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Author Topic: How long does it take for the bees to multiply and fill up a 10-frame hive?  (Read 3334 times)
Zamboy13
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« on: April 05, 2011, 05:02:43 AM »

My bees originally came from a 4-frame nuc. I transferred them in a not so great 10 frame hive which I made myself. (I'm about to purchase a real hive set to replace the one I made). Anyway, I'm just wondering how long does it take for the bees to fully occupy all the 10 frames? Currently, only 5 of the frames are filled with bees, eggs and capped brood. The bees only crowd the 5 frames while the other 5 frames are almost empty except for very few capped brood.

Hope someone can answer me!
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T Beek
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« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2011, 07:14:23 AM »

Practice KYBO.  Keeping Your Broodnest Open.  Put alternating 'empty' frames between those frames already drawn and with brood.  The only exclusion; don't put brood frames on the outside ends (even in your part of the world brood can get chilled).  In other words, going from front to back (or visa versa) you should have an empty frame or two then one brood frame, followed by an empty, then a brood frame, then an empty, and so on until you go through all frames.  Keeping brood nest open will also assist with limiting swarms by giving bees something else to do.  Good Luck.

thomas
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asprince
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« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2011, 07:42:33 AM »

It depends on the nectar flow and the quality of the queen. In ideal conditions, if you have three frames of eggs and brood, in 20 days you should have 2 to 3 additional frames of bees. If they are crowded now, they need more room soon or they will swarm on you. If that happens, the hive will take two steps backwards.

Good Luck,

Steve
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FRAMEshift
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« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2011, 07:52:30 AM »

Put alternating 'empty' frames between those frames already drawn and with brood. 
thomas
We are a bit more cautious with the empty frames.  We make sure that every frame of brood is next to at least one other frame of brood.  So you might have the pattern BBEBBEBBEBBE  where B is a frame of brood and E is an empty frame.  That reduces the chances of chill brood.  Unfortunately, it also means we have to check the hive more frequently to see if more empty frames are needed.  This time of year we check once a week.

I would not suggest two empty frames in a row.  As the bees are drawing an empty frame they can keep going right through the empty frame next door, resulting in an overly thick piece of comb.  If every empty frame is surrounded by brood there is a barrier to over-extension of the newly drawn comb.
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FRAMEshift
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« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2011, 07:59:27 AM »

Anyway, I'm just wondering how long does it take for the bees to fully occupy all the 10 frames?

A good way to visualize it is this:  every nurse bee can cover two brood cells with her body to keep them warm.  So each nurse bee can bring two new bees to emergence.  Those two can become nurse bees and raise two more bees each.  So the theoretical maximum growth rate is a doubling every 21 days.  The actual rate will be somewhat less than the theoretical maximum.  So under ideal conditions, you might get a doubling in a month.
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"You never can tell with bees."  --  Winnie-the-Pooh
Finski
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« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2011, 09:38:40 AM »

.
Zomboy lives in Philippines. Temp are there high.

If bees cover 5 frames, you cannot force them cover any more.

Don't put the brood frames in different order in tiny hive.

Put into the hive movable wall. Put there 5+1 foundation.
When bees cover the sixth frame add again a foundation.

Restriction of bee space is usefull because wasps, ants or ither robbers cannot go into the hive when frames are covered with bees.

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Zamboy13
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« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2011, 11:21:19 AM »

Thank you for all your ideas. I shall consider them all. It's a good thing that I registered on this forum. I get a lot of great ideas from expert beekeepers.
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