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Author Topic: Unlimited brood and backfilling question  (Read 843 times)

Offline Culley

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Unlimited brood and backfilling question
« on: November 24, 2010, 12:36:16 AM »
I'm running all deeps, and have been experimenting with unlimited brood this year. Took the excluders off because we averaged more swarms than the number of hives.
In several hives maybe I expanded them too quickly. After I moved some brood up, the queens stopped laying in the bottom. The bottom boxes are being used for pollen, but otherwise are all empty cells. No new eggs. Some of them are putting nectar down there below the brood nest.  :shock:
I'm in an area where SHB is very bad, so it's concerning having this extra space. There is a nectar flow. Would it be good practice to let the bees backfill the top with nectar, and will the queen move down and lay in the bottom again?

Offline Finski

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Re: Unlimited brood and backfilling question
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2010, 01:43:31 AM »
I have used unlimited brood area during decades.
For winter I try to get 2 box wintering that spring build a up would be fast.

In main yield I have 3 brood boxes. When main entrance is widely open, the queen cannot lay in lowest box. It is normally half full of pollen. Pollen is very valuable to colonies and don't be sorrow it bees have good stores.
The lowest box acts too as nectar buffer store when bees dry up nectar in heavy flow.

Foragers sleep in the lowest box and it is fully occupied.

To achieve this you need good young queens. I renew them every summer.

In late summer I put entrance reducer on and the lowest box is warm again. Towards autumn I take honey frames off from brood boxes and the brood area will be in 2 box before winter feeding.

For wintering I arrange brood in lowest box. Usually bees have consumed pollen stores when they rear winter bees. In upper box I put white comb or foundation along the wall, then pollen frame and in the middle empty brown combs. So bees fill first the upper box with syrup and capp it.

Strong hives swarms first. When I see swarm cells it is better to make at once false swarm. Old bees and the queen move into foundation hive. When they draw combs they think that they have swarmed. If I give to them drawn combs they continue their swarming fever.

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Offline tecumseh

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Re: Unlimited brood and backfilling question
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2010, 08:21:29 AM »
You are into early spring at your location?

this might be a useful reference for you if you are having problems with swarming..

http://www.beesource.com/point-of-view/jerry-hayes/queen-excluder-or-honey-excluder/

it is the opposite approach to a unlimited brood area. 

The old school folks (like myself) would tell you it is time to reverse hive bodies.  Sometime the queen will move down on their own but your concern about the empty space + pollen + small hive beetles is not simply abstract.  I have noticed the same pattern here (usually much later on since I do reverse boxes once in the spring) and this will invariable lead to a hive demise via shb and wax worm.
I am 'the panther that passes in the night'... tecumseh.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Unlimited brood and backfilling question
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2010, 12:32:02 AM »
They do tend to stock pollen in the bottom for brood rearing the next spring.  Usually the bees push the queen down as fall approaches by backfilling above her.
Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen

Offline Finski

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Re: Unlimited brood and backfilling question
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2010, 02:04:33 AM »
.
When Cullz lives in Austaralia he has there good researches and books in beekeeping.
Some are free in internet


http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/aboutus/resources/bookshop/beebook

http://www.publish.csiro.au/pid/3749.htm

free 90 pages . Flowering Ecology of Honey-Producing
Flora in South-East Australia 2008

and many more
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