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Author Topic: Expanding brood chamber help  (Read 502 times)
chux
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« on: March 09, 2014, 03:27:31 PM »

Hey folks, I'm heading into year two with the bees. Did my first inspection of the year yesterday. Everybody made it through!!!! One Top Bar Hive, three Langs with a deep and medium, and one nuc with 3 deep frames and 3 medium frames. Everybody looks pretty decent. Two of the lang hives are full to the point that I worry about swarming. It's time for more room. I want to expand the brood chamber.

I am using foundationless frames. I've got a plan based on some advice from a master beek, but wanted to see if there were any other opinions out there for me to bounce around. Right now I have two deep boxes with foundationless frames, ready to go. I think I will go in tomorrow afternoon and add these to the two strong hives. I want to make the brood chamber 2 deeps. In the hive now, frames 1 and 10 have honey. 2 and 9 have honey/pollen. inside of that are brood.

I plan on taking the outside frame of honey and moving it up. I will also move 3 of the brood frames up. I will place these frames on one side of the top box, directly over the other existing 5 frames in the lower box, which will be moved over to the side. I will make sure that honey/pollen frames are on the outside on the top and bottom. I will then fill in the other spaces with my empty frames, and put the medium super back on top.

What do you folks think? Does this sound reasonable? Do you think the bees will go ahead and build out on the other side of their honey frames when the flow starts?

 
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iddee
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« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2014, 09:01:34 PM »

The honey frames are insulation.
It is too early to break up the brood nest.
I would move frames 2 and 9 up, and place empty frames in their place. Then do what you are suggesting end of Mar. or early Apr.
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« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2014, 01:56:05 AM »

As Iddee said its probably a little early. I don't add my second box until the first is pretty full and has several frames of capped brood. When these frames hatch your population will go way up.

I don't put as much thought in it as you. I just move a couple three frames up with brood on them. The bees will take it from there.
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chux
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« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2014, 09:00:47 AM »

iddee, you think I should put the second box on now, and raise only the two frames of pollen/honey?? So would I put them on one side together, or in the middle? The rest of the upper frames are all going to be empty. (Until the white wax starts) What is the point of moving those two frames up? Why not just put an empty box up there? Maybe one frame raised? Is it serving as a highway to the upper medium?

I am concerned about taking the pollen farther away from brood. Is this a concern I really don't need to have??

Honey does serve as an insulation. This is why I feel comfortable moving the two frames of pollen/honey up with some frames of brood. The outside of frames 2 and 9 have honey. The inside is pollen. This would give some level of insulation to the top box, while the lower box would keep the frames of honey on the outside for insulation.

Are you saying that, even moving insulation up, you believe it is just too early to move any brood around? I am definitely not rejecting your idea. I want to understand what is going on, and the best way to deal with it. I'm thinking through these things so I know WHY to do something and HOW to do it, instead of just copying others. You folks are helping me with that so much. Thanks.

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MsCarol
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« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2014, 10:02:09 AM »

Hmmm?

Maybe I goofed. I checked my bees on Friday. The one hive has several plastic frames in it and those bees HATE them. They are very reluctant to build on them and what they did was very wonky. I guess what is called burr comb. As these bees are a feral swarm capture and noticeably smaller bees then the other hive, I planned to try them on the small cell foundation. Yesterday I opened them up again. Pulled out the funky frames that had little built on them - some honey at most. These were in the bottom box of a two medium 8 frame hive. Tucked the mostly capped brood together, frames 1 and 8 had honey/pollen added one small cell frame at #2 position and the other two at #6-7. Box two had the majority of the brood but the outside frames had not been drawn out. I took them out and put the frames with any honey on them in there places. I was standing there look at the box with the remaining SC frames and the odd empties. On a whim I set it on top with the SC frames in the center and odd balls flanking the sides. Then closed it up replacing their sugar coated inner cover and empty box and lid. Not sure what they think but they were up in the new upper box as they were using the upper entrance. (Notch in the inner cover - upside down)

Spring has opened her eyes her in the last few days. Tree pollen is flying and the early blooming plants are bursting forth with the last couple near 70° days. By the number of capped brood cells I saw, this hive is going to explode in a couple more days.

The other hive I have had a bit more space to start with.
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iddee
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« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2014, 12:52:42 PM »

First, if they are not tight for laying room, do nothing. If swarming is likely, due to lack of laying room, the brood nest needs to be expanded. With the cold nights still to come, I would not give them space within the brood nest, but rather adjacent to it.
I would do nothing to hinder heating the brood nest.
The pollen frame is the queen's wall. she will NOT cross it and lay on the other side.
With 6 frames of brood, that only leaves the pollen frames movable, without moving the honey insulation, or breaking up the brood nest. I would put the pollen frames where I wanted the new brood nest walls. Probably #3 or 4, and #8 or 7.

Clear as mud?
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"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2014, 02:04:39 PM »

Chux,
Did you really ask if there are any other opinions out there?   grin grin grin grin
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chux
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« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2014, 06:51:22 PM »

Yep. I want several views so i can make an informed decision. I smiled as i typed, asking if there were other opinions.

Iddee, clear as mud. Thanks, really. So you think it best for me to move 2 and 9 straight up into the top box. Replace them with empty frames in the bottom.

I'm gonna think about this and wait for more input. We are supposed to have freezing temps thursday and friday nights. Long range forecast says after that we shouldn't get below 40 again. That could easily change. Early next week, i will look to see what temps are expected. Then I will decide what to do.

I thank you folks for the advice.
 
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GSF
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« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2014, 09:14:09 PM »

Opinions? The only thing two out of three beekeepers agree on, is that the third one is wrong Lips Sealed     grin
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T Beek
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« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2014, 07:19:46 AM »

Chux,
Did you really ask if there are any other opinions out there?   grin grin grin grin

 lau  Could this become a candidate for "Best thread of the Year" ..?  Too much  laugh …thanks for the smiles.. Smiley

All of the advise provided is excellent……….and rightfully points out the importance of considering weather conditions before actions are taken.  I think you'll do just fine by waiting some.
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