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Author Topic: Encouraging an open brood nest in new hive  (Read 3093 times)
tillie
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« on: April 15, 2007, 09:37:48 AM »

I started with a nuc for the hive in question.  I put on either side of the nuc frames, SC starter strips.  The bees did fine drawing out comb.  I then put a medium box above the deep below and set it up with SC starter strips - the bees drew it out but made somewhat of a mess.  They also filled these frames with honey.  I want to encourage the queen to use this box for brood.

I know the bees will do what they want to do, but my current thought is to put another medium on this hive and move some of the honey laden frames up to the new box and feed in starter strip frames in the medium below (which is just above the brood box)  Two questions:

1.  Is this a good plan to get the queen to lay eggs in the box above and not be bound by honey?

2.  Should I leave a frame of honey (already there) between each starter strip frame I add - I was thinking to add about three frames of starter strips?

This may all be moot - I may find when I open the hives tomorrow that the queen IS laying in the medium, but I am afraid she is bound below by the honey.

Linda T
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« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2007, 09:58:07 AM »

I started with a nuc for the hive in question.  I put on either side of the nuc frames, SC starter strips.  The bees did fine drawing out comb.  I then put a medium box above the deep below and set it up with SC starter strips - the bees drew it out but made somewhat of a mess.  They also filled these frames with honey.  I want to encourage the queen to use this box for brood.

I know the bees will do what they want to do, but my current thought is to put another medium on this hive and move some of the honey laden frames up to the new box and feed in starter strip frames in the medium below (which is just above the brood box)  Two questions:

1.  Is this a good plan to get the queen to lay eggs in the box above and not be bound by honey?

I have heard that a queen will not cross a honey super to lay brood. From what I have seen in feral colonies this is partially true. I have seen the drone laid outside of the honey comb. Also I have seen the bees consume honey in one set of frames and move it to another super creating room for the queen to lay. I won't say it is scientfically valid. Brood is laid in a pattern. The pattern generally doesn't get broken up. So most likely the brood would be restricted to the area below the honey.

Now I want to clarify something. If you have just a few honey frames in the box and the rest are empty comb. The queen would lay in a pattern all the way up into the medium on those frames that stack on top of one another. So the two honey frames surrounding the empty frame are not a barrier to the queen. If all 10 frames are honey it becomes a barrier. If any of the frames are empty she will lay in them. 

Quote
2.  Should I leave a frame of honey (already there) between each starter strip frame I add - I was thinking to add about three frames of starter strips?
I think that would be fine.

Quote
This may all be moot - I may find when I open the hives tomorrow that the queen IS laying in the medium, but I am afraid she is bound below by the honey.

Linda T
I am thinking it is all there also. I could always take a look.  grin

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2007, 09:58:12 AM »

>1.  Is this a good plan to get the queen to lay eggs in the box above and not be bound by honey?

The bees will decide if it's a good plan or not.  But it's nice to have some room for her.

>2.  Should I leave a frame of honey (already there) between each starter strip frame I add - I was thinking to add about three frames of starter strips?

If it's nice straight combs of capped honey, sure.  If it's uncapped they will usually just fatten the uncapped honey to fill the space and ignore the starter strips.
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tillie
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« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2007, 10:04:40 AM »

So should I move three frames of honey in the center up and add the starter strip frames and see if she uses the center for brood, then?

Linda T
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« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2007, 10:09:53 AM »

You don't have to but if you want to move the frames move them to the outside positions in the box. Feral bee hives generally put brood in the center to help keep the temprature correct. The full honey frames act like a wall so they don't have to work as hard to keep the temprature constant.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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Kirk-o
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« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2007, 11:59:06 AM »

OPEN BROOD NEST has been the most FANTASTIC discovery for me.I stumbled across it on Michael Bush's site.I have had nothing but success.My january cut out just took off like a rocket I added boxes keeping plenty of room Yeaterday I opened them up they had drawn the strips down real good 5 boxes of brood unbelievable.Before I read Michaels site I would of put a queen excluder on aftr the 3rd box they would of swarmed.My other big feral I have had three years
hasn't swarmed useing open brood nest I try to read Michael Bush's site the whole thing at least onece amonth I keep finding poop of knowkedge.
kirko
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2007, 08:58:37 PM »

>So should I move three frames of honey in the center up and add the starter strip frames and see if she uses the center for brood, then?

You can do that if you like.  This was just a nuc when you started right?  How big is the brood nest?  How many bees?  If you leave space for an empty frame in the brood nest how quickly do the bees festoon and fill it?  If they do this quickly, maybe adding an empty frame to the brood nest would help.  If not, then I'd leave them alone until they get stronger.

>I keep finding poop of knowkedge.

I keep trying to put some in there... it changes all the time.
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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
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