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Author Topic: Unlimited brood chamber  (Read 5676 times)
Cindi
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« on: December 24, 2006, 08:07:12 AM »

Thought I would start a new post, sometimes I find the topics get so long I have a hard time going through all the posts in in.

There was fantastic advice about honey ripening, supers and brood chambers from several of our forum members.  What a great place to learn and listen.

Getting onto the point about the unlimited brood chamber.  it seems that many beekeepers allow the queen the free reign of the entire hive, without the excluder.  Now, what I want to know is:

1.  If the queen has access to everywhere, she obviously likes to lay her eggs where it is warmest, would she not go up high into the honey supers to lay eggs there, rather than lower where it is cooler?  I read Finsky puts a box on the bottom that is for the nectar, it is usually empty, as she is higher where it is warmer.

2.  What if the queen laid frames in several chambers and there was not enough bees to keep the brood warm enough because the bees were so spread out.  Would this happen, would there be problems with that?

Great day. Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
tig
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« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2006, 08:39:27 AM »

hi cindi,

     i'll give my 2 cents worth on this.  as a rule i dont like using an excluder but in some colonies i have to use one to restrict the queen from laying on the frames which have been laid out for honey.  my experience is that not all queens like to go up to the super and lay eggs.  but for those that do climb, i use the excluder to keep her in the bottom box.

     now regarding not having enough bees to care for the brood.  i use mainly carnolians and they are supposed to be the "smart bees", meaning the queen doesn't lay much if there is a lack of pollen and honey.  while generally true, misfortune can happen such as pesticide poisoning wherein a big number of foragers die, thereby lessening the population.  when this happens, the sudden decrease can severely affect the colony.  there may be a lack of population to regulate temperature and that usually causes chilled brood.  another is that the larva may not be fed sufficiently because the sudden loss of foragers means that several days may pass before the younger nurse bees mature enough to forage and if the colony doesn't have enough reserves, there isn't enough food for them to feed the larva.

     another observation is that if there are many drawn  combs, and few bees, the laying pattern of the queen is affected.  she tends to lay in a smaller circular pattern rather than the full frame text book kind. 

     i'm not sure if this holds true for other kinds of bees like the italians or russians, etc.  i would appreciate feedback from those who handle those kinds.
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Cindi
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« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2006, 08:46:30 AM »

tig, thank you for the comments.  I have Carniolans (well, they should be, but sometimes the race is not pure).  They started out as package Carniolans from Australia each year (I have had 2 years of getting packages), but if the queens were superceded or anything then they became probably Italian, which is the common bee around here.

So, I have no clue what they are now.  When I see the queens in the spring, I probably will be able to tell by her colour.  I am so surprised how dark the Carniolan breed is, very pretty. 

I have not come across pesticide poisoning here so far.  I am hoping never to have this awful thing happen to the bees.  Great day. Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2006, 09:14:24 AM »

it's something i never want to come across again.  i was inspecting my hives and in one of them i noticed dead bees in front. looking closer at the dead bees, they all had their tongues sticking out which i knew was a sign of poisoning.  when i opened the box, there was over an inch thick of dead bees on the bottom board.  i consider myself lucky that the queen survived.
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Finsky
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« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2006, 10:19:55 AM »



     i'm not sure if this holds true for other kinds of bees like the italians or russians, etc.  i would appreciate feedback from those who handle those kinds.

I had 10 years Carniolans but they swarmed so much that I tired them.

Italian race is so wast that you may get what ever bees. It is necessary to get a good beginning with stock and you must  take care all the time the selection of mother queens where you take offsprings.

I do not use exluder even if queen goes to lay eggs to super.  When hone flow is strong bees store honey in brood area. I lift those frames up and give empty combs to brood area or foundations.
When honey flow ceases, I arrange honey combs and brood combs in order.
* Capped boxes to extraction
* Filled honey combs up,
* brood down and
* emty combs in the middle.
* mixed honey and brood combs to hive periferia that queen is not willing to lay eggs any more.

If combs are old/black  I lift frame upp and bees emerge.

This takes time but I want not to play with exluder. It needs again different style of nursing.
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Kirk-o
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« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2006, 10:41:58 AM »

Hi I use th e unlimited brood nest thing works good for me.It is all hive to me.I'm
trying hard to enjoy beekeeping.I had none of my hives swarm this year useing this method and got plenty of honey. Smiley Wink Smiley grin In nature bees don't need queen excluder
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« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2006, 11:20:45 AM »

unlimited brood chamber you say huh... the bees natural instinct should be considered, but many people, or should i say, the beekeeping "science" has gone WAY off during last hundred years. now...if you wanted bees to feel like in nature, you must not use excludor, that's obvius. putting on a super, should be done vice-versa than it is today (usually you put it on top, right?)  you should lift all boxes and slide the empty one underneath. this all makes sense if you look at bees in nature.
but then again, i have little exp.
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Finsky
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« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2006, 12:15:07 PM »

if you wanted bees to feel like in nature,

I just read that there are no nature mellifera any more.

During my nursing time beehive is 3-4 bigger than 40 years ago. Thanks to breeding.

Unlimited brood area is differnet when you speak the hives ahich have maxim 2 box, 4 box or 9 box.

I use 3 brood deeps.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2006, 12:40:20 PM »

>1.  If the queen has access to everywhere, she obviously likes to lay her eggs where it is warmest, would she not go up high into the honey supers to lay eggs there, rather than lower where it is cooler?

But it's warmest in the middle of the brood nest.  Besides it's actually fairly irrelevant what the queen wants.  The workers decide to rear brood or remove eggs.  In my experience I only see them raise brood out of the brood nest if there is not enough drone comb in the brood nest.

>2.  What if the queen laid frames in several chambers and there was not enough bees to keep the brood warm enough because the bees were so spread out.

Bees seldom make that mistake.  If they do, they abandon some of the outlying brood and consolidate the cluster to the main brood nest.  The outlying brood is almost always drone brood and almost always there because you restricted the drone comb in the brood nest.

Some people say they run an unlimted brood nest and do use an excluder.  Some don't use an excluder.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesulbn.htm
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Michael Bush
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2006, 01:36:41 PM »

putting on a super, should be done vice-versa than it is today (usually you put it on top, right?)  you should lift all boxes and slide the empty one underneath. this all makes sense if you look at bees in nature.

I went after some bees in a storage shed wall. Thought I would find them in the top right??? Nope, they had started at the bottom and was building up.

I have found bees doing the opposite of what everyone says bees do.
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Mici
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« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2006, 03:49:46 PM »

hmm, strange. no matter from which angle you look at it, it's strange.
ever tried to put a starter strip at the bottom?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2006, 06:45:03 PM »

I have seen them start from the bottom and build up on a foundationless frame before.  It's one of the reasons I like to have a drawn comb in a box full of empty foundationless frames.
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Michael Bush
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2006, 10:17:48 PM »

The unlimited brood chamber works well.  I use 4 8 frame mediums for my dedicated brood chamber.  It usually provides sufficient space that the queen stays within those confines.  If she does go up I just move the extra brood frames down as all of my euipment is medium depth.  Uniformity is at its best with an unlimited brood chamber.  either way let the queen have all the space she needs during the spring and summer to build a strong foraging hive.  Then reduce the hive by moving frames as necessary at harvest time.
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Cindi
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« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2006, 12:30:57 AM »

It is interesting all this information about the unlimited brood chamber.  It makes pretty good sense, and if the queen can move around, without getting the honey bound brood nest, it is probably really good swarm prevention too. 

I used a queen excluder last year on my colonies and I am now thinking, after reading so many experiences with ULBC that some of my brood nests may have become honeybound.  Inadequate supering, supering too late, so many small issues that arose from inexperience with beekeeping.

In reflection of some of my experiences over the past season, it has come to my attention a new matter.

I thought that I had such a severe infestation of varroa that it destroyed many of my colonies eventually.  I have a thought that perhaps there was indeed high levels,  but it may not be entire culprit that I thought it was.  Perhaps the queen had become honey bound and was not laying to her full capacity that she should have.  The result, decreased levels of brood, and we know that that carries on and afflicts the build up of the hives.  Correct?

This may have affected the strength of the colonies to even ward off the varroa mite.  There is so much pondering of ideas and advice, it is a good thing.

Do my summarizations regarding the above matters make sense to you other beekeepers that have so many years of beekeeping experience held in your hands?  I need to know, please correct me or advise if I am correct.  Great day all.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
Michael Bush
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« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2006, 06:38:56 AM »

>Perhaps the queen had become honey bound and was not laying to her full capacity that she should have.  The result, decreased levels of brood, and we know that that carries on and afflicts the build up of the hives.  Correct?

What's more they usually swarm (and probably did when you didn't notice) which depletes the hive even more.
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Michael Bush
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Cindi
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« Reply #15 on: December 28, 2006, 09:57:31 AM »

Michael, swarmed, maybe that occurred.  It probably  does not really take that long for the "swarm" to get out, leave and be gone before one even knows it I bet.  Don't they know that I would have tried to help with overcrowded conditions (LOL) so they wouldn't have to swarm?  Great day.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #16 on: December 28, 2006, 10:10:28 PM »

Lots of room before its time is the key to swarm pervention.  In the spring pull some empty frames and put in foundation.  This will get the bees into a comb building mode.  Bees building comb usually do not swarm.  The when supering add 2 at a time instead of just one.  Again more room keeps them building comb.
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Cindi
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« Reply #17 on: December 28, 2006, 11:50:46 PM »

Lots of room before its time is the key to swarm pervention.  In the spring pull some empty frames and put in foundation.  This will get the bees into a comb building mode.  Bees building comb usually do not swarm.  The when supering add 2 at a time instead of just one.  Again more room keeps them building comb.

I am understanding more and more about bee behaviour.  So many more things make so much more sense, pertaining to the amount of reading I have been doing in this forum from advice from people who have been living among the bees for so many years.  Busy bees are happy bees in a nutshell.  Give them lots to do and they will not wander (LOL).  There has been so much advice on logical ways of handling bees.  Great day.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #18 on: December 29, 2006, 12:55:32 AM »

  Bees building comb usually do not swarm. 

But a hive which have allready an intention to swarm, it does not build foundations. So Maarec says that do not add room with foundations into hive which is in danger to swarm.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #19 on: December 29, 2006, 07:34:06 AM »

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

Walt Wright has the most detailed break down of swarming and swarm preparations.  His address is in the above link.
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Michael Bush
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