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Author Topic: 8 frame boxes  (Read 972 times)
Zoot
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« on: May 11, 2006, 08:44:09 AM »

Has anyone had any experience with 8 frame hives?  We have 2 this year and I'm curious as to whether they will merit more than usual attention. Started with a single medium in each and after 8 days (2 days ago) every frame had extensive drawn comb, some capped honey, pollen, etc.  Still feeding syrup (no apparent detriment from the spill disaster) and my feeling is that being attentive to overcrowding will become an issue. Any thoughts?
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2006, 08:03:15 AM »

I use 8 frames in shallow depth exclusively due to physical limitations.  Be assured that there is no special technics between hive sizes, over the years I've tried 8, 10, and 12 frame--even Nucs are managed the same as regular hives while they're operational.  
The rule for adding supers is to do so at 80-90 percent full capacity since the previous addition.  Waiting too long, and thereby creating cramped quarters, can even force a new hive into a swarm mentality--I've had both recently captured swarms and packaged bees swarms the same season I obtained them due to not supering quick enough.
This is May, we should be in a major honey flow in most areas, if you're still feeding your bees STOP immediately and don't even think about it until Labor Day.  Then feed only those hives that are short on stores in the brood chambers after honey harvest.
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Zoot
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« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2006, 08:54:36 AM »

Thanks for the feedback. I will definitely keep an eye on things and will try to add an additional super to each hive today if the weather stays nice. And the syrup will be off presently. One thing I noticed the other day was that in my second hive (hived 10 days ago) there was new comb that was quite full of sugar syrup. I don't recall ever seeing that years ago in my former beekeeping incarnation but then I never hived this late before. Can a visual abundance of syrup in the comb be detrimental in any way? We are experiencing what I suspect is a strong honey flow now.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2006, 09:59:26 AM »

Syrup in the comb means the bees have switched from comb building to honey storage.  It definately means they no longer need to feed. The idea of feeding bees is for 2 reasons and 2 reasons only.
1. Getting a new split, swarm, or Nuc of to a good start especially where new foundation is used to start.
2. Feeding to augment a lack of winter stores which should be done after honey harvest if the brood chambers are low, or in the very early spring (late January or February) or both if necessary.
I feed twice (no more than 4 gallons) when starting a hive on foundation and only once when any amount of drawn comb is used.  I consider the first year a development year and a honey yield is my last consideration for a new hive regardless of how obtained.
You'll find out which hives are more likely to survive by watching them work.  The desirable characteristics are vigor, mite resistance, laying pattern of the queen.  If you ever decide to raise your own queens you'll already know from which stock to choose.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2006, 10:34:45 PM »

>Has anyone had any experience with 8 frame hives?

That and long hives are all I'm using now.  I cut down all my deeps to mediums and all my ten frame boxes to eight.

> We have 2 this year and I'm curious as to whether they will merit more than usual attention.

No.

> Started with a single medium in each and after 8 days (2 days ago) every frame had extensive drawn comb, some capped honey, pollen, etc. Still feeding syrup (no apparent detriment from the spill disaster) and my feeling is that being attentive to overcrowding will become an issue.

You get to add boxes in smaller, more logical increments.  If you want to do it in the same increments as the peopel with ten frame deeps, you just have to put two eight frame mediums on at a time.  It's the exact same space.

My web site has many pictures and much info about all mediums, and eight frame boxes and cutting down to get there.

www.bushfarms.com
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
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