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14x12 brood - good? and how to swap over?

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skydragon 

House Bee
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I'm running a single National hive and starting to dream about next year's plans already.

As soon as practical (late April, next year?) I want to split the hive and run with two Hives (I've a spare national hive currently sat in the garage). In time, I'll then go to three hives which will probably be the practical limit for me.

I've got a Carnolian queen in the existing Hive and understand that a standard National BB may be a tad too small for when she really gets going next year (hopefully).

I'm thinking of using 14x12 BB and frames instead of National standard deep BB.

Questions;

- would I be better using 14x12 frames, rather than std National deep brood frames with a Carnolian colony?

- If I was splitting the hive early next year and moving over the queen and a few frames to a new hive fitted with 14x12 BB frames, how would I do this? would I just put a few of the existing deep BB frames into a part filled 14x12 BB and then in time remove the old deep BB national frames and replace with a few 14x12 framees, once the BB is near full?

- Thornes sell a 14x12 eek, to convert a std BB to 14x12 BB, i guess this works fine?

- any other advice?
 

m100 

Field Bee
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Killing the queen and getting something less swarmy might be a big improvement :)

If you want to move to 14x12 my advice, having gone through this around four times now using various permutations, is to simply put a 14x12 box (or a national with an eke) on top of your existing colony when you need to super next spring, in time they will draw the foundation and eventually the queen will move up (do not use a queen excluder!)

When you come to do a split, simply take the national brood box away and make an artificial swarm, leaving the fliers and existing queen with the 14x12.

Using normal sided brood in a 14x12 box leads to wild comb at the bottom of many frames making manipulations a PITA, also 14x12 frames are drawn right to the bottom corners when used as an upper brood box, they are often left untouched or chewed through when placed directly over a floor or mixed in with normal sided brood frames.
 

skydragon 

House Bee
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Location
Pocklington, Yorks, UK
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14x12
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Killing the queen and getting something less swarmy might be a big improvement
... I knew I'd get that response from someone ;-)

they are often left untouched or chewed through when placed directly over a fl
OK, didn't realise that. Sounds like a PITA.

Ideally I wanted to end up with both BB as 14x12 in early next year, but as you say the brace comb when mixing frames is one of the key issues (they seem to enjoy building brace even in the existing std national BB)

Thanks for the advice.
 

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