of me - my queen is sitting patiently in the car.  wink   I'll let you all know how the RR is doing when I get back!
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2005, 10:18:05 AM »

>If the bees seem to prefer using a top entrance, why don't we as keepers give them what they want? In other words, why not have a 2" or 3" upper entrance, rather than the little 2 bee space they get?

I do.  I don't know why others don't.  Virtually ALL my hives are ONLY top entrances.  It's easy to do.  Just use some shingle shims on the inner cover or a migratory cover.  Cut a board to block the bottom.

http://www.bushfarms.com/bees.htm
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Michael Bush
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SherryL
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« Reply #15 on: May 30, 2005, 12:27:41 AM »

Quote
If the bees seem to prefer using a top entrance, why don't we as keepers give them what they want? In other words, why not have a 2" or 3" upper entrance, rather than the little 2 bee space they get?

I do. I don't know why others don't.


Ummmm, I didn't know it was "allowed"  wink   Figured all the other more experienced and much wiser beekeepers would have told me that's what I should be doing.  Hey, wait - they just did!  Cheesy



Quote
Cut a board to block the bottom.


OK, so if you block the bottom all together, isn't in WAY more difficult for the girls to clean out the dead and dying?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #16 on: May 30, 2005, 09:51:43 PM »

>OK, so if you block the bottom all together, isn't in WAY more difficult for the girls to clean out the dead and dying?

They never do until about May anyway.  Smiley  By then I've dumped the bottom baord off during my spring inspection, which I've always had to do when there was a bottom entrance too.  It keeps them from getting trapped by dead bees blocking the exit in the winter and by the snow blocking the exit in the winter.

But after that (about May) they keep it just as clean as with a bottom entrance.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
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