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Author Topic: Decisions decisions..Help me out please  (Read 2305 times)

Offline VolunteerK9

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Decisions decisions..Help me out please
« on: January 25, 2011, 11:51:20 AM »
I'm buying some nucs from a local Amish man. He advertises them as 4 frame nucs but I think its a much better deal than described. He sent me a letter requesting that I bring a hive body and 6 frames of either foundation or drawn (my choice) and a hive body. He then places his 4 frames into my hive body and lets them sit until late March. (he asked for my frames to be delivered by late February) Anyways, he runs all deeps, and I have predominately all mediums. But, I did get several deeps worth of drawn comb from an uncle as I already posted but this stuff is black as coal. I think I would get more bang for my buck if I used the old drawn comb versus foundation but I have no idea how old this stuff is. The only thing I do know is that it is from a dead out hive from last fall. (No worries of foul brood or anything, maybe a mite overload). I know we are only talking about 6 frames per hive, but I'm thinking there would be a significant difference in population between using the two. Ive searched the old posts regarding old, black brood comb and it seems to be a 50-50 mix on whether to replace or not. Any suggestions or insight would be greatly appreciated.

Offline kathyp

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Re: Decisions decisions..Help me out please
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2011, 12:28:53 PM »
you are getting his bees on drawn comb?  you could use foundation and the bees will draw it as they need it.  the old black stuff you can use in bait hives, etc. 

if you were getting packages, i'd say use a frame or two of the old stuff so that the queen could start laying, and the bees start storing, from day one.
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Offline D Coates

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Re: Decisions decisions..Help me out please
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2011, 12:43:01 PM »
I think KathyP is correct about using a few frames of drawn comb to get the brood nest expanding more easily with 2 or 3 frames of undrawn next to the 4 frames of the nuc colony.  Personally I like to put the nuc hive frames up against a hive body wall.  It gives them less territory to defend and they can focus more on growing one way.  I do use older frames for bait hives (sprayed with BT) but I'm not afraid to use them as regular frames as well.
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Offline VolunteerK9

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Re: Decisions decisions..Help me out please
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2011, 12:57:16 PM »
you are getting his bees on drawn comb? 

if you were getting packages, i'd say use a frame or two of the old stuff so that the queen could start laying, and the bees start storing, from day one.

Yup, his bees on his drawn comb with 6 of mine added to fill up the box.

Offline FRAMEshift

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Re: Decisions decisions..Help me out please
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2011, 01:06:50 PM »
You mentioned that he lets them sit until late March.  So does that mean that he keeps your box until late March and then he gives you your box back without his 4 frames?  Oh, you're in Tennessee and late February is too early to start a nuc, so I guess he just wants your box early so he knows exactly how many serious customers he has.  So he adds his frames in late March and then you get the box back?
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Offline wd

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Re: Decisions decisions..Help me out please
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2011, 01:54:58 PM »
Could be wrong but it sounds like he wants to be fairly sure they get a decent start. I wouldn't give him your older comb, I'd keep that for personal use. Last year, I was asked to bring deeps, a screen for the entrance and frames to an outfit. Instead, I called first and asked, then took wax coated card board nucs and wax coated undrawn frames for the frame exchange over early for their convenience to use when they were ready. The card board nucs will hold six empty frames nice and neat but they would only hold 5 drawn frames with bees. Even though it worked alright,  I should have brought over deeps anyway...

you might ask him the same question you've asked here and see what he wants

Offline AllenF

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Re: Decisions decisions..Help me out please
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2011, 02:02:46 PM »
Just how many old deep frames do you have?   It is a toss up, but for me, if I had plenty of the old frames around, I would use them with the nuc.   If you are going with meds on your swarms traps, you can always cut out the old comb and place it in your med frames in your traps.

Offline VolunteerK9

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Re: Decisions decisions..Help me out please
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2011, 02:12:01 PM »
You mentioned that he lets them sit until late March.  So does that mean that he keeps your box until late March and then he gives you your box back without his 4 frames?  Oh, you're in Tennessee and late February is too early to start a nuc, so I guess he just wants your box early so he knows exactly how many serious customers he has.  So he adds his frames in late March and then you get the box back?

I am assuming that he is splitting-but your right I need to ask for more particulars but its extremely hard to nail down an Amishman for a conversation  :-D What I do know is that I get back 10 frames-my 6 and his 4.

Offline VolunteerK9

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Re: Decisions decisions..Help me out please
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2011, 02:14:12 PM »
Just how many old deep frames do you have?  

About 12 deeps worth so I have plenty to spare.

Offline AllenF

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Re: Decisions decisions..Help me out please
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2011, 02:27:22 PM »
Use the old deeps.  See if the Amish man will trade is want to get out of the deeps.   He might fill a few of them for you.  Find out more of his operation there.

Offline wd

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Re: Decisions decisions..Help me out please
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2011, 02:43:57 PM »
With exception of your stuff in his yard the six frames and deeps are for personal use.  I've had some outfits refuse used items while others don't mind. I'd try to contact  him / them and inquire.

Offline Acebird

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Re: Decisions decisions..Help me out please
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2011, 02:44:39 PM »
Quote
What I do know is that I get back 10 frames-my 6 and his 4.

Are you sure?  Our supplier (although not Amish) wants 5 frames that he will mix and match from the whole bee yard.  You will not necessarily get back your own frames and most likely will have some from other hives in the yard.  It wouldn't make sense that he would be giving away frames to every customer unless he has priced that in.  Being able to add frames from other hives allows the beek to add brood or honey as needed.

I will say this upfront, if he is Amish you can trust him.  There really is no need to dot the I's and cross the T's.  Give him your trust and you will have a good relationship.
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Offline FRAMEshift

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Re: Decisions decisions..Help me out please
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2011, 03:02:06 PM »
K9, If you are getting your own frames back, why not just use drawn mediums in a deep box.  You might get some extra comb on the bottom of the mediums but probably not much.  Or you could tack some cardboard under the mediums to get bee space.  Then you just pull your mediums and cut down his deeps to use in your own hives. 
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Offline VolunteerK9

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Re: Decisions decisions..Help me out please
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2011, 03:10:11 PM »
Quote
What I do know is that I get back 10 frames-my 6 and his 4.

Are you sure?  Our supplier (although not Amish) wants 5 frames that he will mix and match from the whole bee yard.  You will not necessarily get back your own frames and most likely will have some from other hives in the yard.  It wouldn't make sense that he would be giving away frames to every customer unless he has priced that in.  Being able to add frames from other hives allows the beek to add brood or honey as needed.

I will say this upfront, if he is Amish you can trust him.  There really is no need to dot the I's and cross the T's.  Give him your trust and you will have a good relationship.

Yup, I do know that part too. He told me to place my name on the hive body and the frames that I drop off. I bought queens from him last year but by the time I found him he was already sold out of nucs. When I asked what kind of queens that he had, he grinned and said "Mine". He went further to say that they were mutts-they swarm trapped and bought a few queens along the way to add to the genetics. Last year it was Russians, and that they havent treated for anything in the last 7 years. I dont have any reason to disbelieve him, 3 of my hives are headed by his queens and they are still going good.

Offline riskybizz

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Re: Decisions decisions..Help me out please
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2011, 04:22:02 PM »
I for one am always suspect of old "dead out" comb from colonies other than my own.  if your purchasing 4 frame nucs I would just add new foundation and let them build up on it and have a little peace of mind that you did all that you could to insure the health of the colony.  As mentioned you can always use the old comb and boxes for a few bait hives.  Foulbrood can remain as active spores in comb for many years.  I just don't like taking that chance, so i'd just your bees make your own comb.   

Offline Acebird

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Re: Decisions decisions..Help me out please
« Reply #15 on: January 25, 2011, 04:34:49 PM »
Quote
he grinned and said "Mine".


Of course he did.  I would be shocked if he said he treated his bees.  The only risk you have is if his yard is near enough to some big farming operation.  Other than that you got it made.
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Offline T Beek

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Re: Decisions decisions..Help me out please
« Reply #16 on: January 25, 2011, 05:58:05 PM »
Is he, are you, open to foundationless?  Haven't used foundation in 4 seasons, and am nearly complete with total foundationless bee yard (even the dead give back).  Got one more bottom brood box to remove.  Wish I would\ve known about it before I ever started.  This is NOT meant to open a can of worms :-D

And, I like the idea of just putting mediums in the deeps, no reason that wouldn't work is there?

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Offline BlueBee

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Re: Decisions decisions..Help me out please
« Reply #17 on: January 25, 2011, 06:14:35 PM »
@T Beek

Thomas,

What are you using for frames?  Did you custom cut comb guides in standard top bars, or do something else?  I want to try some foundationless this summer.  I’m currently making my own frames  :'(

Glad to hear you got your girls fed!

Offline T Beek

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Re: Decisions decisions..Help me out please
« Reply #18 on: January 25, 2011, 07:33:54 PM »
odds and ends from older foundationd frames mostly using various methods, plus several (Bought several hundred at 65 cents ea) foundationless frames from Walter Kelly Co.

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Offline Acebird

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Re: Decisions decisions..Help me out please
« Reply #19 on: January 26, 2011, 04:07:09 PM »
http://s697.photobucket.com/albums/vv333/acebird1/Hive%20Bodies/



K9 maybe you could do something like this.  I made a half medium spacer that you can use with a medium to fit the deep frames.  Then switch back over to medium frames the following season.  Whatca think?
« Last Edit: January 26, 2011, 04:51:43 PM by Acebird »
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Offline AllenF

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Re: Decisions decisions..Help me out please
« Reply #20 on: January 26, 2011, 04:25:27 PM »
Very good idea.   And you can use the half med spacer as a spacer when feeding dry sugar or baggies later on.

Offline BlueBee

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Re: Decisions decisions..Help me out please
« Reply #21 on: January 26, 2011, 04:55:46 PM »
I like it AceBird.  I did the same thing, it’s a good way to cycle out deep frames.

Offline Acebird

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Re: Decisions decisions..Help me out please
« Reply #22 on: January 26, 2011, 07:02:05 PM »
It was the left over scraps from the scrap wood that I used so I said what the heck.  You can see that I made two of them so the worse that could happen is I use the both of them for a regular medium.
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Offline Vance G

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Re: Decisions decisions..Help me out please
« Reply #23 on: January 26, 2011, 10:25:35 PM »
Now that you have been told to go in every and all directions at once, just do what you want and it will work out fine.  Wish I had access to that man and I would buy bees from him.

Offline VolunteerK9

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Re: Decisions decisions..Help me out please
« Reply #24 on: January 27, 2011, 12:03:02 PM »
Now that you have been told to go in every and all directions at once, just do what you want and it will work out fine.  Wish I had access to that man and I would buy bees from him.

Yeah, its nice to be able to buy local bees this year and I wish I had of known about him before I bought the packages last year. No shipping worries-no dead queens on arrival. Just about a 25 minute drive from my house. Thanks for all the responses