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Author Topic: Honey bound and heading for catastrophe...  (Read 1659 times)
ItalianBeeWrangler
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« on: April 21, 2006, 06:16:44 AM »

Hi everyone...


After struggling with swarms, capturing.. fighting with my "old timer bee master" mentor (which I completely disagree with) I've found myself and my hives in a predicament in the midsts of our first nectar flow.

I've went throught the hives and seen my strongest hive (before 10 swarms that is) is now honey bound. I have researched and I am quite confused on how to correct this. Almost all brood frames are filled with uncapped honey. The new queen that I have seen has no space sans maybe one side of a frame to lay eggs.
I have read that I should/could take some frames of uncapped honey and place them into a weaker hive and replace it with a frame with new foundation.   Then the next bit of research I do says absolutely DO NOT use foundation and only replace with a aframe of drawn comb.
Now.. in the perfect world we would all have stacks of drawn comb ready.. but in the real world I have stacks of frames with foundations.
How should I go about taking care of this before the remaining bees swarm yet again?

I had added a super  6 weeks ago.. and my "old timer beemaster" removed it after no bees had even partially drawn comb for honey storage.

Should I add another hive body full of foundation frames on top  of the main body and swap a few frames to draw the bees up for building??  
darn.. I've got myself so confused and frustrated it isn't even funny!!

Anyone up for a trip to Rome to help me!??? HAHHAAH  Just kidding!

Ok seriously.. any advice would be greatly appreciated..  as always!

Regards to all..

ItalianBeeWrangler
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2006, 06:50:57 AM »

What makes you think this is a catastrophe?  The bees were succeeding well enough to swarm.  That's not a catastrophe.  It would have been nice to head them off, of course.

>I've went throught the hives and seen my strongest hive (before 10 swarms that is) is now honey bound. I have researched and I am quite confused on how to correct this. Almost all brood frames are filled with uncapped honey. The new queen that I have seen has no space sans maybe one side of a frame to lay eggs.

Classic signs of swarm preparation.

>I have read that I should/could take some frames of uncapped honey and place them into a weaker hive and replace it with a frame with new foundation. Then the next bit of research I do says absolutely DO NOT use foundation and only replace with a aframe of drawn comb.

Either will work but you'll get the best effect with an empty frame and no foundation.

>How should I go about taking care of this before the remaining bees swarm yet again?

Open up the brood nest.  Foundation, no foundation, drawn not drawn.  Just open it up.  My choice would be no foundation.

Put enough supers on to give the bees room.  If they were drawn I'd say pile them on, but since they aren't I'd probably try to keep it to what they can fill with bees so they don't chew the foundation up.

Here's the long version of my form of swarm control:

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

You could also do a split.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beessplits.htm
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
mat
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« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2006, 07:31:54 AM »

Michael, I have a question about swarm prevention. When you do checkerboarding, can you use foundation insted of comb to alternate with brood?
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mat
ItalianBeeWrangler
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« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2006, 12:43:01 PM »

Thank you Mr. Bush

I actually went ahead before I got a response on beemaster.com.  I decided to go ahead and remove some of the uncapped honey frames (3 in one.. and 2 in one of the other hives) and replaced them with frames with foundations. I went ahead and added more supers to all the hives as well. I figured it can't hurt.

The reason I had said i was headed for catastrophe is because just when I think all the swarming is coming to an end...  I see that they have no room from brood which I am thinking in turn will cause yet another swarm.

To date.. i have followed to the T every detail that my "beemaster" friend has instructed me to do.  I have come to grips that he is an old timer that hasn't upgraded his beekeeping methods in over 50 years.  HAHA...  with that said.. I am flying solo to rectify the problems .  I was in hopes this would be my big year since i had used last year to build up the hives.  Alas.. nature has beat me yet again. I will certainly be more in tune for next year!! I guarantee!  

Thanks for the information..  I appreciate it.

Regards

Steve
"Italian Bee Wrangler"
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Finsky
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« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2006, 01:12:31 PM »

If this helps http://maarec.cas.psu.edu/PDFs/Swarm_Prev_Control_PM.pdf

First of all you should have slow-swarming stock.
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ian michael davison
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« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2006, 01:28:24 PM »

Hi all
 "I was in hopes this would be my big year since i had used last year to build up the hives. Alas.. nature has beat me yet again. I will certainly be more in tune for next year!! I guarantee! "

Even after 20 years you will be telling yourself the same. I DO cheesy AND I HAVE MANY FRIENDS THAT DO THE SAME.

Try and use brood frames as a super this season to give you spare frames next year.


Regards Ian
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2006, 06:50:12 PM »

>Michael, I have a question about swarm prevention. When you do checkerboarding, can you use foundation insted of comb to alternate with brood?

Checkerboarding is a technique from Walt Wright where you alternate drawn comb and capped honey OVER the brood nest.

I'm suggesting putting a couple of empty frames IN the brood nest.  The two are not the same technique.  For checkerboarding you need drawn comb.  For opening up the brood nest you can use either drawn comb, foundation or an empty frame.  I prefer an empty frame.  It has a more immediate  and more lasting effect on the swarm preparations

>I actually went ahead before I got a response on beemaster.com. I decided to go ahead and remove some of the uncapped honey frames (3 in one.. and 2 in one of the other hives) and replaced them with frames with foundations. I went ahead and added more supers to all the hives as well. I figured it can't hurt.

Sounds like a good plan.

>The reason I had said i was headed for catastrophe is because just when I think all the swarming is coming to an end... I see that they have no room from brood which I am thinking in turn will cause yet another swarm.

That would be my expectation as well.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
newbee101
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« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2006, 10:30:44 PM »

Extract a few frames and give the comb back to them.
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Jack Parr
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« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2006, 06:49:41 AM »

Quote from: newbee101
Extract a few frames and give the comb back to them.


I believe the guy said that the honey WAS NOT capped ?

So much for Old Heads know best, I guess???  Meaning the Old Eyetie Tongue of course.
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newbee101
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« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2006, 01:17:26 PM »

My bad... I saw honey bound and didnt read every word in the post...
Thanks Jack
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