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Author Topic: Bees being bees  (Read 396 times)

Offline Occam

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Bees being bees
« on: May 23, 2023, 02:06:18 pm »
Two weeks ago I did a manipulation on my hive that had me a bit worried afterwards, wasn't sure it would work as I wanted it to. Front entrance near the handle groove and on the top box is how my hive has been sitting since last year. They dutifully worked the top box only using 4ish frames as brood nest rest of them they used for stores and resources. They never fully drew out the frames leaving the outside wall of the top box plain, and the bottom box basically untouched.

The layout was thus:


Unfortunately the letters don't like up perfectly.
R=resources, B=brood, F=foundationless, P=plastic foundation, O=old brood

Wanting to cycle out the old frames from the nuc from last year (they've definitely seen better days) that made up the brood nest I left them in the top box but put my queen in the bottom under the exluder. I left her with a frame of partially drawn new foundationless comb and a little bit started on a foundation. I hoped they would draw out new comb for her quickly on the starter strips. After I did this I was concerned that a)she  wouldn't have enough space to lay and they wouldn't in fact draw out comb quickly enough for her, and b) that there would be a bunch of drones trapped since the bottom box has no entrance.


Fast forward to Sunday and I found they'd been going crazy drawing new comb for her, completely drew out a couple of foundation frames and a couple foundationless as well. Back to 4 full booming frames of brood with nearly solid capped brood. The old brood frames were nearly hatched out of brood and had been backfilled with honey and pollen. That part of the plan worked but unfortunately there were a dozen or so drones on the bottom of the box. So since they've made such a great start I decided to remove the excluder giving free movement in the box again with some slight rearrangement hoping that with the old brood frames backfilled and not above the current brood nest the queen won't be as interested in going back to them.


The new brood nest was better than I remember the brood nest being last year. We'll see how everyone is doing in a couple weeks again
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Offline BeeMaster2

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Re: Bees being bees
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2023, 07:53:05 am »
There is a good chance that the bees will not build on the plasticel when it is in the same box with wax foundation or foundation less frames. They might if it is in the middle of brood frames. I would recommend putting all plasticell frames in a super above the brood and use your foundation less in the brood. Make sure it has a waxed wood strip in the top slot.
Jim Altmiller
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Offline FloridaGardener

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Re: Bees being bees
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2023, 10:41:04 am »
They sure don't "like" it.  Sometimes they festoon and build a comb between two empty plasticel frames. It does help to keep spritzing it with 1:1 sugar, they start to get the idea once it starts building out.

I'm foundationless but try to train nucs to use foundation, because that's what beekeepers want (not bees).  So It does help to keep spritzing empty plasticell with 1:1 sugar. As they lick it up, they'll leak wax. They start to get the idea, once it starts building out.