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Author Topic: Hive congestion  (Read 1216 times)
KONASDAD
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Location: Cherry Hill, N.J.


« on: July 07, 2006, 12:46:03 PM »

Did an inspection. Both my upper and lower deeps seem to be very honeybound and full. I added a med super three weeks ago and only 5-10% drawn. I sprayed w/ sugar water to see if it would entice them to pick up the speed.
       My question is, Should I remove a board or two of honey and add undrawn frames? I only have undrawn as this is my first year and no hives to borrow from. Other than some occassional queen cells in the middle of the frames, there appears to be no problems. I have had no stoppage in brood rearing. If they'ver superceded or swarmed, I cant tell. Eggs are hard to find, but I lack no brood and larvae. I attempted to feed two weeks ago, but they had no interest and almost none of it was used.
Additionally, I purchased pierco drone frames. How  do I begin the process of utylizing this method of mite reduction?
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amymcg
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« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2006, 01:45:30 PM »

You may want to pull a frame or two of honey out  and replace with foundation.

don't feed them

Give them time, they will draw it and fill it.
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NWIN Beekeeper
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« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2006, 06:23:16 PM »

Its a good idea to keep the brood area open between frosts.  
This gives an opportunity to make more drawn foundation (which is always a premium).   The problem that you will discover is that if you are using deeps in your brood area and mediums for honey supers, you can't just move the frames up another box (and that would have a great deal of different advantages).  This is why a lot of beekeepers are changing over to just mediums and why a lot of new beekeepers are being told to start with all mediums as well.   If you are going to pull frames of honey from the brood area, first off try to take capped frames as they will be cured honey and not just nectar (which can and will ferment over time, as does any nectar over 18% moisture).  Once these frames are pulled you have a few options, you can freeze them so that you have spares if the spring is a little short, you can extract them, or crush and strain.   If you extract or crush the comb, you can feed it back to the bees in the spring, but this is typically a practice that is avoided to prevent spreading disease.  But not everyone owns or has space in chest freezer for frames of honey.  

You mentioned that you have a frame of drone foundation.  It is important to get using that as soon as possible.  Drone populations have a tendancy to ramp upto fall time and that's when mite populations also start to increase since they come from mostly drone cells.  A typical hive has about a 10% drone population during the honey season.  If you do the math that would mean that you should add one frame for about every 9 or 10 frames of brood.  It sounds like you meet that criteria.  What most people want is the worker brood in the center of the brood nest.  So with this, it would be advisable to put the drone frame next to the outside wall or outside the last significant frame of brood.  

Now you're going to ask, how do I know what a significant frame of brood is?  Well the brood area of a frame dimishes closer to winter and increases spring to summer.  You are going to have to pull the frames and inspect them to see where and how much brood is being laid on each frame.  From this you can determine where your drone frame should be located.  You want it close enough to the brood area that the queen will remain warm enough to be comfortable to travel to the drone frame to lay, but outside the brood nest enough that it doesn't intrude upon worker brood area.

To start with you may need to introduce the frame more central until it becomes drawn out, but after that the aboves applies. Hopefully you understand that the frame needs to be uncapped (drones killed) several days before they are expected to hatch (or anytime you see them capped) .  From those that use them, its been suggested to keep several spare uncapped so that you can just swap and go and not horse around with opening, running to garage or honey house, uncapping and opening the hive again.
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KONASDAD
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« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2006, 07:11:39 PM »

The frames of honey are all capped, and my brood area appears to be extensive. I have at least four full frames of brood in the upper(both sides), and another four frames of brood in the lower(both sides). Additionally, I have the three biggest frames of capped honey in the lower at least 3-4 inches thick. All honey frames are the outside frames, and all brood are in the middle where they belong. Shaped like a suspended football between the upper and lower boxes. I appear to have huge amounts of bees, and lots of pollen and honey. The honey frames are gorgeous. All capped and new drawn foundation. Almost see through. Perhaps I'm not being patient enough? They drew out the deep box in ten days. The medium is going on three weeks. Obviously, there is plenty of nectar as evidenced by all the capped honey. I have no extractor for this year. I was hoping to avoid crush and strain as I want next years bees to be "ahead of the game." I really appreciate the feedback. The nuansces (sp?)of this hobby are both vexing and fascinating too. I am in the flow according to local beeks and want to maximize my opportunities for the girls.
Thanx again gang.
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IndianaBrown
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« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2006, 09:38:15 PM »

Here is an instruction sheet from Betterbee on the Pierco Drone Frames:
http://www.betterbee.com/resources/PiercoDrone.html

I just started this year, but here is the way I am using them:  
I am using 2 standard 10 frame deeps for the brood area for each hive.  I have 2 drone frames per hives.  One is always in the hive, usually about the 3rd frame from one side in the top deep.  (I figured that they should go just inside the last frame that is completely honey/pollen.)  So far I have been putting them in the upper deep just for ease of checking them.  

When I inspect, typically about every 10 days or so, if the drone frame has a significant number of capped cells I swap it out with the other one.  The one that is not in the hive is put in the freezer after I steal, er, um, sample, a bit of honey from the top of the frame. Last time I got to see a drone chew his way out while I was letting the honey drip into a baking sheet... Great homeschooling stuff.  Smiley   I move them from the freezer to the fridge the night before I inspect so they are not so cold when I put them back in the hive.

Since I am using one frame hive, I guess I am running only about 5% (1/20) rather than 10%.  Actually now that I think about it, once you account for the honey frames in the brood boxes, one drone frame is more like 1/12.  In both of my hives the bees filled the drone frames with nectar right after they drew them out for the first time, but on the next inspection they were mostly larva and capped brood.  Depending on your brood nest you may be better off in the 4th position.
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