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How often do you check your brood box after adding a super?

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Author Topic: Brood Box Inspections  (Read 980 times)

Offline BrianP_69

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Brood Box Inspections
« on: October 26, 2018, 01:12:50 am »
Just wondering how often you all check your brood box after adding your super.
My first super has gone on today after seeing the bees were covering & working all 10 frames.
A couple of nights of bearding at the hive entrance was also an indication that the hive was getting a little crowded.

Offline max2

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Re: Brood Box Inspections
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2018, 03:42:51 am »
Hi Brian,
if I add a super to a full brood box I generally move a few capped brood frames to the top ( no queen, of course) and fill the gaps in the brood box with new foundation. This allows you to get rid of old foundation.
I may check such a hive in a few weeks to make sure all is OK in the brood box.
All my hives get a Spring and Autumn health check.
In some case I may switch old brood frames with new frames from the honey super to keep the brood frames in good condition.
Hives I use for nuc production I open every time I make a nuc and I will look at most frames and check on the queen.
The simmple answer I guess is - as often as required.

Offline BrianP_69

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Re: Brood Box Inspections
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2018, 03:48:18 am »
Hi Brian,
if I add a super to a full brood box I generally move a few capped brood frames to the top ( no queen, of course) and fill the gaps in the brood box with new foundation. This allows you to get rid of old foundation.
I may check such a hive in a few weeks to make sure all is OK in the brood box.
All my hives get a Spring and Autumn health check.
In some case I may switch old brood frames with new frames from the honey super to keep the brood frames in good condition.
Hives I use for nuc production I open every time I make a nuc and I will look at most frames and check on the queen.
The simmple answer I guess is - as often as required.

Awesome tip regarding the brood frames.
Cheers

Offline blackforest beekeeper

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Re: Brood Box Inspections
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2018, 04:49:57 am »
Hi Brian,
if I add a super to a full brood box I generally move a few capped brood frames to the top ( no queen, of course) and fill the gaps in the brood box with new foundation. This allows you to get rid of old foundation.
I may check such a hive in a few weeks to make sure all is OK in the brood box.
All my hives get a Spring and Autumn health check.
In some case I may switch old brood frames with new frames from the honey super to keep the brood frames in good condition.
Hives I use for nuc production I open every time I make a nuc and I will look at most frames and check on the queen.
The simmple answer I guess is - as often as required.

Awesome tip regarding the brood frames.
Cheers

It is a way, no dout.
For my own taste, I don`t like honey out of dark comb. It`s got a taste and a smell.
If I have to get honey out of brood-combs, I extract them seperatly - and quickly. This honey is not sold in our glasses.

Offline TheHoneyPump

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Brood Box Inspections
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2018, 04:19:30 pm »
On your new hive Continue to check the hive for progress and queen activity on a 7 to 10 day cycle. If there are going to be any problems you want to see it in time to do something about it. That means your time between inspections needs to be less than the time it takes the bees to initiate queen rearing.  You need to be in the hive in less than 10 days from the last time you checked.

Once you are confident the brood nest is healthy and stable, then move your inspections to be outside only.  Especially once the population booms and the supers are getting stacked on. Observe the debris out front the hive and the bee behaviour and activity level around the entrance.  Learn to recognize the difference between normal entrance activity and problems.  Leave them alone if normal.  Go in deep if you sense a problem.  I continue to spot check when only one super is on.  Once the second super goes on, I do not open the nest again until end of season when peeling off all the supers to reduce for fall/winter.   Exception is if I detect a problem indicates by the bees and debris around the entrance.

Getting into the brood nest is easy with one super on.  Worst thing to do though is setting it down once you have started the lift. Once you start to crack and lift, have a good grip and do not set back down.  The risk is crushed bees and a crushed queen in bridge comb between the boxes.

1. two heavy puffs of smoke directly in the entrance
2. lift the lid.  two heavy puffs of smoke under the lid. set the lid back down
3. wait 30-40 seconds for the smoke to spread and bees to settle down coughing on it.
4. crack off the super.  Crack along the backside and tip it forward then lift straight up.  Do not allow to set back down onto the bees, crushing them
5. set the super on the ground behind the hive, tipped up on end, frames vertical.
6. inspect the brood box as usual.

When done, smoke the bees down off the top bars of the brood box.  smoke the bees up off the bottom bars of the super.  put the super back on.

There is a good way for moving old comb out of the brood chambers.  Similar but different from how max2 describes.  If I understand correctly, your hive at this point is brand new and they are just getting doing drawing out on all new frames.  You will not have to be concerned about old comb for 4 seasons.

PS:  when you have the super off, also tip the bottom brood box up on end and look along the bottom bars of the frames.  If they are advanced quicker than you think, you may spot the beginnings of swarm cells along the bottom bars.  Let us know if that is the case as you may be needing some points of what to do pdq.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2018, 05:42:53 pm by TheHoneyPump »
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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Brood Box Inspections
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2018, 05:15:33 pm »
It depends on what the goal is, if it's an outyard and what is happening.  During a flow I usually only check to make sure they don't run out of room on hives where I'm trying to make honey.  Unless there seems to be something wrong, like not enough traffic, or too much traffic that makes me wondering what is happening.
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Offline cao

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Re: Brood Box Inspections
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2018, 10:28:54 pm »
Just wondering how often you all check your brood box after adding your super.
Very seldom to never.  After making spring splits, verifying a laying queen, and they build up enough for honey supers, they don't get checked unless I see something wrong or I'm pulling the supers off to harvest the honey.