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Author Topic: Bee box down  (Read 716 times)

Offline Butteredloins

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Bee box down
« on: March 24, 2019, 08:45:55 pm »
Hi guys
So after leaving the bees for about 1.5 months I did a inspection yesterday. What I found was that the bees had completely covered the 10f in the top box and that there was brood pollen and very little honey. When I inspected the bottom box, where the bees fly in. There was no brood and honey and just small amounts of pollen. And just random bees. I also noticed hive beetles. I decided there wasn't enough bee to cover and protect the two boxes. So I put the top box at the bottom. And removed the bottom box completly. Now there are alot of bees in the bottom box and bees at night hang outside, which is a good thing. Just wondering in order to get honey when do I add this bottom box back to the top. Or should I just leave thing and let them build honey for them selves for winter and maybe try for honey next year.
Cheers
Luke

Offline CoolBees

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Re: Bee box down
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2019, 11:13:23 pm »
Luke - hopefully others will give (both over us) good info on this. I have 1 hive doing exactly what you describe. For where I'm at, this hive should be 4 or 5 boxes like the other 3 (the 3 are all brood/cluster down - not up). ... but nope this one clusters at the top. 8 frames of brood and bees over an empty 8 frame [below]. ... has finally expanded downward into 2 frames of the lower box ... 2 months behind the others.

Wish I could offer help - but I'm paddling the same boat. Maybe someone will rescue us - eh?

Alan
You cannot permanently help men by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves - Abraham Lincoln

Offline eltalia

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Re: Bee box down
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2019, 01:58:21 am »
Hi guys
So after leaving the bees for about 1.5 months I did a inspection yesterday. What I found was that the bees
had completely covered the 10f in the top box and that there was brood pollen ....
[edit]
Or should I just leave thing and let them build honey for them selves for winter and maybe try for honey next year.
Cheers
Luke
Gidday....
A common enough observation as a variation of "chimney effect" where no excluder (QE)
is in place and forage is scant or sporadic - bees move up following the stores in place
from earlier flows. Check your records for the 'Gong.

What is done now is one option, and to follow through you simply need to watch for any
excuberant backfilling -  as it's a little early yet to slow the queen laying completely.
Maybe check in say 5days after you did that work to check the backfill rate?
Remedial action would then be to remove frames at #3 and #6 (assuming you are
running 9/10) to place those with drawn comb from the bottom box removed earlier.

Also just so I know you know?
It is not considered Good Practice in this Country to use brood frames for honey
extraction - fine if you are feeding such back, not fine when for human consumption.

Cheers.

Bill

Offline eltalia

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Re: Bee box down
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2019, 02:17:09 am »
Quote from: CoolBees link=topic=52127.msg465353#msg465353

Wish I could offer help - but I'm paddling the same boat. Maybe someone will rescue us - eh?

Alan

Alan the overall situations are not the same here, despite the symptons sharing some
observations. What Luke chose to do is not what I personally would have got into - and for
yourself coming into Spring/Summer wont be any way out of it, the fact it's a 10frame
versus an 8frame config being one difference of significance.
If no help is forthcoming from your local I would help out with what I would do for those
bees there in your Apiary... it's no biggee, really.

Cheers.

Bill

Offline Butteredloins

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Re: Bee box down
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2019, 06:10:34 pm »
Never knew that you couldn't use brood frames to store honey. Just felt like I had to reduce otherwise wax moth and bettles would of taken over the hive. Now there is way less vacent space so bees can defend well. I will monitor them and just take frames out if getting full. But judging by my area we get very little honey flow all year round around here, which sucks. Also I read and researched and got many opinions about not putting on vs putting on a queen excluder. What are your thoughts. Same with foundation vs foundationless frames. I don't use a excluder and all my frames are foundationless.

Offline eltalia

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Re: Bee box down
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2019, 01:05:48 am »
Ummmm.....
Brood frames can be used to store honey Luke, bees do so regularly.
The distinction is in extraction for human consumption, short version being two reasons as it is
believed toxins in cocoons transfer to the honey and secondly such practice is regressive
commercially as the cocoons prevent the maximum weight for frames being reached, particularly
older brood frames. Succinctly, it is those going broke who use those frames.

I was not criticising your method of reduction, simply saying that there is not how I myself would
have gone about it. Reducing frame realestate for those symtoms being a logical step of rectifcation.

As for QEs (?) their use is poorly understood by many, being a tool deployed around other factors
of beekeeping equally misunderstood. I am sure my "thoughts" have been aired here (BMA) before
 today so a simple search on the topic should pop enlightenment.
Enough to say for now that - as a pollinator operation - it was mandatory to embrace a through working
knowledge of QE use - again it is those going broke (or broke) who will argue till the cows come home
 QEs are not necessary in efficient beekeeping.
I attach a diagramatic explanation of the ethos in QE use.

As to cell base I can say having deployed both that wired and sheeted frames are the only option where
 hives are going to be moved around (miles/kilometres) whereas in the backyard (permanently)
 foundationless is an option which arguably returns improved production, but again not a sole factor in
 that.
Hoping all of that clears away doubt I leave you with best wishes for a fruitfull flow into winter.

Cheers.

Bill

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Offline Bamboo

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Re: Bee box down
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2019, 09:46:49 am »
I concur with Bill. Have never seen a hive where without a QE brood stays in bottom box. The queen will always go walk about and lay in the upper super as well, which is not a problem if you aren't worried about extracting any honey, but is if you do want to extract. Why? among some of the reasons, brood comb usually is a lot thicker than honey comb therefore less honey in same area of comb, cleanliness of comb, 100's of thousands of bees crawling over the same comb on their way in and out of hive, if you do extract comb with even some brood you have larvae to filter out, plus possible contamination.
You won't find a commercial beek anywhere that doesn't use QE's for good reason.
I know some say using QE's encourages swarming....only if you don't manage hive correctly, i.e. manipulate frames.
QE's are also great for building up splits as you can pull full frames of brood and not frames with some brood some pollen and some honey. Just so much easier to manage a hive.
Unless of course there is no management involved and the hive is left to it's own devices then why have a QE, the hive will run into trouble one day and then there won't be a hive.
Cheers
Mark

Offline CoolBees

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Re: Bee box down
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2019, 12:37:44 pm »
Bamboo amd/or Eltalia - I'm still learning, so pls bear with me - and thank you for your explanations so far. ... I'm not seeing what your describing. I have hives that are 5 boxes tall right now. The queen is not laying above the 3rd box up. Most of the brood is in the bottom 2 boxes (I did full inspections and splits 2 days ago). The hives have no QE's and are mostly foundationless.

Is this unique? It has seemed to work for me so far. I haven't found the the queen laying in the upper boxes in my 4 years - except 1 hive that continues to struggle.

When I made splits, I love frames that have eggs, brood, pollen, and honey on them, so the splits have resources to get started. Then I add an additional frame or 2 of honey.

Your thoughts?

This assumes I understood you correctly of course - which is not always a guarantee with me. :)
You cannot permanently help men by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves - Abraham Lincoln

Offline eltalia

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Re: Bee box down
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2019, 10:10:27 pm »
Bamboo amd/or Eltalia - I'm still learning, so pls bear with me - and thank you for your explanations
so far.
For mine (only) it is never a chore to discuss method. However arguing for or against
set (certain) positions/philosophy in online mediums is something I have well proved
is n0t fruitfull, nor helpfull in fostering cordial relations.
Quote
This assumes I understood you correctly of course - which is not always a guarantee with me. :)
Nah..from your response I'd offer you have the general picture from Mark's loose layout
(nailing it) albeit not getting into detail - like "frame manipulation" is a broad topic across
differing conditions, and whilst long practised among seasoned b'keeps (here) isn't something
easily conveyed in short message format.... least not by long-winded moi. ;-))

Your stack management as described is one philosophy, one many follow and also
advocated for in a number of retail publications. Whilst it isn't common for queens to
move above 3 boxes in brood production it does happen, and a definite following on
severe dearth as she has moved up following the cluster feeding. When the dearth
breaks she lays where she is fed, in those top boxes.
However the prime reason for restricting stack heights is a simple numbers game.
In a flow your 60,000 bees will service even 5boxes above a QE yet allow your
100,000 bees free reign in the same 6box stack and they only service the top three.
It's simple maths.... you have 30 frames up against 40 to pull and 40,000 more
mouths to feed. AND all only because it is easy work, requiring little to none husbandry
on the part of the beekeeper.
Fine if you can get away with it.
Which brings up the most relevant issue here in Australia.
Contrary to what is populist Internet driven rhetoric, whilst we are indeed The Lucky Country
in owning beekeeping maybe 300days a year in most locations successfull beeeeeping
just does not fall into your lap, you have to work at it, 300days a year. This as forage is at
massive peaks and long deep dearths for many of those same locations.
So it is the choice is to either move them around (migratory) or keep numbers at a
manageable level for those small continuous flows. Both require maintaining an absolute
max of 3boxes total with a single (9/10) broodchamber... throwing boxes on for the flow(s).

Regrettably - in my view - much of online 'advice' is leading backyarders down the perilous path
of running more boxes in feeding bees sugar syrup(lollywater) as rescue for "starving bees", even
when urban forage is known to be continous.... losing entirely the skillset of beekeeping and
generating a closed loop effect in fostering sick bees at far greater numbers than a healthy
managed colony requires to both survive and return their service to the environment - pollination.

The last para is wholly my personal philosophy, with no judgement made of those not sharing
similar other than disdain for those finding mixing pails of lollywater is easier than applying
themselves to caring for bees in their charge.

Cheers.

Bill







Offline CoolBees

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Re: Bee box down
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2019, 10:51:40 pm »
Bill - 1st, thank you for taking the time. Your points are well made. I understand much better. If your moving hives (which I will be in the future) they can't reasonably be stacked so high - thus the QE to control things. (Much more to it than that - but that's the short answer.)

I definitely don't want to start any disagreements.  :cool:

As to feeding and propping up poor quality bees - I totally agree with your philosophy. The only time I feed is for splits so they can get going - found that out the hard way.

Once again, thank you for taking the time. I'm learning, and I really appreciate your time. I hope to make it to your part of the world sometime in my life - always wanted to.  :grin:

Alan
You cannot permanently help men by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves - Abraham Lincoln

Offline eltalia

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Re: Bee box down
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2019, 12:09:36 am »
I rightly should point out Alan the management notes I make are for 10frm boxes in 8/10, 9/10 and 10/10
configs. Using 8frm boxes changes things somewhat in that the realestate expanse changes as the choices
in utilizing those two extra frames is not available. Like in say a scenario of setting a single box BC for
dearth it may be necessary to add a halfdepth (wsp/ideal/medium) holding 5frms only as adding another
fulldepth 8frm could well thwart any benefit of reducing the realestate under dearth conditions.
8frm boxes are being taken up more and more here by b'ydrs in Aussie buuuut for those that know it is
always 10frm configs which prevail.

Always here to helpout and/or swap methods where it is constructive.

Cheers.

Bill